Det är inte så enkelt : Om talarens relation till publiken
In this thesis I discuss the adaption of the speaker to the audience, and suggest a radical re-imagining of both the act of adaption and the reasons why adaption is necessary. My main purpose is to introduce social complexity into what I see as the pivotal point of both classic and modernrhetoric and thereby create new possibilities for future research.
I accomplish this by modifying the rhetorical concept of doxa, moving from Pierre Bourdieu's separation of doxa and habitus – the incorporated form of shared beliefs and values – to an integrated view based in Manuel DeLanda's use of Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari's concept of the assemblage. In this way I formulate a notion of doxa that emerges from social interaction while at the same time shaping and regulating it. My notion of doxa is thus inseparable from the actions of the individuals participating in it, shaping both discourse and social life.
I also introduce a separation between those who hear a speech and it's audience. I argue that the speaker's main motivation for adapting her/his speech to the hearers is a social one, as the speaker in fact turns the hearers into an audience. In this the speaker not only adapts herself/himself but actually, through the use of doxa, adapts the audience, thus shaping the hearers' perception not only of the speech but of the world.
Following this I discuss why doxa is central to this process, and how the speaker by using doxa also takes part in reproducing it. I argue that it is impossible for the speaker to address her/his words to the actual hearers in the actual context of the speech, and therefore the speaker must rely on doxa in order to make an audience out of the hearers. Further, I describe the ways in which this constitutes a power over the hearers on the speaker's part, and some of the implications this idea has for rhetorical theory.
Last, I briefly discuss how my notion of doxa, and the aforementioned impossibility of knowing the hearers and the context, also affects the work we (can) do as critics and students of rhetoric. I argue that we need to adopt a program similar to that Donna Haraway suggests in her essay Situated Knowledges, one of engaging the objects of our studies as active participants in a dialogue, even capable of tricking us. I then lay out a few ideas for future studies in the social complexities of rhetoric, finishing with the observation that discourse and the physical world are inseparably intertwined.
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