cover of book

Addressing Postmodernity: Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change
by Barbara Biesecker
University of Alabama Press, 2000
eISBN: 978-0-8173-8259-9 | Paper: 978-0-8173-1063-9 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-0874-2
Library of Congress Classification PN98.P67B54 1997
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.9113

Reveals the full range of Kenneth Burke's contribution to the possibility of social change

In Addressing Postmodernity, Barbara Biesecker examines the relationship between rhetoric and social change and the ways human beings transform social relations through the purposeful use of symbols. In discerning the conditions of possibility for social transformation and the role of human beings and rhetoric in it, Biesecker turns to the seminal work of Kenneth Burke.
Through a close reading of Burke's major works, A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives, and The Rhetoric of Religion: Studies in Logology, the author addresses the critical topic of the
fragmentation of the contemporary lifeworld revealing postmodernity will have a major impact on Burkeian scholarship and on the rhetorical critique of social relations in general.
Directly confronting the challenges posed by postmodernity to social theorists and critics alike and juxtaposing the work of Burke and Jurgen Habermas, Biesecker argues that a radicalized rereading of Burke's theory of the negative opens the way toward a resolutely rhetorical theory of social change and human agency.

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