An analysis of rhetorical situation in the context of community mediation

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/289109
Title:
An analysis of rhetorical situation in the context of community mediation
Author:
Kuperman, Renee Louise
Issue Date:
2000
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation is a rhetorical study of mediation that theorizes ways in which people can use language to consistently achieve peaceful resolutions of conflicts. In this study, I analyze community mediation at the Our Town Community Mediation Program, which provides free or low cost dispute resolution services. Disputants engage in a conflict defined by a particular rhetorical situation with its own exigence and constraints. The major finding of this study is that once the disputants have entered into a mediation, they become engaged in a second rhetorical situation that is in a dynamic relationship with the first. Thus the mediation experience involves a "rhetorical system" of situations. The primary exigence is defined as the urgency that obliged the unresolved conflict. The primary constraints are those factors that determined the rhetorical discourse. Through interviews with four mediators and a case study of a mock mediation, I identify eleven new constraints in the secondary situation that give presence to a secondary exigence, namely, miscommunication. The secondary situation values conciliatory rhetoric, making a mutually satisfactory resolution possible. In this way, rhetorical situation is itself used as a rhetorical device to elicit a resolution. I begin by arguing that mediation is a rhetorical activity that resembles ideal public discourse as described by Chaim Perelman and Kenneth Burke. Qualities such as on going dialog and situationally specific justice make mediation a useful model for critiquing deliberative democratic discourse. In Chapter Two, I explain that my research methodology serves to acknowledge mediation as a living process. In Chapter Three I explore the rhetorics of mediation taking into account, for example, its unusual use of argument and its transformative goals. In Chapter Four, I analyze the data from my research, redefining concepts such as neutrality, agency, good communication and conflict. And in Chapter Five, I explore the possibility of a wider application for the concept of rhetorical system, concluding that while the discourse of mediation may be too situationally specific to apply whole cloth to other forms of public discourse, the concept of rhetorical system has wide ranging applications.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Language, Rhetoric and Composition.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Warnock, Tilly; McAllister, Ken

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleAn analysis of rhetorical situation in the context of community mediationen_US
dc.creatorKuperman, Renee Louiseen_US
dc.contributor.authorKuperman, Renee Louiseen_US
dc.date.issued2000en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is a rhetorical study of mediation that theorizes ways in which people can use language to consistently achieve peaceful resolutions of conflicts. In this study, I analyze community mediation at the Our Town Community Mediation Program, which provides free or low cost dispute resolution services. Disputants engage in a conflict defined by a particular rhetorical situation with its own exigence and constraints. The major finding of this study is that once the disputants have entered into a mediation, they become engaged in a second rhetorical situation that is in a dynamic relationship with the first. Thus the mediation experience involves a "rhetorical system" of situations. The primary exigence is defined as the urgency that obliged the unresolved conflict. The primary constraints are those factors that determined the rhetorical discourse. Through interviews with four mediators and a case study of a mock mediation, I identify eleven new constraints in the secondary situation that give presence to a secondary exigence, namely, miscommunication. The secondary situation values conciliatory rhetoric, making a mutually satisfactory resolution possible. In this way, rhetorical situation is itself used as a rhetorical device to elicit a resolution. I begin by arguing that mediation is a rhetorical activity that resembles ideal public discourse as described by Chaim Perelman and Kenneth Burke. Qualities such as on going dialog and situationally specific justice make mediation a useful model for critiquing deliberative democratic discourse. In Chapter Two, I explain that my research methodology serves to acknowledge mediation as a living process. In Chapter Three I explore the rhetorics of mediation taking into account, for example, its unusual use of argument and its transformative goals. In Chapter Four, I analyze the data from my research, redefining concepts such as neutrality, agency, good communication and conflict. And in Chapter Five, I explore the possibility of a wider application for the concept of rhetorical system, concluding that while the discourse of mediation may be too situationally specific to apply whole cloth to other forms of public discourse, the concept of rhetorical system has wide ranging applications.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Rhetoric and Composition.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of Englishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWarnock, Tillyen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMcAllister, Kenen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9965897en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b40480860en_US
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