The politics of resentment and the tyranny of the minority: Rethinking victimage for resentful times

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Abstract

The victimage ritual is a familiar concept to rhetorical scholars. Victimage, as understood by Kenneth Burke and Robert L. Ivie, is a curative rhetoric aimed at easing the guilt associated with symbolic life. By putting Friedrich Nietzsche's theory of the victimage ritual as enumerated in On the Genealogy of Morals in conversation with Burke and Ivie, this essay expands received wisdom by arguing that victimage in presidential rhetoric is often as much about prolonging resentment and guilt as it is at easing these emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-325
Number of pages23
JournalRhetoric Society Quarterly
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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