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Showing papers in "Argumentation and Advocacy in 2005"


Journal Article
TL;DR: In a recent work, Latour as discussed by the authors argued that mainstream environmental movements are doomed to fail so long as they envision political ecology as inextricably tied to the protection and management of nature through political methodologies and policies.
Abstract: Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. By Bruno Latour. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004; pp. x + 307. $55.00 cloth; $24.95 paper. The academic study of environmental ethics, particularly of "deep ecology," has generated extensive scholarly discussion in recent years. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences Into Democracy, by French author Bruno Latour, brings a fascinating and bold new twist to contemporary discussions about the nature of "nature." Latour proposes a radical shift in current conceptions of "political ecology," arguing that mainstream environmental movements are doomed to fail so long as they envision political ecology as inextricably tied to the protection and management of nature through political methodologies and policies. Instead, political ecology should abandon socially constructed representations of nature as an uncontrollable monolith. The former perspective is dangerous, Latour argues, because it enables science to silence public deliberation about ecological issues and close off options to prevent pending environmental crises. The rhetoric of science, whose credibility emanates from the dual sources of indisputable expertise and dire warnings, paralyzes the polis. Unable to contest scientific fact, and faced with pending environmental cataclysm, public and political discussion centered on the inevitable question of "What next?" becomes stagnant and devoid of solutions. In the first chapter, Latour argues that "nature is the chief obstacle that has hampered the development of public discourse" (9). Nature, or at least the agreed-upon external reality that is often represented as nature, allows science to render the public sphere voiceless. Unqualified to objectively test and observe natural facts, the polis is relegated to the sidelines, and engages in endless quibbling about matters of value which are a rung lower on the hierarchy of social concerns. The hegemony of science and the god-like status of the scientist, who is the only legitimate liaison between the natural world and the public, render meaningful political discourse impotent. "[T]he Scientist can go back and forth from one world to the other no matter what: the passageway closed to all others is open to him alone" (11). Latour concludes this chapter by examining how Western societies, particularly the United States, use nature to order and organize political life. Uncontestable facts of nature, and rhetoric that represents nature as something to be controlled, protected, or managed, permeate everyday political discourse and decision-making to a degree not seen in other cultures. Having thrown off the yoke of nature, Latour sketches one precondition for a more communal and sustainable political ecology in chapter 2. Here, a critique of anthropocentrism is used to cast off false, socially constructed distinctions between human and nonhuman, including animals and inanimate objects like rocks and trees. Of particular interest to rhetorical scholars, Latour also criticizes at length the modernist belief that speech and the capacity for rational thought distinguish humans from nonhumans. Instead, he posits that political ecology must be recast as a collective of beings both human and nonhuman, both capable of speech and mute: "a slight displacement of our attention suffices to show that nonhumans, too, are implicated in a great number of speech impedimenta" (62-63). This rethinking of the public collective is necessary to prevent scientists from imposing the idea that they definitively represent and speak for nature (the mute objects that they seek so earnestly to protect). …

778 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Controversy study is still in its nascent stage, even while there are no shortages of engaged, extended argumentation as mentioned in this paper, and controversy plays a crucial role in the peaceful transference of power.
Abstract: Controversy study is still in its nascent stage, even while there are no shortages of engaged, extended argumentation. Election seasons are rife with episodic disagreements that erupt across news cycles, each a ripple in a larger ideological exchange. In democratic politics, controversy plays a crucial role in the peaceful transference of power. Sometimes its configurations change and become much more deadly, as domestic disputes change, and rush outwards with international consequences. Thus, with the scope of vast weather systems and disturbances, macro-disputes swirl and eddy across the globe. As important as electoral debates and politics may be, the controversies of science and technology supercede localizing disagreements by bringing into contention the vulnerabilities of culture to its own tenuous interface with the natural world and by opening up new horizons of conceptual and material change. On the negative side, science and technology controversies generally alert society and its institutions to the loss of degrees of freedom in maintaining a sustainable culture. On the positive side, they open up promises of overcoming nature's limits or offsetting technology's bi-products in the short and long term. Since science cannot escape its openness to probabilities and since technologies are inherently risky, contemporary controversies gather into themselves tensions between approach and avoidance, fear and hope, risk and security. Indeed, as the projects of modernity multiply and spread over space and time, the domain of controversy itself widens, and with these epistemic, cultural, social, technical and political phenomena the practices of communicative reasoning are ever more greatly challenged. "Today, there is no doubt that controversies about scientific and science-related questions are becoming increasingly frequent and consequential upon policymaking as well as general public consciousness," writes Thomas Brante, who concludes that "the sheer quantity of science-based controversies in modern society makes them interesting phenomena per se" (188). In fact, the area of science and technology is so very rich in controversy that one is tempted to resist Gerald Markle and James Petersen, Ronald Gier and others who establish protocols and modes of analysis. Instead, let us not theorize the spaces of contention, but leave the field of controversy study open, and not a little unorganized-without decisive categories, unreduced to predictive processes (initiation, development, resolution, and revision), and free from genre constraints. It indeed may be the case that each science/ technology controversy is itself a singularity, drawing into the vortex of disagreement procedural methods, substantive claims, intersubjectively shared assumptions, personal and political risk configurations, legal authorizations, social presumptions, and institutional prerogatives. Our studies should resist the reduction of controversy to an epiphenomenon, an intrusion of ethnocentrism, a problem with identifiable patterns and predictable strategies of advocacy, with each instance awaiting proper resolution; rather let us hold that controversies persist as an ineradicable feature of all exchange. If all controversies are singularities, then what can be learned from a given controversy about aspects of the tenuous hold of the human projects of communication itself, in this case from inquiry into the "natural" world? The generative power of science and technology controversies may be appraised as a contest between modernity and traditional culture. The conflicts between community and society, between lifeworld and systems-world, engender over and over again the story of the fall from enthrallment to disenchantment. For the nineteenth century, for instance, the guarantee of progress allowed society to write off the stunning waste created by industrialization as a step toward progress; yet, in the efficient slaughter of the first world war and the technologically abetted savagery of the second, the equation between the self-correcting prospects of scientized excess and the price of progress in war-making threw the promise into disrepute. …

34 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors analyzes how the borders between the technical and the public sphere were argumentatively demarcated in the B-06 lumpectomy controversy and suggests the need to extend our understanding of argument spheres in science-based controversy.
Abstract: This essay analyzes how the borders between the technical and the public sphere were argumentatively demarcated in the B-06 lumpectomy controversy. Drawing from Thomas Gieryn's metaphor of “cultural cartographies of science,” it tracks the implications of four discursive maps of scientific practice that circulated in argument spheres as the controversy unfolded. Considered together, these maps preserved institutional jurisdiction over decision making and missed a critical opportunity to address stakeholder concerns about scientific practice more meaningfully. This case study suggests the need to extend our understanding of argument spheres in science-based controversy.

26 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper analyzed the seven American vice presidential debates held in 1976 and from 1984 to 2004 and found thatlaims were more common than attacks, which in turn occurred more frequently than defense.
Abstract: This study content analyzed the seven American vice presidential debates held in 1976 and from 1984–2004. Acclaims were more common than attacks, which in turn occurred more frequently than defense...

23 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Despite the prevalence of conspiracy theories in contemporary political discourse, scholars of rhetoric and argumentation remain confounded as to how best to evaluate these theories as discussed by the authors, despite the fact that many scholars consider them to be false.
Abstract: Despite the prevalence of conspiracy theories in contemporary political discourse, scholars of rhetoric and argumentation remain confounded as to how best to evaluate these theories. Many scholars ...

21 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that deductivism fails as a universal evaluative thesis, and that its value as an interpretive one is deblurred by the fact that it is not universal.
Abstract: Deductivism has been presented variously as an evaluative thesis and as an interpretive one. I argue that deductivism fails as a universal evaluative thesis, and that its value as an interpretive t...

20 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: During Denver's 1991 Columbus Day parade, fifty Native Americans briefly blocked the parade, and Ward Churchill authored a legal brief that contributed to their case as mentioned in this paper. But the case was later dropped.
Abstract: During Denver's 1991 Columbus Day parade, fifty Native Americans briefly blocked the parade. As part of the trial of four protesters, Ward Churchill authored a legal brief that contributed to their...

20 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Carroll et al. as discussed by the authors explore how lifestyle imagetexts make the unreasonable appear reasonable by tapping into contradictions in mainstream discourse about eating disorders, and demonstrate that although the mainstream position is that eating disorders are diseases to be cured, much mainstream discourse implies the opposite, that eating disorder are not diseases but reasonable choices.
Abstract: Lauren is 16. Her "thinspirations" are Audrey Hepburn, Fiona Apple, and Jennifer Aniston, and her goal is to make other people jealous of her thin body. Molly's goal weight is 84 pounds; she is losing those last, "stubborn" 16 pounds by eating no more than 500 calories per day. Rachel has been hospitalized twice for her anorexia and at 15 has given up hope for recovery. Luckie_gurl dropped 15 pounds in the first eight days of her fast, but she still failed to reach her goal weight by Christmas. Each of these young women posted this harrowing autobiographical information on one of the over 400 "pro-eating disorder" websites that have, over the past 5 or 6 years, found a home on the internet (Carroll, 2004). Their comments are accompanied by pictures of startlingly skeletal young women, sketches of hamburgers and pies with thick, black lines drawn through their juicy centers, and a variety of other images designed to encourage readers to achieve perfection through starvation. Pro-eating disorder (hereafter: "lifestyle") discourse furthers the belief that people can choose to live with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia nervosa. Counter to popular and medical opinion, lifestyle adherents hold that those with eating disorders are not ill and, therefore, they need not be cured. The motto of the lifestyle movement is: Anorexia is a lifestyle, not a disease. Most discourse in support of the eating disordered lifestyle is featured on websites arguing for and promoting this decidedly controversial position. Many of these sites currently are banned from various internet servers due to the debate surrounding their content. Such divisive communication creates an ideal arena for exploring the relationship between visual images and argumentation. Due to the lifestyle websites' emphasis on body size, visual images on these sites function argumentatively in ways that verbal text alone cannot. Lifestyle websites use a combination of images and text that work together as "imagetexts" to uphold the idea that anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia nervosa are lifestyle choices (Mitchell, 1994). In this essay, I explore how lifestyle imagetexts make the unreasonable appear reasonable by tapping into contradictions in mainstream discourse about eating disorders. Lifestyle imagetexts demonstrate that, although the mainstream position is that eating disorders are diseases to be cured, much mainstream discourse implies the opposite, that eating disorders are not diseases but reasonable choices. By mimicking culturally accepted symbols and self-consciously drawing attention to this mimicry, eating disorder lifestyle advocates establish their claim's supposed reasonability. In this way, lifestyle imagetexts may be understood as performances of the contradictions in mainstream rhetoric, and therefore mainstream rhetoric's similitude to lifestyle rhetoric, rather than rational arguments about those contradictions. I begin the essay by describing the context in which these imagetexts operate and reviewing scholarship on the visual and its relationship to argumentation. Then I describe and examine imagetexts from two lifestyle websites and suggest three sources of appeal from which they build their arguments: mainstream consumer culture, popular health campaigns, and the mythical narrative of Christian theology. I conclude by noting that imagetexts are especially well suited for depicting similarities and differences between argumentative claims. EATING DISORDERS AND CONTROVERSY Today, the three most common eating disorders are categorized by voluntary starvation (anorexia nervosa), binging and purging (bulimia nervosa), and binging without purging (compulsive over-eating disorder). The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) (2005a) reports that 7 million women and a million men currently suffer from one of these disorders. All three conditions involve a preoccupation with food, an inability to cope with stress, and a consistent disregard for bodily needs (Woolsey, 2002, pp. …

18 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors conducted studies of the 2000 and 2004 presidential debates to determine the extent to which audience members relied on constructs of politeness or advocacy skills to evaluate candidates, and found that audiences relied on politeness and advocacy skills more than politeness.
Abstract: Two studies, of the 2000 and 2004 presidential debates, were conducted to determine the extent to which audience members relied on constructs of politeness or advocacy skills to evaluate candidates...

18 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The accepted manuscript of as mentioned in this paper is available with permission of the American Forensic Association (AFA) and is available in the Library of Congress (LLC). But it is incomplete.
Abstract: This is the author's accepted manuscript, made available with permission of the American Forensic Association.

16 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Controversy provides occasions and strategies for rhetoric as discussed by the authors, and controversy is central to both science and technology debates, as discussed in Section 3.1.1 of this paper.
Abstract: It makes sense to use controversy as a way for argumentation and rhetorical studies to contribute to the study of science and technology, for controversy is central to both. Controversy provides occasions and strategies for rhetoric. "Contrarianism is of the essence in rhetoric," according to Thomas Sloane (3), and he draws out its presence throughout the rhetorical tradition--in disputation, Ciceronian controversia, pro and con thinking, the dissoi logoi, the Erasmian via diversa, argument in utramque partem, and so forth. Burke puts the idea a little differently, emphasizing the divisions that make rhetoric necessary: "the Scramble, the Wrangle of the MarketPlace, the flurries and flare-ups of the Human Barnyard, the Give and Take, ... the Logomachy" (23). Although traditional views of science held that scientific method obviates controversy, more recent views put controversy at the center of scientific progress. (1) Karl Popper, for example, characterized science as "conjectures and refutations," reasoning that because we cannot verify a proposition by any number of observations, we instead conjecture, or "jump to conclusions" from a limited number of observations and then subject the conclusion to subsequent observations in an attempt to falsify or refute it. Thomas Kuhn described science as a sequence of activities, from normal puzzle-solving and the accumulation of anomalies to crisis and revolution, with controversy characterizing the last two of these. As Professor Goodnight notes, other STS scholars have emphasized the policy issues and public controversies that science and technology can instigate. Controversy thus can be seen both as an engine internal to science and as an external consequence of its epistemic innovations (and the artifactual innovations of technology) as they diffuse beyond the forums and enclaves of the scientific community and the skunk-works of technological RD lawsuits and public hearings open the files; disagreements between experts disturb the seamless surface of unquestioned facts; competition between proprietors or between products challenges culturally embedded technical systems. But Professor Goodnight means to point out more than these possibly commonplace notions about how controversy makes the rhetorical study of science and technology possible. Controversy, he emphasizes, also is the persistent condition that makes such studies useful and important, both in understanding the continuing operations of modernity and in addressing critical public problems. In what follows, I offer some observations based on two recent studies of my own that substantiate some of Professor Goodnight's contentions and suggest some additions to his agenda. I've looked in some detail at the nuclear power controversy of the 1970s and at the more recent controversy about the biological effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMFs) ("Presumptions"; "Novelty"). The early controversy over nuclear power is represented in the 1975 Reactor Safety Study, also known as the Rasmussen report, prepared for the Atomic Energy Commission. Now understood as the first real risk analysis, it was begun in anticipation of Congressional controversy over the renewal of the Price-Anderson Act, which protected electric utilities from liability in the case of a nuclear reactor accident. The report, however, did little to quell controversy, but rather became a subject of controversy itself, both inside and outside the expert community. In one sense, this controversy was lost by the experts to public opinion and economic conditions: although the Price-Anderson Act was renewed in late 1975, nuclear power became a moribund technology, with no new plants ordered after 1978 and all 41 orders placed after 1973 canceled or rejected by state regulators. (3) In another sense, however, experts prevailed in making the risk analysis methods of the Rasmussen report the basis for decision making in a large number of other areas of science-based controversy. …

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Public opinion holds great importance in democracies because a democracy, by its very definition, connotes a form of government that is responsive to the people (Williams & Edy, 1999).
Abstract: Public opinion holds great importance in democracies because a democracy, by its very definition, connotes a form of government that is responsive to the people (Williams & Edy, 1999) Alluding to such importance, Mill (1859/1975) observed the "ascendancy of public opinion" in modern democracies where "the idea of resisting the will of the public disappears more and more from the minds of practical politicians" (p 69) Bryce (1898/1927) similarly argued that in the United States, public opinion "rifles as a pervading and impalpable power, like the ether which passes through all things" (p 271) Contemporary political scientists have continued to find a strong, but often complex, link between public opinion and political decision making (Burstein, 2003) As Hanson and Marcus (1993) explain, in a democracy "everything depends on public opinion," and this is "the greatest strength--and also the chief weakness--of democratic politics" (p 6) Of course, to say that public opinion plays an important role in democratic governance begs the question of what exactly counts as "public opinion" The very meaning of "public opinion" has been contested over time (Herbst, 2001) Ancient Greeks, for example, associated public opinion with public rhetoric; in the Greek city-states the rhetoric of citizen assemblies constituted public opinion (Glynn, Herbst, O'Keefe, & Shapiro, 1999) Habermas (1962/1989) has illuminated a similarly strong connection between discourse and public opinion in eighteenth-century Europe In this particular historical context, public opinion emerged in the bourgeois public sphere Citizens created this vibrant public sphere as they came together in public spaces, such as coffee houses and salons, to discuss matters of public concern In more recent times, public opinion has lost this vital association with discourse The advent of George Gallup and modern public opinion polling techniques have transformed public opinion from a discursive process into an empirical product Today, polling has become the dominant definition of public opinion (Glynn et al, 1999) as well as a "cultural obsession" (Hogan, 1997, p 162) In response to this proliferation of polls, scholars across disciplines have attempted to reassociate public opinion with discourse In establishing this reassociation, rhetoricians have endeavored to reveal the rhetorical nature of publics For example, McGee (1975) has attempted to show how "the people are more process than phenomenon (p 242) In McGee's (1998) view, the term people actually serves as a "rhetorical device" that transforms individuals into a collectivity (p 116) Similarly, Willard (1996) has argued that publics are "rhetorically constituted" (p 228), Hauser (1999) has described publics as "emergences manifested through vernacular rhetoric" (p 14), and Olson and Goodnight (1994) have shown how a public can be "brought into being by oppositional argument" (p 272) Rhetoric not only creates and sustains publics, but also determines the very meaning of public opinion In this view, which I will refer to as the rhetorical view, public opinion is seen as "epiphenomenal, as arising out of the process of social and communicative interaction" (Lipari, 1999, p 86) This rhetorical construction of public opinion has vital implications for democratic governance (Herbst, 1998) For example, scholars have shown that rhetoric equating public opinion with poll results undermines the health of the public sphere and hence the overall health of a democracy (Goodnight, 1990; Hauser, 1999; Herbst, 1993; Hogan, 1997; Zarefsky, 1994) The rhetorical construction of public opinion also has significant implications for public policy The very nature of democratic governance necessitates an interrelationship between public opinion and public policy The rhetorical view refuses to see public opinion as an entity (citizens' individual, aggregated beliefs) outside the state that policy makers can choose to acknowledge or ignore; instead, policy argument shapes the very meaning and relevance of public opinion in the policy-making process …

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors propose three frameworks for the analysis of scientific controversies: the first is derived from the work of a sociologist, Joseph Gusfield, the second from that of an anthropologist, Victor Turner, and the third from a philosopher, Jurgen Habermas.
Abstract: I would like to suggest three frameworks for the analysis of scientific controversies. The first is derived from the work of a sociologist, Joseph Gusfield, the second from that of an anthropologist, Victor Turner, and the third from that of a philosopher, Jurgen Habermas. The first sees controversy in the context of an existing moral order, the second, as social drama, the third, as communicative action. In each case the framework enables the rhetorical analysis of scientific and technological controversy. But in no case are these frameworks unique to controversies of this sort. Indeed, I see no reason to believe a priori that such controversies have unique characteristics. A GUSFIELD FRAMEWORK Joseph Gusfield feels that society is structured according to moral orders, powerful sets of forces that strongly influence our judgments. They are, he states, "a way in which ruling groups create legitimation and functional response to their power and interests." They do so "by construction of a cognitive and moral reality, a set of motives and directions in the ruled which are consonant with the needs and interests of ruling groups" (187). Gusfield's example is the drunken driver, universally regarded as the cause of accidents and of unnecessary death on the highway. But this moral order in place-Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is its most visible exemplification--inevitably slights other plausible explanations for highway carnage: the free sale of alcoholic beverages in their paths, along with prior decisions to prefer automobiles to public transportation and decisively to separate home from work, play, and shopping. The rate of alcohol-related fatalities in Austria is one-seventh that in the United States, a difference that seems attributable, at least in part, to two differing moral orders in only one of which the automobile is culturally central. Moral orders let us make judgments without taking thought. In any complex society, were such orders not in place, our mental capacity would soon be swamped. But, of course, this means that moral orders also have a resilience that can defeat all plausible alternatives. In the case of the drunken driver, for example, the existing moral order, supported and abetted by powerful industrial lobbies, militates against effective and widespread systems of public transportation. Goethe called architecture frozen music; in effect, the infrastructure of public superhighways and private subdivisions constitutes a frozen rhetoric no rhetoric of talk or action can effectively undermine. There is a more insidious effect of moral orders: by substituting displays of high feelings for reason, they distort and suppress public debate over the issues that are their concern. We see this phenomenon in full force in the wake of remarks given by Lawrence H. Summers, president of Harvard University, at a conference sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, entitled "Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce: Women, Underrepresented Minorities, and their S & E Careers." In the course of his impromptu address, Summers outlined three factors that, he felt, counted against the equal representation of women in science and engineering: the eighty-hour weeks that characterize successful careers, real differences in the aptitudes of men and women at the highest levels of quantitative thinking, and discrimination, in that order. The choice of the second of these factors was the most provocative. Early on, Summers announced his intention to provoke and indicated that he "would like nothing better than to be proved wrong." His was a call for rational debate, bolstered by evidence: "What's to be done?" he said: it would be very useful to know, with hard data, what the quality of marginal hires are when major diversity efforts are mounted, and consciousness is raised, and special efforts are made, and you look five years later at the quality of the people who have been hired during that period, how many are there who have turned out to be much better than the institutional norm who wouldn't have been found without a greater search. …

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The 2004 Bush-Kerry town hall departed from earlier such debates as discussed by the authors, the subject matter of questions lacked the highly personal and often parochial quality of those posed in earlier town hall debates.
Abstract: The 2004 Bush-Kerry town hall departed from earlier such debates. The subject matter of questions lacked the highly personal and often parochial quality of those posed in earlier town hall debates,...

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The field of science and technology controversy has been a hot topic in recent years as mentioned in this paper, with a large body of work devoted to controversy studies. But the field of controversy studies is not without controversy of its own.
Abstract: In 1991, Tom Goodnight undertook a search of the literature for theories of controversy, and was surprised to return empty handed. Even collections of controversy studies focused on "local attachments to a dispute" and included no "overall statement on controversy" (3). He was "astonished by the absence of theoretical reflection" on the subject (3), and found it necessary to make a "vast, open challenge" to argumentation scholars to "extend theorization of contemporary controversy" (8). Today, Goodnight offers a new challenge, initiating a process of inquiry that undertakes the theorization of science and technology controversy. Of course, this call to action is not without controversy of its own. As Goodnight himself admits, the field is so rich with potential that "one is tempted to resist" those who would "establish protocols and modes of analysis" ("Science" 26). "Instead, let us not theorize the spaces of contention, but leave the field of controversy study open, and not a little unorganized--without decisive categories, unreduced to predictive processes (initiation, development, resolution, and revision), and free from genre constraints" (26). Of course, what Goodnight takes away with one hand, he replaces with the other. "It indeed may be the case that each science/technology controversy is itself a singularity, drawing into the vortex of disagreement procedural methods, substantive claims, intersubjectively shared assumptions, personal and political risk configurations, legal authorizations, social presumptions, and institutional prerogatives" (26-27). This list of items that Goodnight plucks from the vortex sounds suspiciously like a set of categories for studying a controversy, for reducing it to processes and identifying the genre constraints that influence its development. Although Goodnight inveighs against decisive categories, when he goes on to approvingly describe and extend Randall Collins' three types of scientific controversies, and then lays down five pronouncements about science and controversy study as a field of inquiry, his purpose to initiate the theorization of science and technology controversy becomes apparent. Like Goodnight, I find myself torn between the desire to proclaim that "[o]ur studies should resist the reduction of controversy to ... a problem with identifiable patterns and predictable strategies of advocacy" ("Science" 27) and the desire to develop theoretical conclusions that appraise the "generative power of science and technology controversies" as a conflict between persistent forces such as "modernity and traditional culture" (27). I am a scholar of the humanities committed to the art of rhetoric in an academic world that values the methods of science above all else; in this setting, I find the tension between traditional culture and modernity, between lifeworld and systems-world, between prudential reasoning and epistemic strategies to be fundamental and pervasive. The rhetorical critic in me resists the temptation to theorize controversy, preferring to study each individual controversy with a desire to hear what it can tell me about itself, attuned to theory and the literature only insofar as conceptual tools or similar studies can help me to scrutinize the particular case by whispering to me about analogical responses to similar exigencies. At the same time, the Research-I communication scholar in me recognizes the need to theorize controversy, to develop nearly universal pronouncements about how controversies arise and develop, perhaps by channeling my observations through the philosophy of a prominent social theorist who can explain and predict the direction of the vast weather systems and disturbances of contemporary science and technology controversies. (1) Perhaps one way partially to satisfy both impulses (to promote the flexibility of the individual case study while recognizing the need to theorize) is to engage periodically in a systematic review of the various isolated case studies that have been completed to determine what we, as a community of scholars, already know about the subject and what remains to be said. …

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Goodnight's rationale suggests what may be simultaneously the blessing and curse of the field, i.e., that to study argumentation as social processes is, given world enough and time, to study everything as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The breadth of Goodnight's rationale suggests what may be simultaneously the blessing and curse of the field, i.e., that to study argumentation as social processes is, given world enough and time, to study everything. To its credit, this rationale encourages expansive consideration of the roles of art, religion, philosophy, science, politics, and popular culture in piecing together the mini-puzzles and meta-puzzles alluded to. The Habermasian flavor of this salvo--its emphasis on communicative reasoning, social legitimation, dialectically mediated historical tensions, and a narrative about the modernist project--should comport with the tastes of many in the argumentation and advocacy community. The broad and avowedly nonprescriptive approach suggests some of the motifs that could inform our engagement of science and technology controversies (STCs) as evolving social processes that, whether mutative or progressive, can, as the expression goes, take on a life of their own. There is a hint of optimism that, when all the progressive lunges and regressive setbacks are taken into account, science controversies are generally healthy expressions of the quest for communicative rationality. But nothing rules out a Foucault-inflected clinicism. One could, for instance, think of STCs epidemiologically, and follow their routes of transmission. I suspect there is also something on the table here for optimists and pessimists alike, especially at the point where the matter of institutional discipline is broached, where one so inclined could insinuate Foucauldian tropes and strategies in order to press the themes of power/knowledge and epistemic regulation. Because it is a rationale, not a set of marching orders, Goodnight's statement will move its readers each according to their own nature, or toward their own favored niche. Should there be any lingering question about it, let it be said that science and technology controversies are not just about science and technology. They are also about our culture, our comfort, and our metaphysics. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the ongoing response to Darwin, which is after a century and a half perhaps still in its early history. The publicity about "Intelligent Design" that has exploded on the scene recently is one more chapter (or, epidemiologically speaking, "outbreak") of that response. The intensity of the controversy is all the more interesting because there does not seem to be any technological consequence in the offing should one side or the other prevail. This is not like the controversy over building nuclear power plants, where very practical matters of public safety and funding hang in the balance. No deals have been cut by Big Science for the sake of research, and there are no benefits to consumers. It is, rather, a debate about origins and mythic grounding, and about the very limits of science, fought out in the space of meanings and beliefs. The unfolding of the controversy, on some construals, might seem to exemplify a (slowly) progressive, modernist narrative, or a contredanse between modernist and prudential reasoning. But whatever its place in the flow of history, it is undoubtedly a showcase for the rhetoric of science. To treat it as such is to invite questions about rhetorical idioms and creativity, and about the persuasive impact of rhetorical strategies. The contest over evolution has been marked by rhetorical creativity on both sides. The attraction of the Intelligent Design argument for students of argumentation and persuasion is palpable, and not just because some of our own best scholars have stirred up the pot on this topic. At present, the subject garners more interest and energy on leading list-servs for communication scholars than perhaps any other topic. Academics generally have tried to defeat the Intelligent Design position, challenging it with everything from reasoned arguments and credibility challenges to satire and ridicule. And yet it absorbs these punches like a tar baby and garners ever-higher levels of popular acceptance. …

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Hample et al. as discussed by the authors studied the emotional experience of interpersonal arguing and found that people react emotionally to all communicative interactions, even if the level of arousal is so low as to be almost unnoticeable.
Abstract: People react emotionally to all communicative interactions, even if the level of arousal is so low as to be almost unnoticeable. Feelings are a fundamental part of what it is to be human, and to act in the social domain. Although emotions are precursors of certain sorts of communication, the essential content of particular messages, or the regnant set of memories for some encounters, this study takes yet another tack. We see emotional experience as an object of study in its own right, regardless of its causal role in larger processes. That emotional states have implications for other elements of human interaction is undoubted, and detailed evidence on that point is to be welcomed. However, we believe that feelings can be so completely absorbing that little further cognition can occur simultaneously, that people can feel personally inadequate either because they do not have an expected emotion or because they have a flash of a reprehensible one, and that both internal and displayed affect can be central to definitions of self, other, and relationship. Research exploring emotional experiences in communication is necessary, not only for its intrinsic interest, but also because such work will establish the foundations for inquiries into the place of emotion in traditional topics such as message production, content, and reception. We focus on the emotional experience of interpersonal arguing. Dillard (2004, p. 199) reports that no focused work on emotions and arguing currently exists. Only a few studies even begin to suggest a qualification to his claim (see Hample, 2005b, ch. 5). A noticeable body of work indicates that people often have negative expectations, preconceptions, and reactions to arguing (Benoit, 1982; Benoit & Hample, 1998; Dallinger & Hample, 2002; Hample & Benoit, 1999; Hample, Benoit, Houston, Purifoy, VanHyfte, & Wardwell, 1999; Martin & Scheerhorn, 1985; Trapp, 1986). Naive actors often associate arguing with hostility, uncontrolled negative emotionality, stubbornness, frustration, and a host of related considerations. However, this research is restricted to retrospective or impressionistic data, and does not offer evidence concerning the direct, immediate emotional experience of arguing. The argumentativeness (Infante & Rancer, 1982), argument framing (Hample, 2005a), and Taking Conflict Personally scales (Hample & Dallinger, 1995) all contain items asking respondents to indicate whether they find arguments and conflicts to be enjoyable. However, these instruments normally are administered either without reference to a particular encounter or after one's end. None has been applied, as far as we know, to the concurrently experienced feelings of a participant in an ongoing interaction. A recent exception to Dillard's statement (although he could not have known about it) indicates that observers reliably can code displays of affect during arguments, and that the resulting data reveal patterns of emotional experience (Hample, 2004). That investigation, however, examined only two dyadic arguments, which is too small a sample to support any firm conclusions. Because we are traversing relatively unexplored ground, methodology is a fundamental concern. Consequently, we tested three sorts of operationalization in this study: own self-reports of emotions, one's argument partner's estimates of one's emotions, and observers' ratings of affect displays. Naturally, we wanted to determine whether these methods would give similar results and whether there might be a reason to prefer one of them in further work. Our second impulse was to provide an initial, basic description of the emotional experience of arguing. We sought to determine what feelings are most salient and whether they connect with one another. We looked for associations within each person's own emotional field and for the possibility of relationships between interactants' feelings. We also explored several personality traits that may well be relevant to the display or suppression of one's affective reactions to arguing. …

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TL;DR: This article found that positive interactions between students and their families have contributed to other beneficial outcomes for both student-athletes and program and found that students who have satisfying family interactions are more likely to view themselves as an integral member of their team.
Abstract: In a special issue of The Forensic on the theme "Forensics and Family," guest editor Scott Jensen (2003) noted that, although family relationships are usually our most important relationships, they often are secondary to forensics education and competition. This special issue helped direct attention to the role of family in forensics, and to its importance to the health of the activity and those who participate in it. Frequently, the phrase forensics family is used metaphorically to refer to the close relationships among participants. Hobbs, Hobbs, Veuleman and Redding (2003) observed that this metaphor also could refer to dysfunctional practices such as verbal attack, criticism, trivializing, and threatening, which can be found in both families and forensics programs. Yet, in spite of conflict behaviors that may emerge from time to time, in this type of family culture members display loyalty toward and provide support for one another (Wambolt & Reiss, 1989). Sometimes this family includes partners who both participate in forensics (Gilstrap & Gilstrap, 2003). Sometimes this family involves kinship and responsibilities for nurturance of children. This project examines actual families (including parents, siblings, and grandparents) in which a child competes in forensics. As Williams and Hughes (2003) note: [M]ost people understand the references to "we are a baseball family," "we are a band family" or "we are a 4H family" to mean that one or more of the family members participates in that activity and the activity is considered of some importance to the family. The phrase "we are a forensic family," however, rarely carries the connotation of involving people outside of participation in the activity. (p. 29) Consequently, this study investigated the relationship between parents' knowledge about intercollegiate forensics and their communication with children who are competitors. We sought to determine whether there is a relationship between parents' knowledge of forensics and the degree of communication satisfaction experienced by the student. REVIEW OF LITERATURE Satisfying communication is central to a stable and supportive family structure (Walsh, 1993). Frequently, communication amongst family members is grounded in repeated rituals such as church services, family vacations, and other gatherings, which enable the family to become and remain cohesive (Wolin & Bennett, 1984). Families also must adjust to, and maintain a balance between, connectedness and individuality. Although the balance struck probably shifts over time, families nonetheless attempt to identify how much time they need to spend together and how much members require in order to develop and express their individuality. Occasions involving too much or too little connectedness may result in stress (Kantor & Lehr, 197,5). When a child attends college, a number of factors (e.g., distance, new interests and perspectives, time commitments) can intervene to disrupt family equilibrium, alter communication patterns, and affect levels of communication satisfaction. Research on college student retention and student satisfaction suggests that students' interactions with family can play an important role in their educational experience. Positive interactions between college students and their families are associated with stronger college identities, better grades, increased satisfaction with the college experience, and higher retention rates (Chernin & Goldsmith, 1986; Mallinckrodt, 1988). Research among student-athletes has found that positive interactions between students and their families have contributed to other beneficial outcomes for both student and program. Granskog (1992) reported that student-athletes who have satisfying family interactions are more likely to view themselves as an integral member of their team. Gould, Guinan, Greenleaf, Medbery, and Peterson (1999) even discovered that student-athletes with positive family interactions tend to perform better in their sport. …

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TL;DR: The 2004 debates were viewed by a larger portion of the electorate than any debates since 1992, with more viewers watching the third debate than the second in spite of the fact that it competed with Yankees-Red Sox and Cardinals-Astros playoff games as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Pre-election autumn of 2004 was an exciting season for those interested in televised political debates. The presidential face-offs featured candidates with starkly different views, personalities, leadership strengths, and policies. This contest would not be Tweedledum and Tweedledee dueling over means, but a clash over the fundamental direction of the nation. Further, Democratic challenger John Kerry's campaign team was determined to make the debates about policy, and not just personality or leadership character, although they also would have to take on those issues to keep Senator Kerry in the race (see Gibson, 2004). The 2000 presidential race had made clear how much difference just a few votes could make to an election's outcome. Our University of Missouri colleague, William Benoit reminded people via the popular media of how few minds the debates would need to change to make an electoral difference: I will say up front that many times what debates do is to reinforce the existing attitudes of those who are strong partisans already. But debates do sometimes change vote preferences and as we learned in 2000 you don't have to change the votes of millions to change the outcome of elections. It turned out that with 537 additional votes in Florida Al Gore would have won. (quoted in Sawyer, 2004, p. 1) The New York Times noted that, since 1976, when incumbent President Gerald Ford challenged contender Jimmy Carter and televised presidential debates became de rigueur, three incumbents (Ford in 1976, Carter in 1980, and George H. W. Bush in 1992) had been turned out of office; by comparison, in the 80 years prior to Ford's challenge to Carter, only two incumbent presidents (William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover), both with extraordinary extenuating circumstances, had lost their bids for re-election (Beschloss, 2004). The Times claimed that Carter later said that, were it not for televised debates, he never could have defeated an incumbent president (Beschloss, 2004). Furthermore, reporters were likening the President George W. Bush-Kerry debate matchup most closely to Carter Reagan in 1980, when that campaign's single debate helped the challenger upset an incumbent president with trouble in the economy and Middle East (Harwood & Cummings, 2004). The stakes were high. And this time not only political reporters paid attention. Viewership remained strong throughout the Bush-Kerry debate series, eclipsing estimates for both the 1996 and 2000 presidential debates (Harwood & Cummings, 2004). In fact, the debates were viewed by a larger portion of the electorate than any debates since 1992, with more viewers watching the third debate than the second in spite of the fact that it competed with Yankees-Red Sox and Cardinals-Astros playoff games (Bennet & Rutenberg, 2004; Hartlaub, 2004; Harwood & Cummings, 2004). Robert Thompson, a professor of media and popular culture at Syracuse University, called the presidential debates by far the most successful new television show of the fall season. If nothing else, it really kind of yanked the American populace, the citizens of the country, to attention on this stuff: even if you weren't watching the debates, you were hearing about them, and the high drama gave these things a buzz they haven't had since at least '92. (quoted in Bennet & Rutenberg, 2004, p. A20) A strong performance in the debates was billed as Kerry's last major chance to change the race's dynamic and win (Polman, 2004). The plot thickened after Bush performed poorly in the first debate, while Kerry was strong on both command of policy detail and "acting presidential" (see Ignatius, 2004). Polls and pundits called Kerry the clear winner, and his approval ratings jumped (see Lorente & Gibson, 2004). "'We didn't have to tell [Bush] he screwed up,' one longtime confidant told the Daily News yesterday, describing Bush as privately chagrined and mad at himself for his snarky performance. …