“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.

Toward a Neo-Pragmatic Approach to Rhetorical Theory

Toward a neo-pragmatic approach to rhetorical theory

Having delineated the theoretical concerns of a redescribed and critical disciplinary practice in the two previous chapters of this book, I offer, in Chapter 3, a more applied and specific analysis of Speech Communication scholarship. My central thesis is that a neo-pragmatic approach to rhetorical theory involves a rejection of the dichotomy between “academic” and “social” research. Throughout this chapter I review and respond to central academic assumptions highlighted in Karlyn Kohrs Campbell's (1974) influential essay, “Criticism: Ephemeral and Enduring.” Although her essay was written more than 20 years ago, it is indicative of a larger narrative in our field, one that tends to limit our choices and options for scholarship (Schiappa, ...

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