Theory/Criticism: A Functionalist Approach to the “Specific Intellectual” Work of Rhetorical Criticism

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Abstract

In this essay, the author uses a functionalist perspective to explore the tension between theory and criticism within contemporary rhetorical criticism. Theory and criticism, he argues, exist as the suspension of distinct but mutually constitutive practices. When scholars consider “theory/criticism” in this manner, several functions become evident: theory/criticism organizes the vocabulary necessary to analyze contradictory rhetorical phenomena; it authorizes the value and legitimacy of critical practice, and it makes intervention possible in the lived spaces and structures of specific intellectuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-296
Number of pages17
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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