ERIC Number: ED180037
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Perfect Political Myth As Substance for Social Movement Vulnerability.
Heath, Robert L.
The political myth of a nation substantially influences the way people behave, the goals to which they aspire, and the rationale upon which common actions are taken and through which rhetorical identification can be achieved. Myth is the image at the center of a culture that is the ideal of the culture's excellence. Myths are not accurate descriptions of reality, nor are they totally separate from nor contrary to reality. Rather, they give order, definition, and evaluation to an otherwise chaotic reality. They provide a common ground of thought and perception that establishes ideal circumstances and boundaries of behavior. The nature of the fundamental political myth of a culture and the scene that it creates poses three alternatives to those who seek to change the dynamics of society: leaders can use the myths as the foundation of rhetorical identification; they can change the myths and the concomitant scene thereby creating new requirements for sociopolitical action; or they can reapply the myths. By appeals that heighten the inconsistency between the perfection of the myths and their application, society is vulnerable to social change. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979)