Our Rhetorical Need

The Rhetoric Review is a journal that focuses on rhetoric and the way it has changed, as well as how different groups of people use it. It discusses the problems that rhetoric faces or has faced. It looks at current rhetoric and how it has changed due to our culture and due to different societal groups. Through the issues of the journal different trends have appeared. The following trends have been found in the Rhetoric Review from Volume 29 Issue 4 2010 to Volume 30 Issue 3 2011, discussion of cultural and societal issues of rhetoric, the growth of technology and its effect on rhetoric, learning and adapting rhetoric which can be done by looking at its history.

            The focus on cultural and societal issues is the trend that appeared in Volume 29 Issue 4. Two articles that stuck out were “Reading, Writing, and Redemption: Literary Sponsorship and the Mexican-American” and “Riding Out of Bounds: Women Bicyclists’ Embodied Medical Authority. It’s something to note that two groups that have struggled to be heard and have rights in America are now focusing on the use of rhetoric. I find it interesting that these groups have turned to the power of words to find their voices and be heard. Volume 30 Issue 3 also contained some articles that pertained to current cultural or societal issues that rhetoric now faces. Titles like “The God Strategy: How Religion became a Political Weapon in America” and “Identity Strategy Rhetorical Selves in Conversation” also display social issues; the issues of religion and finding ones identity. And in today’s society the issue of debate is always a heated one, claiming who is right or wrong is always how those debates end. The issue of identity is one that the media of our society has created, what is out or in, and who or what you should be is always changing, as is language and rhetoric. An interesting idea would be to look at rhetoric could be used to combat this.

            The next trend was that of technology. Technology has greatly influenced our society and in turn has influenced rhetoric. Volume 30 Issue 1 heavily focuses on technology. Articles like “Rhetoric and Technologies: New Directions in Writing and Communication” and “Going Wireless: A Critical Exploration of Wireless and Mobile Technologies for Composition Teachers and Researchers” show the influence of technology in the rhetoric of today.  

            The final trend is that of learning from rhetoric and adapting it. Some articles pointed towards history to teach about rhetoric. Rhetoric has changed over time and articles from Volume 30 Issues 2 and 3,  in this journal such as; “A Return to being Reasonable”, “Why History?”, “The Female Monarchy: A Rhetorical Strategy of Early Modern Rule” display and discuss this. Rhetoric has evolved with time and experience and people need to understand the changes and learn how to adapt with them and use them. It’s also beneficial to look at history to gain insight on other ways to use rhetoric and to compare the issues the rhetoric faced then and now and how each time rhetoric was able to adapt and be carried on.

            These trends matter. Even to the people that do not study rhetoric or have no direct interest in it. The trends matter because rhetoric is part of our daily life.

Rhetoric is communication.

Communication is how we interact. Rhetoric incorporating social and cultural issues is beneficial because it shows that it is all inclusive and that the use of rhetoric can help solve issues. The acknowledgement of technology is also extremely important because technology has grown vastly in the last 10 years and its continuing to expand, tying technology and rhetoric together shows that rhetoric is not stuck in time, it can adapt as things change and shift. This too ties into the need to learn from rhetoric, where it has been, where it is at, and where it is going because rhetoric is how we speak, it’s how we persuade, it’s how we connect, and it’s how we are able to articulate our own thoughts, opinions, and ideas.

Rhetoric is language and without language what would our society really be?

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