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Entertaining Fear

Rhetoric and the Political Economy of Social Control


Catherine Chaput, M.J. Braun and Danika M. Brown

Throughout the political spectrum, successful arguments often rely on fear appeals, whether implicit or explicit. Dominant arguments prey on people’s fears – of economic failure, cultural backwardness, or lack of personal safety. Counterarguments feed on other fears, suggesting that audiences are being duped by emotional smokescreens. With chapters on the political, institutional, and cultural manifestations of fear, this book offers diverse investigations into how insecurity and the search for certainty shape contemporary political economic decisions, and explores how the rhetorical manipulation of such fears illuminates a larger struggle for social control.
Contents: M.J. Braun/Danika M. Brown/Catherine Chaput: Preface: An Invitation to Entertain Fear – Catherine Chaput: Introduction: Fear, Affective Energy, and the Political Economy of Global Capitalism – M.J. Braun: Electing Empire: Systemic Chaos and the Fear of Falling – Kevin Douglas Kuswa: Blow Back the Enemy T/here: Errors, Terrors, and the Rhetorical Agenda of WMDs – Mark A. Gring: We Have Nothing to Fear but…: A Rhetorical Analysis of Fear in Post-9/11 Sermons – Paul Burkhardt: Fear of Fire and Hope for Jobs: The Rhetoric of Sustainable Development in the Political Ecology of Wildfire – Danika M. Brown: Upwardly Mobile by Degrees: Higher Education and the Rhetorics of Fear – Amy J. Wan: Boundaries of Citizenship: Undocumented Workers and Temporary Work Policies in the United States – Zoe Hammer: The Architecture of Fear: Common Sense and The U.S.-Mexico Border Wall – Cynthia Duquette Smith: Art, Apprehension, and the Gated Community: Thomas Kinkade’s «Village» – Cristina Hanganu-Bresch: The Mall of America: Consumption in the Social Wilderness – Kat McLellan: «Is THAT what they are so afraid of?»: The Popular Media and Pro-Anorexia Websites – Angela Crow: Transnational Remembering: Navigating Fear and Racism, Shame and Nostalgia – Michael William Pfau: Conclusion: Contextualizing Fear in History, Scholarship, and the Economy of Affect.