Collectives and countercollectives: how the rhetoric of mass media persuades citizens in wartime

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Stacy Reed (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Nancy Myers

Abstract: The purpose of the following analysis is to highlight rhetorical patterns common during wartime across multiple decades and forms of mass media communication, and to demonstrate how the technologies of media intersect with rhetorical patterns in the creation of collectives and countercollectives. By drawing on and extending the theories of Kenneth Burke and Marshall McLuhan, I pinpoint the similarities and differences in persuasive strategies across shifting electronic mass media, noting how rhetorical appeals remain consistent though the forms they take and the modes in which they are delivered by rhetors changes with historical context and technological affordances. Historical accounts and primary sources provide the basis for such rhetorical analysis. While the technology may change and become increasingly sophisticated in its affordances and accessibility, the rhetorical patterns of collectives and countercollectives remain similar, as strategic appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos are relied upon similarly by both pro- and antiwar collectives. The rhetorical analyses of the collectives and countercollectives across the four wars under investigation suggests useful strategies for rhetors of both present-day and future mass media communications.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Collective, Countercollective, Identification, Rhetoric, Technology, War
War in mass media
Mass media and war
Mass media $x Social aspects
Technology and civilization

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