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TCU / English / ENGL 20313 / What are the two ways to exploit mass media?

What are the two ways to exploit mass media?

What are the two ways to exploit mass media?


The Rhetoric of Agitation & Control: Chapter 2

What are the two ways to exploit mass media?

Strategies of Agitation (8) 

King's 6 insights into aspects of nonviolent philosophy 

Flag Issues/Flag Individuals 

- Strategies: general choices available to dissenters & to the establishment - Tactics: More specific choices governed by those strategies o Rhetoric used: written, oral, nonverbal, or mass media. Depends on  individuals or groups producing the messages. Discourse may be  charming, insulting, inviting, etc.

Agitation Strategies 

 1. Petition 

- Agitators can use normal discursive means of persuasion

- Tactics: selection of appeals, target audiences, types and sources of  evidence, appropriate tone of message, style of language

It creates a sense of community that may be vital to the success of the movement. what is it?

- If establishment can show dissenters didn’t attempt petition they can label  them as “irresponsible individuals who reject normal decision-making process who favor disturbance & disruption.” Don't forget about the age old question of Who is the vice president under lincoln for about a month?

o No petition stage = establishment can effectively discredit agitators to  the point where they diminish or die

2. Promulgation 

- Agitators publicly state goals and employ tactics to GATHER PUBLIC SUPPORT  and RECRUIT members

o Tactics: mass media (most efficient to gather members), technology,  Internet, posters, bumper stickers, handbills, leaflets, mass protest  meetings Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between society and culture?
If you want to learn more check out What did ancient people think the brain was for?

- Inform the public of agitators’ positions to win public acceptance of ideology,  value system, beliefs, and policies.

Why movement songs make people unified and more powerful?

- News media don’t consider ideologies newsworthy, only violence & conflict.  Also don’t see fair treatment of agitators profitable. If you want to learn more check out What are the principles of family systems theory?

o Ideology explanations don’t fit in sound bites

o Media may have biases will affect how story is reported

o Location of protest may affect media’s willingness to cover events o Leaders consider media coverage success

o Major media events like Olympics can be exploited to get dissenters’  messages to public

- 2 ways to exploit mass media

o Seek Legitimizers: individuals w/in the establishment who endorse  some parts of the agitators’ ideology

o Stage Newsworthy Events: use unusual tactics or involve conflict.  - Agitators can appear before congress & use their testimony to secure  coverage of beliefs & ideology

- Agitators must learn to adapt their messages to attract the attention of the  media.

- Ultimately, activists must work to keep attention of media & public by  inventing new ways to build & hold interests.

3. Solidification

- Create a sense of community that may be vital to the success of the  movement  

- Produces or reinforces the cohesiveness of its members, increasing  responsiveness to group beliefs, values, & ideologies. We also discuss several other topics like What does it mean to appeal to a higher court?

o Difficult b/c dissenters are energized but difficult to control

- Tactics: (mainly reinforcing) plays, funerals & rituals, songs, art & poetry,  slogans, clothing, etc.

- Revolutionary theatre is an effective b/c it entertains & raises consciousness o Motivate into action, organize people into efficient unity, points out  societal problems & possible solutions

o Designed to appeal to those who already accept agitator ideology or  those open to persuasion if given an effective appeal  We also discuss several other topics like What impacts/determines elasticity?

- Martyrs become powerful figures for solidification w/in an organization  - Movement songs make people unified and more powerful

o Songs give courage & vigor to carry on and establish, define & affirm  selfhood in social movements.

- Themes of protest music:

1. Innocent Victim vs. Wicked Victimizer

2. Powerful & Brave vs. Weak & Cowardly

3. United & Together  

4. Important & Valuable  

5. Righteous & Moral  

- 3 Rhetorical Characteristics of Songs:

1. Reactive Dimensions

2. Simplistic Dimensions

3. Expressive Dimension

- Slogans: pointed term, phrase, or expression. Create definite impressions &  elicit emotional reactions

o Simplify ideology so it can be understood

o Emphasize point, issue, or message

o Create attention, interest, & raise consciousness

o Convert people

o Inspire people

o Rationalize actions, attitudes, & beliefs

o Discredit establishment & opponents of movement

o Polarize positions between establishment and movement

o Redefine, counter, play down opponent  

- Agitators often create symbols to accompany songs, plays, & slogans - Creation of positive terms is another means building solidarity  - Group often chooses a word with negative connation & promotes its use as a  positive attribute. (Ex. Black, gay)

o By taking derogative term from society and making it a badge of honor the agitators assert power.

- Consciousness-raising (C-R) groups are for discovering shared problems and  ways to improve self-image so the group can move to action. (Ex. Teach-ins,  sit-ins, die-ins)

- In-group newspapers & publications also solidify, promulgate, & polarize. Polarization

- Polarization assumes that any individual who has not committed to the  agitation supports the establishment 

- Painting issues for & against defines this stage 

- Designed to move individual into the agitation ranks 

o “Part of the problem or part of the solution.” 

o Choose between agitators or establishment. 

- Flag issues & Flag individuals: attacking these issues or individuals  attracts media attention 

- Flag Individual often is president of university of government figure o Purpose of targeting is to polarize uncommitted individuals 

- Action is criteria for membership in agitating group 

- Invention of Derogatory Jargon for establishment groups is another way to  polarize 

Nonviolent Resistance 

- Use physical presence of agitators to produce “creative tension” - Use physical/economic absence to create tension for negotiation and  adjustment 

- Nonviolence: agitators violate laws or customs they consider unjust and  destructive of human dignity 

- Strategy is “creative disorder”: sit-ins, boycotts, strikes, fasts, etc. - Establishment agreeing to demands = disorder ends  

- Main recourse of establishment is to physically remove agitators o Most times police act violently and this gets to press, garnering  support & sympathy for movement 

o Agitators shouldn’t react with violence becomes the community would  pressure establishment for legal remedies to end protests. 

- Nonviolent resister focuses on flag issues, not flag individuals - Civil disobedience: when agitator breaks a law considered to be unjust on  purpose 

- Nonviolence is instrumental rather than consummatory, it is also symbolic.  - Persistence is required. Presence is a nuisance. 

Aspects of nonviolence: (pg. 44) 

- All energy of nonviolent resister is to policy he or she is violating - Nonviolence doesn’t seek humiliation of opponents but their friendship and  understanding 

- The attack is directed at forces of evil, not the people who commit evil. - Impersonal nature 

- Internal state of resister 

- Optimistic conviction about the nature of life 


- When establishment becomes apprehensive it over-prepares for agitation and will look foolish and have its flaws shown. 

- 1st Tactic:  

Contrast: objective is to lead establishment to expect the participation  of large numbers of agitators. 

Uses rumor & underground press to hint establishment that worse  possible outcome can happen 

- 2nd Tactic:

Threatened Disruption: rumors & underground press to increase  establishment tension with attitudes & objectives of agitators - 3rd Tactic: 

Nonnegotiable Demands: allows no room for establishment to  maneuver 

- Once agitation begins agitators can be nonverbally offensive using  posters/signs 

- Can also use (non)verbal obscenity to be psychologically confrontational  - Token Violence: attacks on establishment representatives. If establishment  overreacts it will lose credibility.  

Gandhi & Guerilla 

- Confront establishment with agitators committed to nonviolence and one  violence committed. 

- Guerilla is only attacks on an unpopular establishment 


- War.

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