What does the social science term RHETORIC actually mean?
According to WorkingPsychology.com, “The field of rhetoric studies educational and persuasive discourse. It is usually taught within English or literature departments. By tradition, it focuses on formal, premeditated monologues, such as you might hear (I should say, used to hear) during a political campaign. Ancient Greek & Roman texts are studied, along with classical models of persuasion.”
Academic study in the field of Rhetoric Studies included but is not limited to the study of Dogmatic thinking promulgation and the psycho-social historical analysis of the effectiveness of Propaganda distributed by organizations like religious authorities or government figures in everyday academia, on television, in media and print literature, and on all talk show radio airwaves.
The Socratic Method can be rigorously applied to help ferret out irrational or skewed thinking, noting that what might have been perfectly acceptable to teach or share with one generation might be horrible advice to promote to the next generation.
As such, all generation rhetoric (specifically) should historically be examined in context then run through a litmus test of sorts using the question, “How would accepting this thought or concept or value being promoted help or handicap in my current or some future probable situation?”
Politicians and black-hat academicians — meaning people who strive to compete for academic status rather than who go to school to pursue knowledge — are well known for employing the use of rhetoric in everyday discourse.
If and when it’s sane, rational, and logically sound, persuasive word choice can have a social impact that is profound. However, when words are used as weapons to abuse, to assert false truths, or to conceal reality while a speaker makes an attempt to manipulate, rhetoric becomes a dangerous verbal and psychologically abusive tool.
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