Rhetoric in Social Movements

  1. The Public Sphere
    • -The goal of the public sphere is a Democratic rational society
    • -A Realm of social life in which public opinion can be formed and directed toward a common good
  2. Criticisms of the Public Sphere
    • - Doesn't account for social inequities
    • -Demand for "rational" discourse privliges dominant social groups
    • - fails to account for online communication; we groups often don't meet face to face
  3. Conditions of the Public Sphere
    • - Independent of state or business interests
    • - Free access: no restrictions
    • - Free of Rhetroical debate norms: avoiding emotional rhetoric
  4. Counterpublics  - Nancy Fraiser
    • Ex: Feminists during sufferage, "safe spaces" 
    • - Enables members to engage in a process beyond the supervision of dominant groups 
    • - Promotes a capacity for a group to think together
  5. The dual character of Counterpublics
    • -Serves as spaces of withdrawal or regroupment
    • - serves as bases and training grounds for agitation directed toward wider publics
  6. The Public Screen
    • The idea that new forms of technology have reshaped democratic participation
    • - Images over words
    • -Speed over Reflection
    • -Emotions over rationality
    • -Slogans over argument
  7. OWS Deluca, Lawson & Ye Sun reading - media coverage
    • Right leaning
    • - Held that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevetable or natural
    • - Economic protests are dangerous (Beck comparing it to Nazi's)
    • Left leaning
    • -Holds sympathy
    • - Supports Social equality and egalitarianism
  8. Gladwell's argument in Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted
    To make a distinction between how SMs work during a now Internet and technologically savvy population vs. how SMs were organized and carried out in the pre-internet era.
  9. Constraints of the Public Screen
    • -Private ownership/monopoly over the screen
    • - Infotainment conventions that fileter what counts as news
    • -Need to communicate in the discourse of images
  10. Gladwell's Strong ties vs. weak ties
    • Weak ties: stregnth in numbers and ideas but lacks structure (internet era)
    • Strong ties: members know one another, are task oriented and follow a leadership structure. Organized through word of mouth
  11. Image events
    Deliberately staged spectacles that attract media attention and dissemninate pursuasive images to a wide audience
  12. Image event factors
    • - Goal: to change the way we think
    • - Spectacle encapsulates central argument
    • - Avoids conventional policy goals in an attempt to construct new meanings and alternate world views
  13. Body rhetoric
    • - Reject formal modes of public argument
    • - Bodies are the site and the substance of the argument
  14. Image event as a Mind bomb
    • Attempt to shred the existing screen of perception and expand the universe of thinkable thoughts.
    • -Images can argue
  15. Deluca Unruly Arguments - Earth First!
    Using their bodies to disrupt loggers and the establishments participating in logging, such as burying themselves or living in the trees
  16. Deluca Unruly Arguments - Queer Nation
    Body arguments in service of more general aims of challenging heterosexism and queering public spaces by the means of increasing visibility with kiss-ins and wearing shirts ex: "We're here, we're queer - get over it
  17. Harold & Deluca - Violent Images and Emmet Till
    Role of the Photo as call to action - mind bomb - “this could happen to us” - Comparing his happy, alive face to the mutilated, lifeless face on display in Chicago.
  18. WTO protests - Battle in Seattle - success
    Using bodies to disrupt the establishment by blocking traffic so WTO couldn't meet.  Confrontation with police led to uproar in protesters, which became violent making police and establishment look bad. Social networking technology also aided success
  19. WTO protests - Battle in Seattle - Lessons
    Activists: B/c numerous groups participated, there was no central leadership, some people used violence some used nonviolent tactics. Institutions: Violence usually leads to negative media framing against the aggressors. (calling them terrorists)
  20. Types of Violence
    Direct violence: violence enacted to eliminate the opposition/ undermine the power of an institution. Symbolic violence: violence against someone/ something to gain attention and send a message. Ex: burning a flag, destroying a fur coat, breaking a window
  21. Justifying Violence tactics
    Situational Demands    Unbearable Exigence    Evil Force   Moral Obligation <Justice>    Transcendent Claims   God’s Will   Last Resort   Produces Results
  22. Rhetorical failures of Anti-way
    • Lack of organization amongst protestors of the Vietnam War, such as no specific leaders, negatively affected their cause.  Media’s wants and needs about covering hard news made only the violent and extreme protests seen by the mass public and middle America which ostracised the movement and made the entire movement look bad.
    • Intrinsic vs. extrinsic factor
  23. Rhetorical strategies of Supression and Control
    • Evasion : pretending the SM doesn't exist (Nixion & anti-war)
    • Counter-pursuasion: 
    • Challanges SM's vision of reality, discrediting leaders. Frames SM as dangerous
    • Coercive Pursuasion:
    • Expulsion: deportation or arrest
    • Restrictive legislation
    • Harrassment or intimidation
    • Adjustment: 
    • Responding to SM through symbolic gestures or short term solutions. Or Institution takes part of the movement as their own
Card Set
Rhetoric in Social Movements
Designed for the SPCM 401 class at Colorado State University