ERIC Number: ED215375
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Rhetoric of Opposing Constructions of Reality: Gay Rights in St. Paul.
Palmerton, Patricia R.
Fantasy Theme Analysis was used to examine the rhetorical clash of incongruent world views during the 1978 controversy over a gay rights ordinance in St. Paul, Minnesota. Fantasy Theme Analysis considers the individual and collective dramatizations of a group's goals, scope, and activities--the group's conceptualized reality, or fantasy theme--in evaluating the rhetorical effectiveness of the group. The three groups examined in this study and involved in the issue of gay rights in St. Paul were Citizens Alert for Morality (CAM), an antigay-rights group; St. Paul Citizens for Human Rights (SPCHR), a moderate group arguing in favor of gay rights; and the Target City Coalition, a "militant" gay rights group. Analysis of newspaper accounts, brochures, newsletters, broadcast materials, and advertisements during the controversies revealed the success of CAM over the other two groups. One of the strengths of the CAM rhetoric was the extent to which positions were justified within the assumptions of the vision. In the CAM vision, allowing civil rights for gays was a fault that could have led to total destruction of the vision. To fail to show how assertions fit within the context of the proffered perspective is to fail to show how the perspective can explain reality, hence to fail to create that alternative conception in an acceptable manner. It is in this arena that both Target City and SPCHR fell short. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Fantasy Theme Analysis; Minnesota (Saint Paul)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Milwaukee, WI, April 15-17, 1982).