Quarterly Journal of Speech

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Print ISSN: 0033-5630
This essay traces seven stages in the American controversy over abortion between 1960 and 1980. The argument moved from a professional debate to a public dispute marked first by narratives, then successively by the ideographs “life,” “discrimination,” and “choice,” and then to a normalization and stalemate in which the public consensus reflects values and interests from both sides of the conflict.
Kenneth Burke's characterization of constitutions effectively describes the customs and values that are lived within a community, and he has well charted the dialectical process which such constitutions undergo when they actually submit to change. In this paper, the totality of thematically-relevant discursive events which arise during periods of constitutional amending are referred to, building from Bitzer, as a rhetorical situation. Using Bitzer alongside Burke, it will be shown that Jack Kevorkian's rhetorical intent, as expressed in his writings and public statements, is distinct from the rhetorical situation to which he has been assigned, illustrating the significant discrepancy between the would-be rhetorical utterances of a speaker and those utterances which have rhetorical impact. The argument will show how Kevorkian's intention to popularize obitiatry contrasts with his public image as a champion of physician-assisted dying.
Advocates supporting and opposing abortion rights were disappointed by the United Stales Supreme Court ruling on the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The majority opinion upheld a “fundamental” right to abortion prior to fetal viability but also affirmed a State's right to regulate, abortions. Thus, in establishing a middle ground, the Court rejected simplistic approaches to moral reasoning and acknowledged the complex web of relationships involved in abortion decision‐making. This essay defines a relational approach to moral reasoning and analyzes the Casey decision as an exemplar of that approach. The case study suggests that rhetoricians should “revision” the art of persuasion and argument, in particular, to place more emphasis on relational values.
This essay exemplifies the usefulness of Victor Turner's concept of social drama in an analysis of the public debate over recombinant DNA research. The analysis encourages a consideration of the various debates about science and technology as possible reenactments of ideological conflict, reenactments which, to society's detriment, continually fail of satisfactory resolution.
The purpose of this essay is to begin an inquiry into the rhetoric of what has been acknowledged as one of the most important and controversial issues of our time: euthanasia. Attention is focused primarily on the medical profession's involvement with the issue. A brief history is provided of the relationship that exists between medicine, rhetoric, and euthanasia. The majority of the essay is devoted to offering a critical reading of a controversial narrative on euthanasia that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In paying particular attention to what this narrative is doing rhetorically—how it means, not just what it means—the suggestion is developed that the story is addressing both its topic and its readers in a “postmodern” manner. The essay concludes with an assessment of this rhetorical strategy.
Cites 2 "rhetorical visions" portrayed in popular magazines since the 1950s. One postulates standards of normality to which all must conform for happiness. The other, more prominent in recent years, stresses individuality and change, urges honest talk to promote communication, and condemns indifference. Neither vision, however, confronts fully the issue of human isolation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The character of Reagan's rhetoric and the response to it can be explained by its narrative form. The dominance of narrative in Reagan's discourse and the nature of the narrative form combine to differentiate the perspective of Reagan's supporters and his opponents. Three characteristics of narrative form—a story‐based truth, an emphasis on morality, and a grounding in common sense—explain the way in which narrative affects political judgment. The analysis reveals the power of narrative form and, in contrast to the assertions of some narrative theorists, its fragility and moral limitations.
Tested the hypothesis that the memory of the source of information is more subject to decay or distortion with time than the information itself. 144 Ss in Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported the sources of their knowledge of the shooting of George C. Wallace in May 1972 within 6 hrs of the event. A similar group of 164 Ss did the same 3 mo after the event. 79% of the 1st sample and 96% of the 2nd sample had heard of the event. 30% of the 1st group reported receiving the news first from the mass media as contrasted with 57% of the 2nd group, a significant difference (p < .001). It is argued that the difference may be an artifact, because (a) over 80% of both groups were students or employed, hence unlikely to have had access to a TV set or a radio when the news was first broadcast; (b) while 24% of the 1st group reported having received the news first from a stranger, only 8% of the 2nd group did so; and (c) strangers have lower credibility than the media. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Various students of African religions and art have shown that in their diverse manifestations an underlying single thought-pattern exists which may be called the "traditional African world view." This world-view asserts a fundamental unity between the material and spiritual aspects of existence and declares that balance in the community as in the universe consists in maintaining interaction between the individual and his larger world. The universe moves in a rhythmical and cyclical fashion, not in linear progression. The communication pattern present in worship, literature, and music in Black America is typically call-and-response, which exemplifies this world-view. This standard communication pattern among Blacks impedes Black-White communication since the White does not respond. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Discusses the amplificative meaning of music in terms of the combination of familiar and unfamiliar musical patterns in the minds of the composer and the listener. Variables which can have a rhetorical impact are reputation of the artist or source, type of instrument, lyrical structure, melodic structure, nature of chord structure and progression, the type of listening situation, and rhythm. The perception of music by artists and listeners is examined in terms of factors which affect whether a piece will be favorably or unfavorably received. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The rhetoric of Quebec sovereignty is based upon an appeal to a particular motivated subject, the Québécois. Rhetorical theory usually takes such a subject as a given. A theory of constitutive rhetoric, based on the principle of identification, can account for the constitution of subjects of this type. Such subjects, agents within ideological discourse, are interpellated or called into being through rhetorical narratives. Such narratives constitute collective political subjects through a series of formal discursive effects. These effects result in a discursively constituted subjectivity that can form the basis for an ideological appeal to action.
For high school students reading short messages from unidentified sources: (a) Specific factual evidence is more effective than either nonspecific factual evidence or no factual evidence in producing opinion change and heightening the perception of the expertness and trustworthiness of the source. Nonspecific evidence is somewhat, though not consistently, more effective than no evidence. Type of evidence has little effect on the confidence with which these readers of persuasive messages hold their opinions. (b) The effect of type of evidence varies as a positive function of receivers' intelligence. The existence of factual evidence and the specificity of evidence makes more difference for receivers of high-intelligence than low-intelligence receivers. This difference is sharpest when the effect sought is opinion change or perceived expertness of source. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
The material rhetoric of physical locations like the Museum Park at the North Carolina Museum of Art creates “spaces of attention” wherein visitors are invited to experience the landscape around them as a series of enactments that identify the inside/outside components of sub/urban existence, as well as the regenerative/transformative possibilities of such existence. Such rhetorical enactments create innovative opportunities for individuals to attend to the human/nature interface. These rhetorical enactments also create and contain tensions that come to the fore when they are employed as authentic mediations of nature, when they function as tropes to promote development of natural space, and/or when they are translated into discursive environmental argument.
Ironic texts offer pleasure both as what Burke called "ordinary" and "pure persuasion." Readers may engage these symbolic dimensions simultaneously, but in different relative proportions. Using the coincidence of the 1986 sentencing of sanctuary movement members and the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, we offer four possible interpretive positions on two ironic political cartoons: optimistic readers interested primarily in the correctives of ordinary persuasion, some of whom politically side with the establishment and others who side with sanctuary; cynical readers interested primarily in the intrinsic symbolic pleasures of pure persuasion; and skeptics who appreciate the appeals of ordinary and pure persuasion in a single text.
On May 26, 1970, ABC broadcast the first television documentary treatment of the women's liberation movement. Part of a wave of media attention that second-wave feminism received in the spring of 1970, the documentary was produced and reported by Marlene Sanders, a reporter sympathetic to the movement who hoped that the documentary would correct its image problems. Three key rhetorical moves in the documentary--form, framing, and refutation--are used to "fix" the movement, that is, to repair its radical image and to stabilize its meaning by inserting it into dominant narratives of social change derived from generic conventions of the television documentary, from a nostalgic vision of the civil rights movement, and from the media pragmatism favored by the liberal wing of women's liberation, which is shared by Sanders. The conclusion traces the implications of the documentary's rhetorical/ideological strategies for understanding how dominant media naturalize particular narratives about the possibilities for and meanings of social change.
Examines Syron's novel as a strategic rhetorical response to the problems of racism in America with far-ranging implications in American social and institutional history. Argues that the novel's shaping vision illuminates the ethical dilemma of the liberal humanist and explores the ramifications of violence for self-definition and social reform. (JMF)
This paper offers a somatic genealogy of Kenneth Burke’s dramatism and its related cluster--symbolic action, attitude, identification--by tracing their development in relation to Sir Richard Paget’s theory of Gesture-Speech. Paget’s theory that humans speech derives from the use and development of bodily gestures held Burke’s interest for at least a decade while such crucial concepts were incubating. An examination of Paget’s theory in Burke’s early work offers a newly energized account of Burkean rhetorical theory. Such an account serves as a reminder that speech--and by Burke’s extension, rhetoric--is always a joint performance of body and mind. published or submitted for publication is peer reviewed
Ronald Reagan’s "Star Wars" address is viewed as part of the culturally evolving myth of the New Frontier. The speech creates the illusion of both preserving and transcending science by subordinating technical reasoning to the purpose of nuclear holocaust, and by using technical reasoning to the purpose of preventing nuclear holocaust, and by using technoscience to rescript history to remove temporal and spatial markers. Science is left free to advance progress. But Reagan determines the parameters for future technical debate; thus, scientists who would argue against SDI must contest their own status.
Demonstrates that writers throughout history have been describing not one process that has come to be known as empathy", but two distinct processes: adoptive" empathy and projective" empathy, the difference lying in the nature of the objects involved in the response. (AN)
Top-cited authors
Carolyn R. Miller
  • North Carolina State University
George Cheney
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Thomas K Nakayama
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Robert L. Krizek
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Karlyn Kohrs Campbell
  • University of Arkansas