1/21/09 Week 1, Thursday I. INtroduction Larger question for week: How d o ?factors? that social scientists identify as common to revolutions relate to circumstances that constitute a ?rhetorical situation?? The study of any social reform movement relies on social factors that are common to all or most revolutions. Also study rhetoric which is different from a purely social science approach. Use readings as a launching pad to focus discussions. In this course we will focus on political and social revolutions. There are many subcatagories, marxist, noviolent social reform movements, nonviolent people/power revolutions. Many people use the terms ' revolution ' and ' revolution movement ' differently. II. revolutionary movement vs. reform movement Distinctions between the two sets of movements. James DeFronzo ( Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements (2007) ? Revolution/Revolutionary Movement: A social movement in which participants [organize ] to alter drastically or replace totally existing social, economic, or political institutions. vs. Reform Movement: Attempts to change limited aspects of a society, [such as ] changes in government policy, rather than in the structure of government itself or any major institution. Contemporary reform movements- health care, etc. In this class, all revolutions started as reform movements. Began instead seeking limited change, most critically changes in gov ' t policy. De jour, gov ' t policy, practices, etc. Democratic revolutions ? origins in reform movements Reforms sought: de jure (changes in law, policy, official practice) vs. de facto (see below) Two key developments in shift from reform to revolution: 1) Emergence of impasse 2) Change in perception of impasse Reform movements are met instead with a promise of change at some future point?but that moment never arrives. Modifications of policy may be gained, but even facing moderate change, they still hit an impasse. Reformers begin to realize that limited change won ' t do anything. Even with legal victories, the civil rights movement faced a common impasse of achieving reforms but not gaining enough to be satisfied. Next development is not the emergence of an impasse, but the perception of said impasse. They seek equal opportunities, rights, etc but they are not achieving them. They realize that these changes will never be granted. The change in perception can be slow or fast (such as a fraudulent election) that makes it obvious the promise of reform is never going to happen. Whether gradual or sudden, somewhere along the way a rhetorical discourse emergence. This discourse often hijacks the movements, and can possibly produce policy/reform, but more critically transforms society at a fundamental level. Successful movement outcomes: Changes in law or public policy vs. More fundamental transformation: ? leveling/equalization (or overturning) of relations between groups A shorthand way to describe this is to say it involves either the establishment or the restoration of civil rights to a group previously denied these rights. The disadvantaged group launches this struggle Sometimes these groups win just the civil rights sometimes they overthrow entire government By revolution we mean the extension of liberty particularly individual liberty as opposed to other forms This can lead to different forms of armed movement, these movements remain committed to democratic representation and equality Ideally upheld by modern democracies Understand the role of rhetorical discourse in the transformation that is called revolution and in institutional changes that make the changes more permanent and enduring Change becomes institutionalized at two levels: 1) De jure (changes in law, policy, official practice) Making violations illegal (Jim Crowe laws, lynching) 2) De facto (changes in daily practice, attitudes, habits of interaction) Changing habits of thought and interaction as well as attitudes. One could argue the most important aspect of the civil rights movement is the change in de facto interaction Within this, rhetoic plays an important role. First in mobilization and late in reminding everyone of its original purpose & shared principles of the original ideals that govern and guide people in the present The kinds of rhetorical discourse that help transform reform to revolution Before that moment the changes in history that lead to revolution III. Critical factors (DeFronzo model) Conditions that are in place prior to the outbreak of revolutions 1) Mass frustration resulting in popular uprisings (among urban and/or rural populations) 2) Dissident elite political movements (that is, divisions among groups that have money, power, education, or all three) 3) U nifying motivations 4) A severe political crisis paralyz ing the administrative and/or coercive capabilities of the state 5) A permissive or tolerant world context (i.e., other governments don?t get in the way ? sometimes help) ? James DeFronzo, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements (2007) Other nations help diplomatically but rarely with armed forces This defines context and we will discuss them in each one. Leadership and primary media of each movement will be focused on. Instead we will look at liminal moments (liminal=of or relating to an initial or transitional phase in a process) IV. James Scott ? Liminal moments/Charismatic acts Hidden transcripts Refers to what people are really thinking when on the surface the behave in a subordinate way to an authority figure/power structure top of pg 203 Scott addresses the moments when someone ventures the first declaration of a hidden transcript makes public what members we re really thinking Place tone & mood experienced by those who are speaking defiantly for the first time near the center of our analysis. ?Structural variables? and are an essential force in political breakthroughs Reversals of humiliation Ideally need to be public. More powerful if made publicly rather than privately. The relationship between revolutions and charisma?they should take place in front of many people. How they gain social force by roots in hidden transcript. Comes from underneath and is already there. Prehistory makes such charismatic acts possible and also helps us understand how a political breakthrough can escalate so rapidly that even revolutionary elites find themselves overtaken and left in its wake. V. THE ? Rhetorical Situation? Rhetoric: The use of symbols to induce cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols ?Kenneth Burke. We study the use of symbolic communication and acts to influence people and events to construct a new reality. Why study the circumstances surrounding this form of communication? Bitzer! Baaaaah. Bitzer ' s contention that a rhetorical situation is not simply a situation that involves public relations, spin, persuasion. The charismatic acts are not simply situations where someone speaks/acts persuasively. Not simply situations where speaker, audience, and subject come together. Not just rooted in context. Rhetorical discourse comes into existence as a response to a situation, in the same sense that an answer comes into existence in response to a question, or a solution in response to a problem. (Bitzer) A rhetorical situation, is the situation is marked by exigence. (Bitzer) Cannot have rhetoric in a situation without it demanding a rhetorical response, or exigence. What it is and is not Exigence (exigency) Urgent need/demand In a rhetorical situation, it requires an immediate response. Real world examples: John Edwards, following his affair, found himself in a situation that demanded a response. In a situation that demanded a public response, not j ust a response. Narrative tension is a form of exigence We think of these moments as glory-filled, but scholars often refer to the burden of exigence as well. Not stepping up to receive glory, but to fulfill a duty. The need to repair situations and to release tension can be seen as damage control etc One step further ? situation controls the rhetoric and rhetor (speaker)
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