Introduction to Rhetorical Communication: A Western Rhetorical Perspective

Introduction to Rhetorical Communication: A Western Rhetorical Perspective

Introduction to Rhetorical Communication: A Western Rhetorical Perspective

Introduction to Rhetorical Communication: A Western Rhetorical Perspective

Synopsis

An Introduction to Rhetorical Communicationoffers a true integration of rhetorical theory and social science approaches to public communication.


This highly successful text guides students through message planning and presentation in an easy step-by-step process. An Introduction to Rhetorical Communicationprovides students with a solid grounding in the rhetorical tradition and the basis for developing effective messages.

Excerpt

Four decades ago, when the contract to write the first edition of this book was signed (while the author was a doctoral student at the Pennsylvania State University), the study of public speaking dominated the scholarship of the embryonic field of Communication. That focus on public speaking reflected generations of scholars’ interests in public discourse in Western cultures. Much has changed since that time. Many other types and contexts of communication are now studied, although most of that scholarship still is based on Western cultures. Today it is more fully recognized that communication in many other cultures differs substantially from that in Western societies, and many (including this author) have argued that there is a need to increase research on communication in other cultures. This, of course, does not mean that there is any reduction in the need for people living in Western cultures, and those who live in nonWestern cultures who wish to communicate with Westerners, to study rhetorical communication. Although other cultures have different approaches to communication, this book focuses exclusively on the rhetorical communication typical of Western cultures, with most emphasis on the United States. Western rhetorical communication is the foundation on which the new field of Communication has been based.

The ninth edition of An Introduction to Rhetorical Communication appears early in the new millennium of the twenty-first century. The study of communication is in its sixth millennium. The study of rhetorical communication is well into its third millennium. When we reference anything in terms of millennia, we are considering time on such a massive scale that it is difficult to bring it into the context of our own brief existence. And yet, maybe this is the appropriate context for understanding the place of communication in the history of human existence. The study of communication is among the most ancient of human concerns.

When the first edition of this book was written, my purpose was to draw on both classical Western rhetorical theory and contemporary social science . . .

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