Apologia has been studied using multiple methods, including Ware and Linkugel (1973) and Burke (1969). However, Benoit’s (1995a) method, which integrates these diverse approaches, is the most comprehensive due to its expanded typology. This inclusive nature makes it a logical choice for application in this study.
Benoit’s theory of image restoration has two major assumptions. First, it assumes that communication is a goal-oriented activity. Second, it assumes that the maintenance of a favorable image is one of the primary goals (Clark & Delia, 1979). With this understanding, the strategies for maintaining a good “face” can be addressed.
Benoit’s (1995a) typology contains five major categories: denial, evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification. Additionally, three of these have subcategories, making a total of fourteen image repair strategies that rhetors choose to use. These are displayed in Table 2.1.
The denial category can be broken down into simple denial and shift the blame. In simple denial, a rhetor denies having done anything wrong. For example, a politician might insist, “I did not accept money from foreign industries.”