Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Change by Celeste Condit

By Celeste Condit

Condit offers a detailed examine how pro-life and pro-choice arguments have assisted in shaping the improvement of public coverage and personal perform. She bargains readers an orderly approach during the barrage of rhetoric and a chance to spot and make clear our personal evaluations on a truly tough topic.

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14 Rhetoric and Narrative, 1960-65 25 Mary's story was joined by the abortion stories of many other repeated. These narratives provided a direct and women, widely stout rhetorical bridge, translating the private experiences of individ- women an argument for social change. They did not, how"women's true stories as change-bearing ever, merely discourse the stories could not be simply expressive; they had to be ual into ,/ represent the : change. Thus the public narwas a strategic adaptation of women's experiences; the reporters shaped and selected the narratives in particular ways.

2. Intellectual historians tend to study "philosophers" rather than public argument. For example, they might attend to John Locke's notion of "liberty" rather than to that of Peter Wentworth and Queen Elizabeth. D. , University of Iowa, 1974). My work may resemble that suggested by Michel Foucault, but his efforts focus on static epistemes. I am interested in the process of changing of such sity of California Press, 1984); discursive formations. 3. Platonic philosophy, psychological behaviorism, empirical sociology, and classic Marxism are all American quantitative traditions that have dis- paraged public discourse as an irrelevant or irredeemable process unworthy of attention.

See Jameson; W. J. T. , On Narrative (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1980); Lance W. Bennett and Martha S. : Cornell University Press, 1978); esp. Hayden White, "The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality," in Mitchell. In rhetorical criticism the debate about narrative is contained in Walter R. Fisher, Human Communication as Narration: Toward a Philosophy of Reason, Value, and Action (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1987), and replies by Barbara Warnick, "The Narrative Paradigm: Another Story," Quarterly Journal of Speech 73 (May 1987), 172-81; John Louis Lucaites and Celeste Michelle Condit, "Reconstructing Narrative Theory: A Functional Perspective," and Michael Calvin McGee and John S.

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