an encounter with perhaps some of the elements of a debate but no penetration
into a secondary audience. Such was Ken Harrison position in Whose Life Is
It Anyway? In the context of the play, his encounter with the stern Dr. Emerson
was part confrontation, part debate, but also largely private. By contrast, 4-d
denotes an event -- such as Robert Kennedy's South African trip -- dominated by
the speaker's message and relayed to a large secondary audience.
The value of all the models and schemes presented in this chapter is in
understanding the partly concealed variables and unwritten rules of engagement
that can shape public confrontations. More than anything else, they serve as a
reminder that this book is about opportunities and audiences. The decision to
stake out a controversial position in a public forum carries the prospect of using
or misusing particular rhetorical opportunities. It is a decision that implies a
host of contradictory demands and impulses: the recognition that the instinct
for adaptation might defeat the more fragile sense of moral obligation; the prospect
that failing with an immediate audience may be redeemed by the support of a
secondary audience; and above all, recognition that persuasive encounters will
probably test the goodwill of even the most tolerant listeners.
William Shakespeare, Coriolanus ( New York: Signet, 1963), p. 95.
Kenneth Burke, "Rhetoric -- Old and New", Journal of General Education, April 1951, p. 203.
A good overview of the merging of the observations of sociology and anthropology
with rhetorical theory can be found in Hugh Dalziel Duncan, Communication and Social
Order ( New York: Oxford, 1968), Parts I-V.
Lloyd Bitzer, "The Rhetorical Situation", Philosophy and Rhetoric, January 1968,
Erving Goffman, Presentation of Self in Everyday Life ( New York: Anchor, 1959),
pp. 17-76, 106-140.
David Riesman, with
Nathan Glazer and
Reuel Denney, The Lonely Crowd,
Abridged Edition ( New Haven: Yale, 1961), pp. 13-21.
Leon Festinger, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance ( Stanford, Calif: Stanford, 1957); Charles Osgood and
Percy Tannenbaum, "The Principle of Congruity in the
Prediction of Attitude Change", Psychological Review Winter 1955, pp. 42-55; Arthur R. Cohen
, Attitude Change and Social Influence ( New York: Basic, 1964), pp. 62-80.
For a review of these and related "balance theorists," see Herbert W. Simons, Persuasion:
Understanding, Practice, and Analysis, Second Edition ( New York: Random House, 1986), pp. 57-67.
See, for example,
Muzafer Sherif, and
Roger Nebergall, Attitude
and Attitude Change: The Social judgment-Involvement Approach ( Philadelphia: W. B.
Saunders, 1965), pp. v-xv.
Joseph Kesselring, Arsenic and Old Lace: A Comedy ( New York: Random House, 1941).
Martin Schram, The Great American Video Game: Presidential Politics in the
Television Age ( New York: William Morrow, 1987), Parts 3, 4.