“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 4: Facing the Social Limitations of Disciplinary Rhetorical Criticism
Facing the Social Limitations of Disciplinary Rhetorical Criticism
In Chapter 3, I reviewed and critiqued some of the theoretical practices of disciplinary rhetorical scholars. In so doing, I offered a critical perspective that redescribes disciplinary approaches to rhetorical theory to encourage scholars to escape our dualistic thinking with regard to rhetoric, as well as our disciplinary and theoretical appropriations of Kenneth Burke.
As a way of rounding out my larger argument in this book, calling for scholars in our discipline to practice a more socially engaged research, I turn in this chapter toward exemplifying my redescribed vision for the practice of rhetorical criticism. Specifically, I argue that current critical practices in our discipline de-emphasize a social tone and can ...