By Leon H. Mayhew
Expert experts have come to dominate public conversation, and the trendy public of the Enlightenment has been changed by way of a "New Public", topic to mass persuasion via systematic advertisements, lobbying, and other kinds of media manipulation. Leon Mayhew examines this sociological improvement when it comes to discourse and social impression, providing an unique conception that bridges Talcott Parsons and JÜrgen Habermas. He concludes that the current social order is volatile simply because good-faith, two-way discourse has been undermined.
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Expert experts have come to dominate public conversation, and the trendy public of the Enlightenment has been changed by way of a "New Public", topic to mass persuasion via systematic advertisements, lobbying, and other kinds of media manipulation. Leon Mayhew examines this sociological improvement by way of discourse and social impact, providing an unique conception that bridges Talcott Parsons and JÜrgen Habermas.
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Additional resources for The New Public: Professional Communication and the Means of Social Influence
Indeed, I will argue that the affiliative basis of rhetorical communication constitutes its primary mode of persuasion and that Parsons began to recognize this in his later analysis of the role of influence in modern society. I dwell on this point at some length to ground my contention that Parsons' suppression of affiliation in his initial scheme, and his 28 Rhetoric and the integration of society subsequent virtual reduction of affiliation to a normative definition, had long-term consequences that are apparent in ambiguity, confusion, and missteps in his later writings about influence.
The process of appealing for affiliation and support and responding to such appeals may, in premodern societies, follow lines of stratification and fix the links between social status and patterns of affiliation, but when new 30 Rhetoric and the integration of society rhetorical cultures become differentiated, appeals can be based on solidary ties not given in systems of stratification and subject to rational appraisal. In modern societies, the independent significance of rhetorically created solidarity comes to the foreground; it is no longer possible to conceive rhetoric as appeals to norms and statuses without regard to substantive argument.
These dichotomies form the matrix of attack and defense from which traditional rhetorical theory springs, and to this day discussion of rhetoric plays variations on these themes. In traditional theory, rhetoric is defended as inescapably necessary. Reason can produce conviction but not persuade to action. The strength of rhetoric is required to change attitudes, compel attention, impress memory, and induce conduct. The value of this approach is its placement of rhetoric outside the realm of the cognitive capacities of mind and in the world of action, so that it bears directly on the study of society.
The New Public: Professional Communication and the Means of Social Influence by Leon H. Mayhew