“All men are created equal”: Waiting for godot in the culture of inequality

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Abstract

Since 1976, we have been celebrating centennials and bicentennials of major symbols and documents of American ideology, and we will continue to do so in the coming years. Juxtaposed with these milestones, however, is the increasing problem of American citizens without basic shelter. With the conjunction of celebration and increasing homelessness, this rhetorical criticism examines one of the few speeches given by a homeless person and preserved. The essay details the despair and sense of betrayal by ideology and rhetoric that are part of being homeless. It highlights three major problems in ideological rhetoric deserving programmatic research, and suggests rhetorical criticism as a way of remedially exploring democratic ideology in crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-161
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1988

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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