NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1126819
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1338-1563
Using Literature to Explore Interpersonal Theory: Representation of Rhetorical Objectification and Oppression
Thompson, Carol; Kleine, Michael
Journal of Pedagogy, v7 n2 p97-115 Dec 2016
This essay explains pedagogical experiment at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock using a piece of literature as a case study to examine interpersonal-communication concepts and to emphasize a course theme of objectification of other human beings. The course, entitled Rhetoric and Communication, has two co-instructors. One instructor is from Rhetoric and Writing, the other is from Communication. This essay reviews the course they teach, along with the readings they require, and it selects "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka, to illustrate how interpersonal themes play out in a literary text and how objectification thwarts deeply personal values. Initially, the essay summarizes key interpersonal concepts (schema theory, coordinated management of meaning, the work of Martin Buber, and Knapp's work on relationship stages). It then considers students' work as they produce a "filtered" summary, a summary that endeavors to apply the interpersonal concepts being studied to Kafka's work. Finally, it explains how summaries work, the "passage hunt" exercise, and how text-based class discussions can lead to lively discussion, robust student writing and a richer understanding of interpersonal concepts as well as the part objectification plays in damaging relationships. Thus, the paper illustrates several pedagogical strategies as it explores how "The Metamorphosis" becomes a literary case study that answers the question: how did this fictional family create communication that resulted in such communicative tragedy?
De Gruyter Open. Available from: Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 121 High Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 857-284-7073; Fax: 857-284-7358; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas (Little Rock)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A