Rhetorical Analysis / Grounded Analysis

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This week we read an article by John Logi and one by Christa Teston.

Logie's article was a rhetorical analysis of question and answer sites. They used classical rhetoric combined with Perelman and Olbrecht-Tytecha's re-working of the epideictic genre to create a rhetorical framework for understanding these question types. They came up with a 6-category framework, 2 categories each for the Deliberative, the Epideictic, and the Forensic. I found this article to be a great application of classical and new rhetoric concepts. However, I wasn't completely convinced that the Identification category should belong in the Deliberative genre--I've alway Identification was connected to Perelman's concept of Epideictic. In terms of my own project, I think this is a useful model of rhetorical analysis on a very modern artifact. At this point, I don't necessarily see my proposal for this class unfolding along these lines, but it's interesting to see the explanatory potential of this taxonomy.

Teston's article uses grounded theory to look at the impacts that genre has on cancer care decisions (as the name of the article implies). A good deal of my entry on this article is also based on the in-class discussion we had with Professor Haas. It was very helpful to have Professor Haas in class to talk about grounded theory. Of particular interest for our class is her description that the grounded theory approach is well-suited for writing studies because it does well in complex sites, it is open to a variety of data sources, and overcomes the shortcomings of narrative. This last bit is especially interesting, and clearly comes through in the Teston piece. However, while I agree that narrative does have its shortcomings, it can also be a powerful explanatory tool. Without narrative, I think it's harder to understand the Teston piece. But then again, I think the point in favor of grounded theory is that the real world doesn't actually unfold according to a narrative, instead we weave stories out of our lived experiences to make sense of the past. But as I write that sentence, I think that this is exactly the power of narrative--it is something that seems almost essential to the human condition. I think I'd have to think pretty carefully before giving it up for another explanatory tool.


* Why did Logie put Identification in teh Deliberative Genre?
* How did Logie et al. draw their sample and select which questions they wanted to analyze?
* What was Logie's process for coding, in detail?
* Why did Logie et al. go with Research Goals and not Research Questions?
* What do we really win or lose if we give up the explanatory power of narrative in favor of the grounded theory approach?
* Is there a way to utilize the grounded theory without walking away completely from narrative?

Harper, F. M., Weinberg, J., Logie, J., & Konstan, J. A. (2010). Question types in social Q&A sites. First Monday, 15(7-5).
Teston, C. B. (2009). A grounded investigation of genred guidelines in cancer care deliberations. Written Communication, 26(3), 320.

1 Comment

Excellent questions here. I like your challenge of identification and Logie's placement of it here. I agree that Logie's classifications provide a strong structure for rhetorical analysis, and that some of the categories may actually need further refining.

I also like your distinctions between narrative and grounded theory. Yes, grounded theory avoids the narrative, which makes it especially challenging. Understanding this approach to grounded theory is really important--and you have articulated this understanding quite well.

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This page contains a single entry by Joshua Welsh published on November 22, 2010 1:21 PM.

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