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Communication Theory and Millennial Popular Culture

Essays and Applications

Edited By Kathleen Glenister Roberts

Theories help to troubleshoot gaps in our understanding, and to make sense of a world that is constantly changing. What this book tries to do, in part, is blur the lines between the differences between today’s college students – the millennial generation – and their professors, many of whom hail from the Boom Generation and Generation X.
In the following chapters, contributors build upon what both parties already know. Writing in a highly accessible yet compelling style, contributors explain communication theories by applying them to «artifacts» of popular culture. These «artifacts» include Lady Gaga, Pixar films, The Hunger Games, hip hop, Breaking Bad, and zombies, among others. Using this book, students will become familiar with key theories in communication while developing creative and critical thinking. By experiencing familiar popular culture artifacts through the lens of critical and interpretive theories, a new generation of communication professionals and scholars will hone their skills of observation and interpretation – pointing not just toward better communication production, but better social understanding.
Professors will especially enjoy the opportunities for discussion this book provides, both through the essays and the «dialogue boxes» where college students provide responses to authors’ ideas.
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4. Understanding Ceremonial Speech through Fantasy Literature

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CHAPTER 4

Understanding Ceremonial Speech through Fantasy Literature

Kathleen Glenister Roberts

If you enroll in a public speaking course you will often learn to distinguish among types of speeches. These distinctions are based on an ancient description from Aristotle. Recall from the introduction to this book, that public speaking was essentially the only “mass medium” available in ancient Greece, and so philosophers certainly took notice and taught their observations to their followers. Aristotle wrote a book on rhetoric, in which he separated the public speeches of his day into three categories:

1. Forensic speech, which concerns a past event, and who is at fault. These kinds of speeches typically are heard in courts of law.

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