Rhetoric and Community: Studies in Unity and Fragmentation / Edition 1by J. Michael Hogan, Thomas W. Benson
Pub. Date: 04/01/1998
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
In Rhetoric and Community, seventeen contributors explore an area of growing scholarly interest-how rhetoric defines, rallies, polarizes, and marginalizes specific communities. The contributors consider such contentious issues as how individuals are forged into communities, what sustains constructive communities, how communities become fragmented, and what leads to divisions of race, class, and gender, the rhetoric of hatred and violence, or failures of public discussion to resolve common problems.
The volume creates its own dialogue through seven case studies, each including an interpretive essay and response. The studies range from historical investigations of feminist and African American communities, to commentaries on military decision making and the rhetoric of war, to reflections on contemporary artistic and scientific communities. Unified by their common interest in discourse and community, all revolve around the same essential questions: How do communities define themselves rhetorically? How do they construct and promote their distinctive worldviews? How do they position themselves in relation to other communities and to society at large? How does rhetoric promote unity or fragmentation? The answers that emerge are as varied as the subjects considered. All the essays contribute new understandings of how rhetoric not only reflects but also shapes the character of specific communities and their place in society.
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