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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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ISBN: 9781506315218