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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRhetoricians have argued, long and arduously, the necessity for a rhetorical theory applicable to the understanding of social movement. This study utilizes existing theory, the unified system of philosophy of rhetoric offered by Kenneth Burke and constructs a methodology for analysis of the rhetoric in social movements. A model for analysis was developed and addresses the movement from a dialectical viewpoint; in which identification always occurs in a context of alienation; in which one deals with large blocks of discourse and utilizes rhetoric not in terms of some particular address, but as a general body of identifications. The model defines a movement rhetorically as a shared perception of the world different than that of the dominant order and which deconstructs the existing order. The movement is viewed as an expression of values offered in languaging strategies by those in search of the "good life." The strategies are examined for "identifications" which revealed the means by which movement maneuvered through diverse situations. The model permitted the discovery of the vocabulary of motives which revealed the movements' attitudes. The model thus, permits the critic to answer the question, "Why does man do what?" The model is tested on three segments of the Chicano Movement, a collective effort which is examined since its incept in the early 1960s and through the end of the decade. The rhetorical efforts of the segment leaders were examined first. The nature of the movement was then explored. Application of the model revealed the movements' order of goods as they appeared in the communication strategies--invented by the rhetors and embraced by the membership as they operationalized the collective effort. Investigation of form provided the milieu in which the rhetorical effort arose. Examination of the languaging strategies revealed the "identifications" utilized by the movement to order their world around them.
Degree ProgramSpeech Communication