“A graduate course in composition studies would make good use of the book because of the author's very careful and thorough comparison of composition studies and speech communication…. The book does indeed make an important contribution to the field; if students speak or write, what should they speak or write about? Scholarship of Social Influence offers important suggestions for empowering students not just as speakers or writers, but as citizens as well.” -Bill Bolin, Texas State University When human knowledge becomes historicized and socialized, the distinctions between our public, academic, and instructional personae fade. In place of such traditional personae, a new identity is encouraged for scholars in the field of communication. Scholarship of Social Influence redescribes our understanding of theory, criticism, and pedagogy with the vocabulary of neo-pragmatism and successfully argues that rhetorical scholars can assume a cultural importance in life. This ingenious volume describes where philosophy ends and application begins and will be well-received by researchers, upper-level students and professionals in rhetoric, communication studies, cultural studies, and sociology.
Chapter 1: Toward Praxis in Disciplinary Scholarship
Toward Praxis in Disciplinary Scholarship
A crisis has appeared among members of the leftist academic community, one disruptive of the traditional social concern for liberal or radical democratic politics. As documented by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (1985) and Russell Jacoby (1987), this crisis reflects the failure of traditional leftist theorists to engage in localized social resistance and has stemmed from, in part, a bifurcation between academic and nonacademic research, a dichotomy rejected in this book. In rejecting this conceptualization as anachronistic for contemporary scholarship in the Speech Communication Association (SCA), I advocate a more “ironist” view of disciplinary practice that approaches academic discourse as an interchange between a society's needs and our professional expertise. Although I have limited my discussion ...