This essay argues that World's Fairs offer important examples of the struggle to craft "other places"for minority narratives while, simultaneously, ensuring that dominant narratives maintain their power. Employing Foucault's notion of heterotopia, the essay offers an analysis of the 1893 Columbian Exposition's Woman's Building as a site in which overlapping and contradictory narratives served to affirm the dominant rhetoric of "civilization" as White and male. Representations of the Woman's Building provide three principles upon which this process depends: (a) co-opting oppressed groups through "middling," (b) enacting hierarchy through opposingnarratives, and (c) marginalizing radical voices through "safe spectacle." The essay offers a historical parallel to contemporarysites of amusement and ideologysuch as shopping malls and themed communities,contributingtoscholarship that addresses theintersection ofplace,culture, and "otherness."
Examines the claim that "scaffold speeches" (speeches by individuals awaiting execution) form a discrete genre. Argues that they constitute a subgenre within the larger genre of apologia. Illustrates the subgenre through analysis of John Brown's final speech at his trial following the Harper's Ferry raid. (SR)
Mystery, instead of being a state that must be solved or eliminated, is actually necessary for the formation and maintenance of organizations. Three key sources of mystery emerge from Kenneth Burke's perspective on communication: separation, strangeness, and hierarchy. This essay argues that Burke recognized the need for mystery in communication, manifested in both ambiguity and contradiction. In today's organizations, rather then seeking to eliminate mystery through communication, members should seek to strategically use mystery to enhance communication at work and promote organizational unity through stimulating the creation of alternative symbol systems.
Examines the role of communication consultants in political campaigns from the perspective of an academic who manages campaigns. Discusses the role of communication research in determining political strategies. Presents a case analysis of the media plan designed for one mayoral candidate. Evaluates the value of applied research from this perspective. (SR)
Prior research on couples’ conversational complaints has focused almost exclusively on the types of responses dysfunctional couples manifest; it has failed to provide a complete description of the complaint interaction. This essay offers an overview of couples’ complaint behavior by describing couples’ complaint types, response types, complaint‐response sequencing, and the environment in which such complaining occurs. As well, differences in reported complaint behavior between males and females and between satisfied and dissatisfied couples are examined.
Parent and child characters on 18 prime time programs were coded for their compliance gaining behaviors. Although a wide array of behaviors were observed across episodes, simple statements, reasons, and commands accounted for 68.2% of all coded behaviors. Situation comedies were more likely than dramas to have family characters attempting to gain compliance, but the pattern of usual strategies was consistent. Parents most often attempted to gain compliance and were more likely to be successful than unsuccessful. The opposite pattern emerged for child characters. Results are compared to an observational study of” real life” parental compliance gaining attempts.
Whereas sorrow and eulogizing typically accompany death, the television program 1000 Ways to Die transforms tragedy into palatable, commodified spectacle. The show shirks the traditional conventions of screen death and strings together bingeable televisual narratives of misfortune by borrowing from the historical lineage of death on television news, “mondo” films, and Internet clips featuring actual deaths. These mediated representations maximize the spectacle of death and invite schadenfreude while minimizing its tragic and human components. The gaze-inducing images of death reduce individuals to a “grotesque body” as opposed to a person. Additionally, by villainizing the deceased and constructing them as antagonists responsible for their own deaths, death itself becomes the text’s hero and restorer of karmic order.
The National September 11 Memorial Museum (also called the 9/11 Memorial Museum) produces a rhetoric of resilience that provides visitors with a dominant and constitutive frame for public memory without necessarily overcoming contestations, perspectives, and mnemonic partialities that have shaped Ground Zero’s rhetorical meaning. Resilience can politicize mourning by breeding nationalism and overlooking political responsibilities, but it can also provide structures of representation for making sense of overwhelming tragic events. This article observes this dialectical tension between vulnerability and resilience by attending to the way objects visually orient visitors within a context of collective identity at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
Presidential crisis research typically focuses on crises that are rhetorically constructed in order to justify a preexisting policy. However, the research makes a clear exception for that tendency in the case of military attacks. I argue that in such cases presidential crisis rhetoric is formally and functionally different because it must take into account the state of the audience. Bush’s speech after 9/11 is just such a case. In the speech, Bush carefully addresses the state of the audience by tapping into the elements of the inaugural as a means to restore national identity through American Exceptionalism.
This study examines college dating partners’ experiences during the transition back to school in the year following the COVID-19 lockdown period. Though most public universities re-opened their doors in the Fall of 2020, strict safety protocols changed the ways in which college students interacted with their peers, significant others, and institutions, laying the groundwork for changes to the relationship environment. 390 students currently in a dating relationship completed an online survey during the 2020–2021 academic year. Following previous research on married relationships, hypotheses predicted that engagement in transition processing communication is associated with more positive relationship qualities for dating partners. With some exceptions, results suggest that participants’ engagement in transition processing communication, as well as their perceptions of their partner’s engagement, are associated with decreases in relational uncertainty and improvements in interdependence during periods of disruption to the relationship environment.
This study sought to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on college instructors’ professional and personal well-being. Specifically, this study explored whether new communicative roles emerged in instructor-student communication about mental health. Additionally, it investigated associations among instructors’ communicative roles and their experiences of burnout, teaching satisfaction, and mental health indicators (i.e., depression, anxiety, and stress). Results of independent-samples t-tests (N = 140) suggest that instructors identifying as empathic listeners experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress than instructors identifying as a referral source for students expressing mental health concerns. The implications of these findings are discussed.
This study investigated the extent to which patient self-advocacy predicted COVID-19 vaccine hesitance in the U.S. (n = 1987). Results indicated being vaccinated, increasing age, and higher education were each positively related to increased vaccine non-hesitance. Also, those who sought more information and who were more assertive about their health had more non-hesitance toward the vaccine. Higher vaccine hesitance was found among participants who were Black and from other ethnic minorities, those who voted for Donald Trump or who did not vote in the 2020 election, and those who were more
prone to nonadherence to health provider instructions. Targeted communication campaigns to connect to people with these specific characteristics and levels of advocacy can decrease vaccine non-hesitance.
Using interviews with twenty-eight people who watched fictional outbreak narratives early in the Covid-19 pandemic, we argue that the genre helped viewers process the abstract uncertainty of the time through concrete sound and imagery. Viewers used critical distance to separate the real life horrors of the moment and the mediated “horrors” of the films. In doing so, audiences simultaneously pulled the films close to build their own pandemic grammar and held the films at a distance to reassure themselves about their own – and society’s – odds for survival. This approach to media selection and consumption has implications for media studies during times of collective trauma, as it demonstrates the ways narratives about suffering inform social response in sometimes unexpected ways.
President John F. Kennedy's Berlin visit in 1963 served as an encouragement to West Germans and Berliners to keep their faith in the prevalence of Western values and continued political and economic collaboration with the United States. At the Rudolph Wilde Platz and at the Freie University in Berlin, Kennedy invited his German audience to adopt a Western identity based on the values of freedom, unity, and progress. Using Burke's Dramatistic Theory, we unveil the process of Germany's identification both with the West and with Kennedy. By depicting Germans as self-determined agents with an influence on their own historic course, Kennedy inspires his audience's hopes in a sovereign, united future, facilitating Germany's Western identity and the country's persistent cultural, economic, and political ties with the United States. We find that Kennedy's Berlin speeches illustrate the importance of cultural identification for building strong political relations across national borders.
In the weeks preceding the 1963 March on Washington, Senator Strom Thurmond outed one of the march’s lead organizers, Bayard Rustin. Thurmond’s outing of Rustin threatened the movement’s moral authority, culminating in a variety of understudied discourse that defended Rustin, the march, and the civil rights struggle. In the wake of Rustin’s outing, civil rights leaders minimized Rustin’s sexuality to re-affirm the Christian ethos of King and the march. I center Bayard Rustin’s sexuality to explore how heteronormativity constrained leaders’ strategies, tactics, and rhetoric. This essay provides insight into the range of 1960s civil rights rhetoric as it attunes to questions about how sexuality and heteronormativity shaped civil rights advocacy.
On October 6, 1964, Lady Bird Johnson made history as she boarded a train headed south from Washington D.C. In the first solo campaign conducted by a first lady, she embraced the opportunity to advocate on behalf of her husband’s reelection and dedication to Civil Rights in a region she called home. Scholars have recognized the importance of attending to place; however, less attention has been given to the role of region and how it might serve as a rhetorical resource. This essay explores regional citizenship, a term I am using to describe three strategies – enactment, affirmation, and construction – that constitute a rhetorical resource that allowed Lady Bird to enter, engage, and effect change in the South.
While the first Earth Day amplified the perceived importance of environmental regulations during the early 1970s, it had less success in altering the public’s relationship to the planet. To better understand these mixed outcomes, this article traces rhetorics of anxiety from discourses of the nuclear arms race to their appropriation in service of Earth Day 1970. Although these anxieties could have produced a reconsideration of environmental values, Earth Day’s coupling of these rhetorics with calls for civic engagements to immediately resolve audience concerns dissipated their critical energy. The conclusion argues that the success of the first environmental holiday’s anxious rhetorics points to the potential for using social media to agitate against the causes of climate change.
This paper examines Reagan’s 1976 speech, “To Restore America,” identifying the importance of his role as citizen, and his use of narrative, locus of the irreparable, and polarization in his bid to persuade voters to choose him as the Republican nominee for president. The speech helped save Reagan’s campaign, and perhaps, his political career, and it changed the terms of the primary campaign by putting Gerald Ford on the defensive and made Reagan into a kind of true representative of the Republican party.
As part of a larger multiyear examination of the discourse surrounding the split of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1979–1989, this article examines the ways in which Fundamentalists utilized their 1979 convention sermons as means to define their vision for the organizational soul of the Southern Baptist Convention. Consequently, this article explores how sermons function as more than theological discourse but as key organizational rhetoric in the life and conflict of religious organizations.