By Sharon McKenzie Stevens
Explores the connection among social events and rhetorical concept and perform.
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Extra resources for Active Voices: Composing a Rhetoric for Social Movements
Gossip, rumor, euphemism, grumbling, and the like evade the censor’s grasp through the shield of anonymity, polysemy, or stopping short of overt insubordination. They are framing devices for ideological critique. Their performative openness as speech acts depends on where the power structure falls along a continuum from the democratic to the authoritarian. Regardless, as modes of circulating information, expressing solidarity, and dialogizing the prevailing official ideology, they are emblematic of an alternative consciousness of social, political, and economic organization.
Hauser and erin daina mc clellan Social Movements as Rhetorical Performances We take as a given that the critique of power is an inherent goal of all social movements. Although the state often is its target, private sector power, such as local movements opposed to abortion clinics, PETA protests against animal experimentation by the cosmetics industry, or hacker “invasions” in support of open source development of information technology, is fair game. Axiomatically, movement success requires effective means of recruiting and organizing members, coordinating actions, and publicizing objectives to capture public attention and instigate awareness of how a public’s interests are at stake.
Burke’s influence encouraged rhetorical critics in communication to consider a more global array of genres and forms beyond oratory and to be more attentive to how multiple forms of human symbolic Vernacular Rhetoric and Social Movements 29 action contributed to the ongoing process of producing and reproducing social reality. Second, although much later to develop, these changes italicized the need to consider the role of vernacular rhetoric in shaping social will and social reality. The second theme will be our concern for the remainder of this chapter as we consider preliminary strands of thought on the role of the everyday in shaping the social agon of dissidence and implications of the vernacular for the study of social movements.
Active Voices: Composing a Rhetoric for Social Movements by Sharon McKenzie Stevens