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The Rhetorical Emergence of Culture

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Volume 4

Studies in Rhetoric and Culture

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The Rhetorical Emergence of Culture

Edited by Christian Meyer and Felix Girke

342 pages, 8 figures, 1 table, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-112-5 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (May 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-113-2 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“On balance, this volume [like others in the series] leans toward the theoretical. In this setting, even the ethnographic contributions may provide occasions for refreshing our styles of anthropological inquiry and expression. The volume is also again like the other volumes very effectively interdisciplinary: with only a pair of exceptions, the chapters can be read with profit by any anthropologist, or any scholar in contiguous social science disciplines. The overall virtue of this volume, though, is that it adds appropriately to the Rhetoric Culture Project, and so places in the hands of scholars a rich reservoir of ideas for describing human societies from their expressive face.”  ·  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

The volume’s best asset is being comprehensive enough to deal with traditional views on rhetoric, while at the same time bringing these issues up to date by linking the orator to the crowd that surrounds him…It is an excellent exploratory volume for the field, and one that will definitely provide food for thought for both researchers and students in the area.”  ·  Discourse Studies

This collection, as well as others in the series, charts out a theoretical and ethodological path for anthropologists, sociologists, political theorists, rhetoricians, and others who are interested in ethnographically understanding the power of rhetoric to both structure our lives and provide the resources to restructure it anew.”  ·  Anthropos

“[A]n engaging, thought-provoking, and generative volume. Simultaneously wide-ranging and coherent, these essays explore the complex roles that rhetorical engagements - artful, resonant, and often transcending the solely verbal - play in shaping social life and the always emergent cultures at the heart of anthropological inquiry.”  ·  Don Brenneis, University of California, Santa Cruz

This volume is a welcome continuation of the Rhetoric Culture Project’s efforts to bring anthropology and rhetorical studies together. It does an excellent job illustrating the way that ‘culture is founded in rhetoric’ just as 'rhetoric is founded in culture’… The specific anthropological perspectives offered by the collection [is] extremely useful and thought provoking, especially valued for the theoretical models and case studies that illustrate the shaping of culture by particular rhetorical activities.”  ·  Steven Mailloux, University of California, Irvine


“Just as rhetoric is founded in culture, culture is founded in rhetoric” - the first half of this central statement from the International Rhetoric Culture Project is abundantly evidenced. It is the latter half that this volume explores: how does culture emerge out of rhetorical action, out of seemingly dispersed individual actions and interactions? The contributors do not rely on rhetorical “text” alone but engage the situational, bodily, and often antagonistic character of cultural and communicative practices. The social situation itself is argued to be the fundamental site of cultural creation, as will-driven social processes are shaped by cognitive dispositions and shape them in turn. Drawing on expertise in a variety of disciplines and regions, the contributors critically engage  dialogical approaches in their emphasis on how a view from rhetoric  changes our perception of people's intersubjective and conjoint creation of culture.

Christian Meyer is Assistant Professor of Qualitative Research Methods and Social Anthropology at the Faculty for Sociology of the University of Bielefeld. A founding member of the International Rhetoric Culture Project, he has done research and published on comparative rhetoric, ethnographic methodology, Afro-Brazilian ritual practice, and everyday interaction in Senegal.

Felix Girke is Post-Doctoral Researcher and Research Coordinator of the Center for Interdisciplinary Area Studies (ZIRS) at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. He has published on cultural contact, exchange relations, predicaments of decision making, and war and peace in southwestern Ethiopia.

Subject: Theory and MethodologyCultural Studies (General)Sociology


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