ERIC Number: ED188271
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
On the Threshold of a Rhetorical Situation: An Emerging Rhetoric of Death and Dying.
Cline, Rebecca J.; Gifford, Carol J.
Rhetorics of death and dying have created socially constructed realities of death since primitive times. Although the denial of death has been common, the twentieth century has seen a rhetoric of denial unique in its absoluteness and its primary form, silence. A stance of total alienation toward death has been taken, separating people from experiences associated with death. Events of the 1960s and 1970s such as assassinations, deaths during demonstrations, and the Vietnam war provided the impetus for a new rhetoric of death and dying. Evidence suggests the emergence of a new rhetoric whose themes include the following: death gives life meaning, death is a process, and death is a shared phenomenon. Communication scholars can actively facilitate the emergence of an effective rhetoric that can adapt people to death and enhance life. (Author/DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Acapulco, Mexico, May 18-23, 1980).