ERIC Number: ED347602
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Five Dogs of Politically Correct Speech on Campus.
"Politically correct" has become an all-purpose pejorative epithet conflating and condemning a number of initiatives, such as affirmative action in hiring and admissions, multicultural education, broadening the "canon" of classical texts to include women and minority groups, protests against unpopular, usually conservative ideas, and changing vocabularies for representing particular groups. Kenneth Burke's elaboration of five distinct variations on the meaning of the simple word "dog" suggests a method by which the complex issues surrounding the term "politically correct" might be analyzed. Thus a, systematic application of Burke's notion of "Dramatism" can be made to the politically correct controversy. There are five different canine categories, then, concerning the notion of politically correct: (1) the hegemonic dog, emphasizing the different terminologies used by advocates of both sides; (2) the ancestral dog, which decenters the individual canine-hominid bond by placing it in a broader collective-tribal context; (3) the antinomial dog, which emerges from basic contradictions inherent in the controversy; (4) the hierarchical dog, especially the dog as breeder, representing Dramatism at its most formal level; and (5) the "multivocal" dog. This final category, suggested by Burke's presentation of the four rungs on the educational ladder, is the culmination of the mature learner, who treats different texts as voices in a dialogue. Texts, then, become more like equipment for living and thinking, rather than merely medicinal pills producing health. (Contains 19 references.) (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Burke (Kenneth); Dramatistic Criticism; Literary Canon; Politically Correct Communication; Rhetorical Strategies
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Kenneth Burke Society, Western States Communication Association (63rd, Boise, ID, February 21-25, 1992).