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Rhetoric, Knowledge and the Public Sphere


Edited By Agnieszka Kampka and Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska

Public deliberation depends on how skillful communicators are in establishing their version of what is known to be publicly acceptable. This volume provides rhetorical analyses of institutional websites, political speeches, scientific presentations, journalistic accounts or visual entertainment. It shows the significance of rhetorical construction of knowledge in the public sphere. It addresses the issues of citizenship and social participation, media agendas, surveillance and verbal or visual manipulation. It offers rhetorical critiques of current trends in specialist communication and of devices used when contested interests or ideologies are presented.
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Ludmilla A’Beckett - Stigmatizing female oppositionists in Russia: Stances toward comparisons with Joan of Arc


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Ludmilla A’Beckett

University of the Free State

Stigmatizing female oppositionists in Russia: Stances toward comparisons with Joan of Arc

1. Introduction

Rhetorical analysis traditionally looks into how people act through language to influence and change other people’s attitudes and beliefs. (cf. Kjeldsen, Jens E.: “Speaking to Europe: A Rhetorical Approach to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Speech to the EU Parliament”. In: Flottum, Kjersti (ed.): Speaking of Europe. John Benjamins: Amsterdam et al. 2013, p. 24; Lennon, Paul: Allusions in the Press: An Applied Linguistic Study. Mouton de Gruyter: Berlin 2004, p. 83) Unfortunately, the impact of rhetorical performance on the mind of the discourse community has been usually reconstructed as the reactions of a hypothetical or implied audience. (Perelman, Chaim/ Olbrechts-Tyteca, Lucie: The New Rhetoric. A Treatise on Argumentation. University of Notre Dame Press: London. 1969; Charland, Maurice: “Constitutive Rhetoric: The Case of the Peuple Quebecois”. Quarterly Journal of Speech 71, 1987, pp. 133–150, McGee, Michael C.: “Text, Context and the Fragmentation of Contemporary Culture”. Western Journal of Communication 54, 1990, pp. 274–289; Wander, Philip: “The Third Persona: An Ideological Turn in Rhetorical Theory”. In: Lucaites, John L./ Condit, Celeste M./ Caudill, Sally (eds.): Contemporary Rhetorical Theory. A Reader. Guildford Press: New York et al. 1991, pp. 357–379) Most rhetorical studies have been speaker- or text-oriented. (cf. Kjeldsen 2013, p. 25)

Nevertheless, advantages of the knowledge society include the rapid growth of information technology...

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