Bending Opinion
Ton van Haaften
Science & Math
Bending Opinion

With communication playing an increasingly important role in contemporary society, rhetoric appears to have gained in influence and importance. The ancients knew all along: power belongs to those who know how to use their words. Nowadays, we know that rhetoric pervades all discourse. There is no communication without rhetoric. In a society with ever-increasing amounts of information, and with media whose significance cannot be overestimated, we need to know all the mechanisms playing a role in the gathering, making and reporting of information and opinions, and its processing by an audience. Rhetoric is, from both a practical and a theoretical perspective, essential to the conduct, analysis and evaluation of public debates. After all, the idea of democracy is closely intertwined with the ideal of transparent decision-making on the basis of open, informed discussions in the public domain, in political, organizational and journalistic discourse. Bending Opinion cites a host of relevant examples, from Barack Obama to Geert Wilders, as well as compelling case studies.

Het belang van communicatie neemt steeds verder toe in de huidige samenleving, en daarmee blijkt ook retoriek aan invloed te winnen. Het was al bekend in de Oudheid: de macht behoort hen toe die weten hoe ze hun woorden moeten gebruiken. Tegenwoordig beheerst retoriek het publieke debat, en is er geen communicatie zonder retoriek. In een samenleving die wordt gekenmerkt door een overvloed aan informatie en zeer invloedrijke media, is het van groot belang belang inzicht te krijgen in de mechanismen die een rol spelen bij het verzamelen, maken en het overbrengen van informatie en meningen, en de manier waarop het publiek deze verwerkt. Retoriek is, zowel vanuit praktisch als theoretisch oogpunt, essentieel voor de uitwerking, analyse en evaluatie van het publieke debat. Uiteindelijk is het idee van democratie nauw vervlochten met het ideaal van transparante besluitvorming op basis van open, goed-ge nformeerderde discussies in het publieke domein en het politieke en journalistieke discours.

Bending Opinion
part I Fundamentals of Rhetoric
1 Deliberation, Free Speech and the Marketplace of Ideas
2 Rhetoric, Classicism and Democracy:The Conveyance of Moral and Political Values in Late Antique Rhetorical Education
3 Melody and Rhythm in Ancient Political Discourse On How Emotions Induce Persuasion
4 Generalizing Stasis Theory for Everyday Use
5 Rhetoric and Argumentation
part ii The Rhetoricof Verbal Presentation
6 Generalizing about the Persuasive Effects of Message Variations: The Case of Gain-Framed and Loss-Framed Appeals
7 The Contribution of Praeteritio to Arguers’ Strategic Maneuvering in the Argumentation Stage of a Discussion
8 Limits and Effects of Reductio ad Absurdum Argumentation
9 Professionalizing Speech Production Changes in 15 Years of Ministerial Speeches
10 The Correlation between Style and Argument in Newspaper Columns
part iii Rhetoric and the Media
11 If This Goes On …: The Rhetorical Construction of Future Problems
12 Exploring Everyday Ethos Ethos Techniques in Online Discussions about Extraordinary Experiences
13 The Popular Virgin and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Case Study of the Imaging of Victims and Offenders
14 “Conceptual and Fanciful” or “A Depiction of Reality”: Exploiting Visual Modality to Claim EnvironmentalEthos in uk Advertizements for Automotive and Energy Companies(2007-2008)
part iv Rhetoric and Politics
15 Rhetoric and the (Re)Constitution of Collective Identity: The Example of Poland
16 Symbolic Power: Political Rhetoric in a State of Exception
17 Do New Parties Bring Personalization,a Narrow Issue Agenda and Populist Rhetoric?Evidence from Dutch Election Campaign Coverage from 1998 to 2006
18 Parliamentary Debate and Political Culture: The Dutch Case
part v The Rhetoric of Topoi
19 Talking about Sustainability: Responses to Frames in Persuasive Messages about Sustainable Agriculture and Food
20 Responding to Expert Arguments Emerging Lay Topoi in Focus Group Interviews on gm Crops
21 Speaking of Terror: Challenging Norms of Rhetorical Citizenship in Danish Public Discourse
22 Strategic Maneuvering with Linguistic Arguments in the Justification of Judicial Decisions
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