Consummatory Versus Justificatory Crisis Rhetoric- Response

The authors looked at two different crisis responses, the consummatory and the justificatory, by examining five different presidential messages. The primary findings included crisis rhetoric was usually handled with regards to “the larger situational response” (p. 319), the discourse used by the presidents ultimately “explains and shapes U.S. responses to foreign policy crisis” (p. 320), and presidents prefer to use consummatory rhetoric when dealing with a crisis.

This article showed evidence that although personality and style may be embedded in presidential rhetoric, the “similarities and differences within and between consummatory and justificatory rhetoric are suggestive” that each message features clearly distinguish the two types from each other (p. 319).  Therefore I learned in certain circumstances people are likely to make the decisions that they do because of the outside factors influencing the decision. It is not necessarily a matter of personal style when a decision is made, whether it is on a crisis or a personal problem.

 I learned from this article that it is possible to compare many different artifacts to prove one point. A lot of the articles I have read have only focused on one or two artifacts.  This article included five different messages that they examined.

The Rhetorical Dynamics of Mario Cuomo's 1984 Keynote Address: Situation, Speaker, Metaphor- Response

The authors examined Cuomo’s speech to provide examples that demonstrate how the speech overcame obstacles by the use of his “metaphor as an argumentative technique” (p. 105).  Cuomo had to speak to three different audiences including the “immediate audience of convention delegates and observers” (p. 108), middle class voters, and the television public (p. 107). Cuomo used the “shining city on a hill” and “the tales of two cities” metaphor to emphasize family in order to reach out to all three audiences effectively (p. 113).  Cuomo united his audiences by using the common value of family to bring them together. He was able to speak to and reach his entire audience by speaking of the past, present and future of a family.

Cuomo uses emotions to speak to people of different audiences that have very little in common. Cuomo was able to bring the people together to agree on one viewpoint by using something he knew most people have in common. Most of the American people can relate to the concept of family in some shape or form. He uses this information to his advantage by using family to speak to emotions. I learned the use of emotional rhetoric can be a powerful tool for bringing together people of different beliefs.

The authors speak of Cuomo as being a man who used famous quotes to support his arguments. The authors use many quotes from Cuomo to support the claims this criticism makes. This article provided evidence that the speech was well received by its audience by quoting other political figures saying positive things. An emotional take on a topic persuaded to be effective by his use of quotes. Emotional rhetoric is powerful and I may consider using this approach in my own work. 

Toward a Discursive Theory of Racial Identity: The Souls of Black Folk as a Response to Nineteenth-Century Biological Determinism- Response 

Wilson analyses Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk to provide examples that demonstrate that the book was a response to the ideology of biological determinism. The author interprets Souls to first be a “study of what race is” and moves to a “study of what race means”. The similarities between Souls and the critical race theory suggest that Souls initiated the first theories of race. 

This article showed scholars have interpreted Du Bois’ book in a variety of ways, yet they have never determined the book was a response to biological determinism as a “discursive theory of racial identity”. This article clearly gives examples to demonstrate that Souls may have been a response to biological determinism based on the theory of racial identity. This article showed there is a difference from someone describing “race” and someone actually living “race”.  This article showed that the words from someone who experienced a situation are more powerful than words that describe a situation from an outsider’s perspective.

I learned from this article that works of writing might be interpreted in ways in which most people will agree to be true. Therefore most people will not see the need to explore a topic any further when there is a common agreement. The author of this article took a topic that was closed, and reopened it for investigation to find new phenomena. I think this would be a powerful tool to use in my work. 

Disciplining the Workforce: The News Media Frame a General Motors Plant Closing- Response

The authors utilized the news coverage of ABC, CBS and NBC along with national newspaper coverage of the New York Times and The USA Today to show the 2 ½ years of news coverage about two possible GMC plant closing of either the Willowrun, MI or the Arlington, TX location. This coverage sparked a competition between the two plants that caused them to see who could produce more cars at lower prices. The authors provided examples to show how the media backed corporate downsizing because the media itself is a big company.  The media told the people that corporate downsizing is good because it saves other peoples’ jobs. The actuality was the big businesses were saving money.           

The media portrays itself to be a neutral party. They portray everything as facts not as ideals, they do not show emotion and they claim to never choose sides. Yet, they are their own idealists because big companies control the news media. The media speaks to the everyday people and say it is ok to downsize because it saves more jobs, but the layoffs only help people at the top. GM publically came out and said they were closing these plants to instigate a competition to see which company was going to cut costs more.  The media backed GM by covering this story, which in the end profited both the media and GMC financially. The main focus of this article was to see the media out of its everyday context. The authors utilize the media’s drive of wanting to be this neutral party and compare it big companies like GM.

 I learned the media can be deceiving from this article. I realized from reading this article that it is possible to take media coverage of any big business and compare it the media itself. The media could be covering any big business’ story and receiving profits, like the media did from GMC.  This may be a topic I’m interested in writing about if I can find the right story.