COMM 1101 Lecture 15: Rhetoric and Social Movements

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Northeastern University
Communication Studies
COMM 1101
Thomas K.Nakayama

Rhetoric and Social Movements What is a social movement? Social change through largescale, organized persuasion Focuses on making some change in society Not focused on individual change, but social change Some Examples Abolitionist Movementgoal? Womens Suffrage Movementgoal? AntiVietnam War Movementgoal? Civil Rights Movementgoal? Independence movementsgoal? Stages of a Social Movement 1. Genesis 2. Mobilization 3. Growth 4. Maintenance 5. DecayTermination Strategies of Persuasion for Social Movements (Sharp, 1973) Formal statements Public speeches Letters of opposition or support Declarations by organizations and institutions Group or mass petitions Communications with a wider audience Slogans, caricatures, and symbols Newspapers and journals Records, radio, and television Skywriting and earthwriting Symbolic public acts Displays of flags and symbolic colors Wearing of symbols Prayer and worship Delivering symbolic objects Symbolic public acts, continued Protest disrobings New signs and names Symbolic sounds Rude gestures Drama and music Humorous skits and pranks Performances of plays and music
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