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SAGE Publications
Rhetoric in Popular Culture / Edition 4

Rhetoric in Popular Culture / Edition 4

by Barry S. Brummett


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Rhetoric in Popular Culture / Edition 4

“An accessible introduction to contemporary rhetorical theory and its applications in everyday life.”

—Cory Brewster, Eastern Oregon University

Rhetoric in Popular Culture, Fifth Edition, shows you how to apply growing and cutting-edge methods of critical studies to a full spectrum of contemporary issues seen in daily life. Exploring a wide range of mass media including current movies, magazines, advertisements, social networking sites, music videos, and television shows, Barry Brummett uses critical analysis to apply key rhetorical concepts to a variety of exciting examples drawn from popular culture. You are guided from theory to practice in an easy-to-understand manner, providing you with a foundational understanding of the definition and history of rhetoric as well as new approaches to the rhetorical tradition. The highly anticipated Fifth Edition includes new critical essays and case studies that demonstrate for you how the critical methods discussed can be used to study the hidden rhetoric of popular culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2901452203460
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 01/28/2014
Edition description: Fourth Edition
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Barry Brummett is the Charles Sapp Centennial Professor in Communication and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1978, and taught at Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin before coming to the University of Texas, Austin in 2001. Brummett has authored, coauthored, or edited numerous articles, scholarly essays, and books, including Contemporary Apocalyptic Rhetoric, Techniques of Close Reading, Rhetoric of Machine Aesthetics, and The Politics of Style and the Style of Politics. His research pursuits include the rhetoric of popular culture, epistemology, and the theories of Kenneth Burke.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Theory
Chapter 1: Rhetoric and the Rhetorical Tradition
Definitions and the Management of Power
The Rhetorical Tradition: Ancient Greece
The Rise of the City-States: How Democracy Grew Up with Rhetoric
Rhetoric in Athens
Plato’s Complaints against the Sophists
Two Legacies We Have Inherited from the Greek Rhetorical Tradition
Definitions of Rhetoric after Plato
Rhetoric in the Eighteenth Century
New Theories (and New Realities) Emerge in the Twentieth Century
What Changed in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Managing Power Today in Traditional Texts: Neo-Aristotelian Criticism
Summary and Review
Looking Ahead
Chapter 2: Rhetoric and Popular Culture
The Rhetoric of Everyday Life
The Building Blocks of Culture: Signs
Indexical Meaning
Iconic Meaning
Symbolic Meaning
Complexity of the Three Kinds of Meaning
The Building Blocks of Culture: Artifacts
An Action, Event, or Object Perceived as a Unified Whole
. . . Having Widely Shared Meanings
. . . Manifesting Group Identification to Us
Definitions of Culture
Elitist Meanings of Culture
Popular Meanings of Culture
Characteristics of Cultures
Cultures Are Highly Complex and Overlapping
Cultures Entail Consciousness, or Ideologies
Cultures Are Experienced through Texts
Managing Power Today in Texts of Popular Culture
Four Characteristics of the Texts of Popular Culture
Summary and Review
Looking Ahead
Chapter 3: Rhetorical Methods in Critical Studies
Texts as Sites of Struggle
Texts Influence through Meanings
Texts Are Sites of Struggle over Meaning
Three Characteristics of Critical Studies
The Critical Character
Concern over Power
Critical Interventionism
Finding a Text
The First Continuum: Type of Text
The Second Continuum: Sources of Meanings
Defining a Context
The Third Continuum: Choice of Context
The Fourth Continuum: Text-Context Relationship
“Inside” the Text
The Fifth Continuum: From Surface to Deep Reading
The Text in Context: Metonymy, Power, Judgment
Summary and Review
Looking Ahead
Chapter 4: Varieties of Rhetorical Criticism: Intervention-Understanding
An Introduction to Critical Perspectives
Methods Focused on Power
Culture-Centered Criticism
Cultures and Their Own Critical Methods
Whiteness as a Kind of Culture: Analysis and Examples
Marxist Criticism
Materialism, Bases, and Superstructure
Economic Metaphors, Commodities, and Signs
Preferred and Oppositional Readings
Subject Positions
Standpoint Theory
Feminist Criticism
Varieties of Feminist Criticism
How Do Patriarchal Language and Images Perpetuate Inequality?
How Can Texts Empower Women?
Queer Theory
Analysis and Examples
Summary and Review
Chapter 5: Varieties of Rhetorical Criticism: Understanding-Intervention
Methods Focused on Self and Society
Psychoanalytic Criticism
Making Minds and Selves
Visual Rhetorical Criticism
Images as Focal Points of Meaning Attribution
Images as Focal Points of Collective Memory and Community
Point of View
Methods Focused on Story
Dramatistic/Narrative Criticism
Language as a Ground for Motives
Narrative Genres
Comedy and Tragedy
The Pentad
Analysis and Examples
Media-Centered Criticism
What Is a Medium?
Media Logic
Characteristics of Television as a Medium
Analysis and Examples
Characteristics of Handheld Devices as a Medium
Characteristics of the Computer and Internet as a Medium
Analysis and Examples
Summary and Review
Looking Ahead
Part 2: Application
Chapter 6: Paradoxes of Personalization: Race Relations in Milwaukee
The Problem of Personalization
The Scene and Focal Events
Problems in the African American Community
Violence against African Americans
The School System
White Political Attitudes
Tragedy and Metonymy
Metonymizing the Tragedies
Metonymy and Paradox
The Paradox of Identification
Identification and Race
Enabling Identification
Forestalling Identification
The Persistence of Race
The Paradox of Action: The Public and the Personal
Personal Action and Loss of Vision
The Paradox in Milwaukee
African Americans “In Need of Help”
Some Solutions
Reciprocal Personalization
Metonymizing Yourself
Metonymizing Others
Resources for Careful Metonymy
Stepping Back from the Critique
Chapter 7: Notes from a Texas Gun Show
Texas and Gun Culture
At the Gun Show
Summary and Review
Chapter 8: Simulational Selves, Simulational Culture in Groundhog Day
Simulation and Groundhog Day
Chapter 9: Jumping Scale in Steampunk: One Gear Makes You Larger, One Duct Makes You Small
Steampunk and Jumping Scale
The Aesthetic of Steampunk
Jumping Scale Down
Jumping Scale Up
Chapter 10: The Bad Resurrection in American Life and Culture
The Fast and the Furious Movies
Halloween and Friday the 13th Movies

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