Social Movement Rhetoric
1. analyze and reflect upon arguments about the socio-political environment in America using relevant theory, methods, and/or empirical evidence;
2. analyze interdependent relationships between contemporary society and individuals by exploring the ways in which identity and social relationships inform and shape democratic movements and their attendant rhetorical documents;
3. define and describe key concepts, theories, and disciplinary conversations in the study of social movement rhetoric;
4. create rhetorically savvy multimodal artifacts that demonstrate awareness of the rhetorical strategies at work in contemporary social movements.
1. The core ability to analyze and reflect upon the socio-political environment was exercised with my reflection response for week four. During Emma Gonzalez’s (survivor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting) speech she noted the arguments and narratives expressed by the general public and by government. This illuminated the socio-political agendas surrounding a particular issue and the key entities involved when it comes to socio-political issues, particularly here in the case of gun rights and the gun reduction movement. Tufekci’s three-pronged capacity concept helped develop a model for effective political action and the potential entities and dynamics involved in any given socio-political problem.
2. I’m not quite sure what is meant by “contemporary society” though the course outcome seems to distinguish between the public sphere and the counter-public. Counter-publics are filed with individuals of a particular identity or social status. Usually they are marginalized or oppressed subjects. In the counter public they continue to form identity and offer outside agitational gestures towards the public sphere which can compel outside entities to address group needs and formulate more democratic policies. The example from that class that comes to mind involves BlackLivesMatter and their call for greater police accountability and protection of black and brown bodies that helped bring about institutional change in the California requiring body cams of policemen. This sounds like a democratic approach, an inclusion of various groups needs and expressed desires in policy. Perhaps this is what is meant by ‘democratic movement’?
3. We observed many concepts and theories in the study of social movement rhetoric. We observed the evolution of political rhetoric moving from singular documents and being leader centered to being ‘leaderless’ due to phenomenon such as adhocracy and horizontalism. Concepts found in Tufekci’s text include “Tactical Freeze”, capacity signaling, and horizontalism. Beyond her text we described counter publics as well as enclaves and satellite publics. We defined their scope and individual function. The primary concept I recall from the group research/presentation is the discipline trying to reckon with traditional notions of theory and action and their relation to each other. The discipline is challenging the notion of respectability and decorum, arguing that non-traditional forms of political action, such as “rhetoric of the streets”, should very much be regarded as rhetoric in our studies of social movements. This orientation allows for more an expansive consideration of the problems/solutions of social problems and the significance of certain actions that would not be considered otherwise.
4. My multimodal protest artifact displays an awareness of the rhetorical strategies at work in contemporary movements. It understands context and what moves protest actors and the targeted audiences. It also clearly acknowledges and articulates its exigence. The rhetorical strategies deployed utilizes digital affordances adherent to our current times. This shows how the tools of our digital age is used and may be used to advance contemporary social movements.