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Qualitative Research Week 4

by: Mariah Tucker

Qualitative Research Week 4 COMM 6120-01

Marketplace > Southern Utah University > Communication > COMM 6120-01 > Qualitative Research Week 4
Mariah Tucker
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About this Document

These notes cover a bit of rhetoric, generic criticism, and metaphor.
Qualitative Communication Research
Dr. Kevin Stein
Class Notes
Metaphor, criticism, communication, QualitativeMethods
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mariah Tucker on Saturday September 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COMM 6120-01 at Southern Utah University taught by Dr. Kevin Stein in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Qualitative Communication Research in Communication at Southern Utah University.


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Date Created: 09/24/16
Qualitative Research Week 4 Dr. Kevin Stein Generic Criticism Genre is a distinct category in a form or type. It is a specific style or pattern or doing something. Each genre is unique, and typically follows the same exact pattern each time. In cop movies there is almost always a partnership that can’t stand each other in the beginning, and then by the end they become really good friends, or if they are a male and female, a relationship typically ensues. Kevin used the film The Heat as an example, because Sandra Bullock’s character and Melissa McCarthy’s character hated each other in the beginning, and by the end they were friends. I thought of Miss Congeniality, because the two leads hated each other and ended up falling in love by the end. Edwin Black believed that there is a limited number of situations a rhetor can find themselves. The systems typically follow a similar pattern, so the options for handling a situation are often limited by the circumstances. Lloyd Bitzer believed that rhetoric is situational. Kevin tied this in to apologia. He talked about the way that Ray Rice couldn’t deny that he beat his woman, because it was caught on camera, so he had to take a different approach than Mel Gibson did when he was cited for drunk driving. Gibson made a number of racist remarks about Jewish people, and he was able to blame that on being intoxicated. It didn’t completely solve each situation, but each was handled the way they saw fit. There are clichés in genres, and they are very repetitive. In pretty much every Hallmark movie there is a girl that is a little lost in life, so she either goes somewhere or something dramatically changes in her life, and she meets “Mr. Right” and they fall in love by the end. In a majority of romantic comedy movies, the “hot” actress is dressed down, and isn’t revealed as “hot” until the later in the movie after she has found her “hot” guy, and they fall in love. It’s not a bad thing, but it is a very common thing in society. We have different ways for comforting somebody in need or how we are supposed to act on a first date. Organizing principle is when the critic inspects the commonalities within the discourse regarding two key components of the artifact, which are content and argument. Form refers to the structure of the artifact being examined by the critic. Oftentimes there is a huge difference between what is said and how it is said. For instance someone says that something is nice, but their tone is sarcastic or sounds a bit faulty, they probably mean the exact opposite of what they are saying. All criticism is generic. Criticism utilizes a human inclination to classify things, and serves as a cultural and social index. Each genre isolates and interprets the way that the world is viewed through their lenses so to speak. Generic criticism is used in multiple fields, and can help identify different patterns that exist in life. Metaphor is defined by Foss as a non-literal comparison in which a work or a phrase from one domain of experience to another. It is a major way to constitute reality. Metaphors conjure images for the audience. For example “argument is like war,” even though individuals in an argument may not actually be throwing hand grenades or shooting a gun, someone hearing the comparison of argument to war could potentially see those images. Viewing reality and experiencing something firsthand are very different things. Morpheus explained this phenomenon by questioning reality. “What is real? How do you define real? If you are talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste, and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” If you want to understand a metaphor, some background experience is needed. You could tell a small child that “love is war,” but because of their limited life experience, the metaphor probably won’t make sense to them. A metaphor is joining two terms that are not typically grouped together. If you break apart the word meta means over, and pheras is to carry, which means that the meaning essentially has to carry over the whole phrase. For a metaphor to work, you need a tenor (subject), and a vehicle (what the subject is being compared to) for it to work. Martin Gannon said that he believes that metaphors should be compact. Some believe that some things are inexpressible without metaphors, but Kevin disagrees. It might not be the same expression, but not everything needs to be expressed through a metaphor. Some people are really good at using metaphors, and others tend to use them in a very negative way. We discussed the way that Donald Trump Jr. compared Syrian refugees to Skittles. He basically said they are mostly okay, but you don’t know when one will kill you. The comparison worked, because it did create an image, but it offended so many people that it did the opposite of what he was hoping for. Metaphors are part of everyday conversation. When people say things like “I’m depressed,” it is actually a metaphor, because depressed didn’t necessarily start out as meaning sad or unhappy. It actually means to compress something to a smaller or flatter state. After using a metaphor for so long it actually becomes literal. Depressed didn’t used to mean sad, but when people started using it as a metaphor, it gained a new meaning. Kenneth Burke said metaphors play a critical role in discovering truth. Aristotle believed that metaphor cannot be taught. We discussed it, and you should at least understand the uses of metaphors. It is not necessarily a skill of creation, but if you don’t understand the use of metaphor, than it holds no actual meaning. If you use metaphor, you are using it to get attention, so you should understand the right way to use it for your intended purpose. Metaphors often have directional, cooking related, or fighting related words in them like: “That was half baked,” or “roll with the punches,” or “I’m feeling a bit down.” They all work for their intended purpose; the choice came from how the speaker intended to use the metaphor. Metaphors don’t necessarily need to contain these components, but they are usually the ones that create the most vivid images. When studying metaphor following these five steps are important. 1. Select an artifact to focus on: Find a movie, book, or even a conversation to study for your focus. 2. Examine the artifact as a whole: Don’t immediately focus on just one aspect of the conversation, look at it as a whole. 3. Isolating the different metaphors: Find the different metaphors in the artifact you have selected to study, and separate them from the other parts of the conversation. 4. Sort the metaphors by tenor and vehicle 5. Discover an explanation for the artifact: Take what you have gained from separating the different parts of the metaphor, and draw conclusions about what you learned from it. We discussed the Dan Rather case in class. Dan Rather used information that he believed was correct, when it was not on a news story about President Bush, and he ended up losing his job over it. President Bush was missing while he was in the army, and Dan Rather shared a false story about Bush’s whereabouts during that time. The news station attempted to repair the reputation of Rather and CBS multiple times, but they weren’t able to repair the damage, and Rather lost his job. In Dan Rather’s scenario he went through three phases of apologia to attempt to repair the station’s reputation as well as his own. He 1. Denied the situation, 2. Attacked his accusers, and 3. Took corrective action. Benoit has five stages of remorse when dealing with a scandal. 1. Denial: At this stage people deny the event even happened. Example: Bill Clinton denying that he smoked marijuana. 2. Evade responsibility: People at this stage will try and make it seem like it was somebody else’s fault. Example: A-Rod blaming his cousin for his steroid use. 3. Reduce offensiveness: This is all about minimalizing the number of people that could be offended by what is said. 4. Corrective action: Aiming to repair the situation. 5. Mortification: Showing sincere sorrow for what has happened. We also discussed the Israeli peace treaty article, and why it was a constant point of conflict. Israel had numerous battles over trying to maintain peace with the surrounding countries, but the strategy they frequently used didn’t always work, because of the way it was delivered, and the circumstances at the time changed each time they readdressed it. Eventually they utilized a Critical Discourse Analysis to determine the best way to address the issue.


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