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The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture
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The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture
Considering Mediated Texts

Third Edition


March 2017 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Can television shows like Modern Family, popular music by performers like Taylor Swift, advertisements for products like Samuel Adams beer, and films such as The Hunger Games help us understand rhetorical theory and criticism?

 

The Third Edition of The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture offers students a step-by-step introduction to rhetorical theory and criticism by focusing on the powerful role popular culture plays in persuading us as to what to believe and how to behave. In every chapter, students are introduced to rhetorical theories, presented with current examples from popular culture that relate to the theory, and guided through demonstrations about how to describe, interpret, and evaluate popular culture texts through rhetorical analysis. Author Deanna Sellnow also provides sample student essays in every chapter to demonstrate rhetorical criticism in practice. This edition’s easy-to-understand approach and range of popular culture examples help students apply rhetorical theory and criticism to their own lives and assigned work.


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
CHAPTER 1. WHAT IS POPULAR CULTURE AND WHY STUDY IT?
What Is Popular Culture?

 
What Are Popular Culture Texts?

 
Why Study Popular Culture?

 
Conducting Rhetorical Analyses of Popular Culture Texts

 
Sample Student Essay

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 2. EXPANDING THE RHETORICAL TRADITION
The Nature of Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism

 
Evolution of the Rhetorical Tradition

 
The Neo-Aristotelian Approach to Rhetorical Criticism

 
New (Contemporary and Postmodern) Rhetorical Approaches

 
Sample Student Essay

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 3. A NARRATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Narration

 
Narrative Rationality

 
Conducting a Narrative Analysis

 
Sample Student Essay

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 4. A DRAMATISTIC PERSPECTIVE
The Dramatistic Life Cycle

 
Cluster Analysis

 
The Pentad

 
Conducting a Dramatistic Analysis

 
Sample Student Essays

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 5. A SYMBOLIC CONVERGENCE PERSPECTIVE
Fantasy Theme Analysis

 
Rhetorical Visions, Master Analogues, and Life Cycles

 
Conducting a Symbolic Convergence Analysis

 
Sample Analysis

 
Sample Student Essays

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 6. A NEO-MARXIST PERSPECTIVE
Ideology and Hegemony

 
Materialism and Economic Metaphors

 
Sites of Struggle

 
Conducting a Neo-Marxist Analysis

 
Sample Student Essays

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 7. FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES
Hegemony

 
Sites of Struggle

 
Waves of Feminism

 
Feminist Perspectives

 
Conducting a Feminist Analysis

 
Sample Student Essays

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 8. A MUSIC PERSPECTIVE: THE ILLUSION OF LIFE
Music as Rhetoric

 
The Illusion of Life

 
Conducting an Illusion of Life Analysis

 
Sample Student Essays

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 9. VISUAL PERSPECTIVES
History and Nature of Visual Communication

 
Visual Theory Perspectives

 
Visual Pleasure Theory

 
Conducting a Visual Pleasure Analysis

 
Sample Student Essay

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
CHAPTER 10. MEDIA-CENTERED PERSPECTIVES
Media Ecology Theory

 
Media Logic

 
Social Learning Theory

 
Parasocial Relationship Theory

 
Cultivation Theory

 
Conducting an Analysis Using a Media-Centered Perspective

 
Sample Student Essay

 
Summary

 
Challenge

 
Suggested Readings

 
References

 
 
Appendix. Writing a Popular Culture Rhetorical Essay
 
Glossary
 
Index
 
About the Author

“Sellnow’s The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture engages writers in complex critiques of popular culture and beyond. Above all, Sellnow orients writers towards establishing robust lines of inquiry while reminding us that these are situated processes that occur in specific contexts and communities of practice, constantly mediated by a variety of mediums.”

Mandy Macklin
University of Washington
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION

  • Updated research expands on the coverage of theories throughout each chapter.
  • New and expanded examples of popular television programs, films, advertisements, and music illustrate concepts and theories throughout the text.
  • Chapter 4 on “Dramatism” has been revised substantially to clarify the dramatistic life cycle, cluster analysis, and the Pentad.
  • New student sample essays have been added on topics including Game of Thrones, The Devil Wears Prada, Lady Gaga, and Nickel Creek's "The Lighthouse's Tale".
  • End-of-chapter resources now include a new section on “Suggested Readings” for readers who want to learn more about a particular rhetorical perspective and the applications of it to popular culture texts.

KEY FEATURES

  • Each chapter introduces a rhetorical theory, explores familiar examples from popular culture, and demonstrates how to describe, interpret, and evaluate today’s texts through rhetorical analysis.
  • The author walks students through the steps necessary to write analyses of various forms of popular culture, including stage musicals, film, television, popular music, and advertising.
  • End-of-chapter Student Essay boxes and Challenge exercises get readers involved in the hands-on process of popular cultural criticism.
  • Applying What You’ve Learned boxes embedded in each chapter foster critical thinking and retention of key concepts.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Detailed TOC

Chapter 10


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