1-10 of 770 Results

Article

Amazigh Cultural Movement and Media in Morocco  

Abdelmalek El Kadoussi, Bouziane Zaid, and Mohammed Ibahrine

The Amazigh, ethnographically known as the local inhabitants of North Africa, constitute more than half of the Moroccan population. As of 2023, the Amazigh question is a pending contention spot in the current political and public debate. The Amazigh’s contribution is evident in the Moroccan premodern political history (11th–17th century), the protectorate period (1912–1956), and the post-independence nation-building period (1956–1975). However, after independence, the linguistic, cultural, and ideological choices of modern Moroccan national identity did not include the Amazigh, since their cultural recognition and visibility remained marginal. Constitutions prior to 2011 denied local and Indigenous languages and prohibited ethnicity-oriented political parties with very few exceptions. Cultural marginalization, underrepresentation, and misrepresentation were far more evident in Moroccan media, especially the government-owned ones. From its inception, the Amazigh cultural movement (ACM) has militated for both communicative and socioeconomic rights. ACM activists were aware of the importance of Amazigh languages for the construction, consolidation, celebration, and reimagining of the Amazigh collective identity. They were also aware of the centrality of mass media for Indigenous identity politics and cultural representation, articulation, and diffusion. Drawing on secondary and case study data analysis, quantitative and qualitative indicators testify to Amazigh underrepresentation and misrepresentation in Moroccan public media. They show, for example, that Amazigh broadcast outlets’ poor content quality and amateurish diffusion styles tend to be a disservice rather than a service for indigenous communities and culture. However, the advent of the internet and digital platforms offered Indigenous cultural activists convenient spaces and effective venues for revitalizing cultural identity politics. Techno-savvy Amazigh youths managed to do in a few years what their ascendants failed to do in many decades: join efforts of home-based and diaspora activism; gather established scholars, academics, artists, and advocacy groups to address that question from different perspectives by engaging in multidirectional digital activism; build a multilayered virtual community that transcends geographical borders; and, most importantly, firmly address the political authorities and hold them to account.

Article

Argumentation and Rhetoric  

John Kephart III

The study of argumentation is inherently interdisciplinary. Broad in scope, argumentation theory generally refers to descriptive and normative attempts to understand the products and processes of disagreement and the attempts by participants in argumentative discourse to make their standpoint prevail. Rhetoric, informal logic, pragma-dialectics, and other approaches to argumentation theory describe specific theoretical approaches to the study of argument. While there is some difference of opinion as to whether the focus should be on the arguments themselves, the process of their exchange, the procedure for making and evaluating arguments, or some combination of the three, as well as over what constitutes normatively good arguments or even what counts as an argument in the first place, the range of theories that fall under “argumentation” are motivated to understand what happens when differences of opinion come into conflict with one another. Rhetorical approaches initially focused on the role of argument in contingent situations where a rhetor appeals to an audience to change a behavior or belief, adopt a policy, or reason to consensus in a disagreement. Later developments critiqued the idea that all argument assumes an attempt at reasonable resolution obscures the value in dissensus and ignores that some arguments are advanced for the purpose of demonstrating support for a cause or political faction, to undermine an opponent’s position, or to frame the terms of a debate for one’s own advantage. While this may not be ethical or “productive” argumentation, rhetorical scholars consider such tactics important to understanding the rhetorical strategies of a speaker wishing to persuade an audience. Development of rhetorical argumentation saw: criticisms of science and academic inquiry as rhetorical; the importance of controversy in generating dissensus in challenging the norms of public deliberation; approaches to nondiscursive arguments such as visual, sound, spatial, and embodied argument; and the ways that postmodern, critical, feminist, and race-conscious theories’ challenges to epistemology and ontology refigured considerations of arguer/rhetor, text, persuasion, and audience. Four areas of development for the field are: carrying elements of argument into nondiscursive forms such as aesthetics and affect, digital media (including the role of technological infrastructure on argument), argument designed to evade consensus and reasonability, and further developments in cross-cultural perspectives in argument.

Article

Ethnicity, Identity, and Branding in Postcommunist Romania  

Alina Dolea and Arthur Suciu

Among the Eastern European nations, Romania experienced one of the harshest forms of communism that imposed an ethnically homogenous nation and gradually cut the nation off from the rest of the world. The violent revolution to overthrow the communist regime in December 1989 was widely covered by the international news media and foreign correspondents who came to report from the ground: Moving images of a backward, poor country, with disabled children abandoned in orphanages, made headlines at the time. They have shaped the first representations of postcommunist Romania in the West, generating in turn outrage and heated debates within Romanian society over the negative stereotypical image of the nation thus projected to global audiences. Competing discourses over what is representative for the Romanian nation and how it should be promoted abroad have been recurring since then in the institutional, media, commercial, and cultural public spheres. Romania’s relationship with the West has been, and continues to be, discussed particularly along the lines of how “others” (in the West) perceive and evaluate the nation. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) membership in 2004 and 2007, respectively, have been constructed as symbolic victories, legitimizing the democratic transition of the nation, while its progress has constantly been evaluated in comparison with its neighbors. These have been part of nation-building efforts aimed at constructing a certain relation of difference between Romania and the other Eastern European postcommunist nations. They have added to the ongoing self-reflective identity efforts that have also included facing and dealing with uncomfortable aspects in Romania's history throughout the 20th century: ethnic homogenization, discrimination and the oppression of minoritieswere hidden before and during communism and have been marginally discussed after the fall of communism. These debates and competing discourses have influenced Romanians’ representations and perceptions of self, “others”, and their own history, amplifying their emotions of pride, inferiority complex, or shame at “belonging” to this nation and this Balkan, or Eastern European, space. The negative image of Romania has often been discussed in terms of who is to blame for generating such negative representations. Initially, it was the communists and the horrors of their regime. Then, it was the foreign media that, every now and then, subjected Romania to negative media campaigns. After 2010, it has been the politicians, sometimes the West, the millions of Romanian migrants and, especially, the Roma migrants. Romania’s postcommunist development has been constantly evaluated through the “eyes” of the West and the imperative of a better nation branding has been turned into a dominant discourse. Since the fall of Ceausescu, Romania’s negative image that needs to be corrected, the tensions between Romanians’ (self) representations and perceptions of “others,” and the constant identity negotiations after 45 years of harsh communism have been intertwined public issues and are to date recurring in public debates.

Article

Maternal Emotions and Childrearing in China  

Meng Li

Psychological research on maternal emotions often examines how mothers’ emotional expression or regulation may affect children’s development. This perpetual interest in the benefit and harm of mothers’ emotions reflects popular beliefs that women are inherently emotional and, as the primary caregiver of children, mothers must restrain and regulate their emotions in order to raise well-balanced children. Rather than treating maternal emotions as private, intrapersonal feelings, scholars from various disciplines (e.g., sociology, anthropology, communication, women’s and gender studies, etc.) have recognized that many sociocultural forces contribute to the formation and interpretation of emotions. Emotions are not just a primary means through which humans experience the world but are also an avenue for understanding both the individual and the society. The interaction between the psychological and the social is especially salient in societies undergoing radical social transformations, such as China. In the postsocialist era (1978–present), a mother-responsible, child-centered, and education-oriented childrearing culture has emerged in China, presenting unforeseen challenges to parents. Unlike their parents’ generation who mostly adopted traditional authoritarian styles of childrearing, parents who raise children in the new cultural environment are expected to meet the multifaceted needs of their children while also cultivating intimate bonds with them. Mothers in particular carry the greatest emotional burden of childrearing. To be good mothers, they are told that they must learn how to express their emotions appropriately. Proper expressions of love and intimacy keep the channels of communication open and foster trust between generations. Expressions of negative emotions, conversely, are described by childcare experts as a potential threat to children’s psychological development. But when mothers are confronting a highly competitive education system and an increasingly narrower path for social mobility, negative emotions, such as anger and ambivalence, are inevitable and justified. Mothers from different socioeconomic backgrounds also have different emotional experiences when raising children. While urban middle-class mothers are anxious about food safety, environmental pollution, and their children’s educational achievements, rural–urban migrant mothers feel guilty for leaving their children behind in the countryside to pursue a dependable income. Overall, the Chinese case illustrates how maternal emotions can provide a unique window through which a society’s childrearing culture, intergenerational dynamics, and structural inequalities can be observed.

Article

Communicative Decisions in Families  

Rudy C. Pett, Kristina M. Scharp, and Yueyi Fan

Families represent a central relational unit within society and a formative context of interdependence throughout one’s life. How family members individually and collectively navigate communicative decisions therefore illustrates a process offering implications for each member within a family. Although various forms and contexts of decision-making might emerge, decisions guiding how family members communicate remain inevitable. Thus, particular importance emerges in understanding the processes and considerations that guide communicative decisions in families. Some decision-making processes might remain implicit, but several communication theories and models illuminate explicit considerations guiding family members’ communicative decisions. The first set of theoretical perspectives provides insights regarding communicative decisions relevant in contexts of uncertainty. The theory of motivated information management, for example, suggests that family members must make decisions regarding how they wish to manage a lack of information and any resulting uncertainty. However, those decisions likely remain guided by how family members assess their individual (or collective) ability to obtain the desired information, as well as cope with the outcomes of obtaining new information. Relatedly, uncertainty management theory illustrates the ways that family members experiencing uncertainty likely face decisions regarding if, as well as to what extent, they wish to acquire more information related to the source of uncertainty. Communication often serves as an information-seeking behavior family members decide to either enact or avoid, depending on how interested they are in reducing their uncertainty. A second set of theoretical perspectives illustrates the decisions family members face regarding if (and how) they communicate “private” information, as well as secrets. When managing private information, communication privacy management theory outlines decisions family members likely confront related to privacy ownership, privacy control, and privacy turbulence. In terms of secrets, the revelation risk model explicates considerations guiding if (and how) individuals decide to reveal secrets to their family members. These considerations include assessments of potential risk, perceived communication efficacy, and the relational closeness between the family members. The cycle of concealment model also examines decisions to reveal secrets, but this model suggests that these decisions also consider elements such as family interaction histories and, similarly, the quality of the relationship shared between the family members. A final theoretical perspective illuminates how health contexts introduce unique considerations that might dictate if (and how) family members decide to communicate about health-related information. Specifically, the disclosure decision-making model proposes that these types of communicative decisions remain guided by more unique considerations, such as (a) the type of information to be disclosed, (b) the relationships among the family members, (c) how a family member is likely to respond to the disclosure, (d) perceived disclosure efficacy, and (e) available strategies to disclose the information. Collectively, these six theoretical perspectives provide a multifaceted understanding of the central processes and considerations that guide communicative decisions in families.

Article

Identification and Parasocial Relationships With Video Game Characters  

Arienne Ferchaud

The field of game studies rests on how video game players use their relationships with their avatars to fulfill the goals of the game. From studies on the effects of violence in video games to examinations of serious games for entertainment and/or education, all areas presume a level of connection between player and the avatar they control. This relationship is first defined by the type of play style—that is, the approach the player takes when sitting down to play. Next is the avatar—the graphical representation of the player—that will differ drastically from game to game. Based on these two individuals, one actual the other simulated, a relationship of some sort is built. This relationship can be monadic, meaning the player fully identifies with the avatar to the point that they are the same being. In contrast, it could be dyadic, in which a separation exists between player and avatar more akin to a parasocial relationship (PSR). Further, some scholars have suggested that the relationship between player and avatar exists on a continuum known as player-avatar relationships. Concepts like presence and empathy can be used to predict the strength of the relationship between player and avatar. This bond is incredibly important and can be used to predict both enjoyment of the game and cultivate story-consistent attitudes. Future research should examine more closely the nature of PSRs between avatar and player, as this context is relatively unexplored.

Article

Minga for Indigenous Collective Communication: Indigenous Communication Public Policy in Colombia  

Eliana Herrera Huérfano, Amparo Cadavid Bringe, and Jair Vega-Casanova

Indigenous activism in Colombia has a long history and various paths of development. The struggle of Indigenous peoples rose at the time of independence from Spain in the early 19th century and is still ongoing. Throughout this time, the movement has achieved the cultural recognition of Indigenous People, the preservation of their territories, the safeguard of their image, the protection of image property, the defense of their political and social rights, their autonomy, and what they call “buen vivir” (“good living”) as a proposal for all humanity. It was only in 1991 that Indigenous peoples were recognized as full citizens in the new Colombian Constitution. However, Colombians remain polarized about Indigenous issues, including their worldviews, proposals, movements, rights, and full inclusion into society. Indigenous activists remain marginalized and discriminated despite the new legislation. In 2019, approximately 80 Indigenous leaders were murdered. Since 2010, Indigenous activists have worked to build a collective communication public policy for their communication practices to be recognized as a new proposal, a means to support their struggle for other rights.

Article

Journalism of the Populist Movement  

Timothy Vest Klein

In the 1880s and 1890s working class Populists from the American South and Midwest started approximately 1,000 small newspapers in support of the Populist movement. Populist journalists, such as Henry Vincent, Mary Elizabeth Lease, Thomas E. Watson, Charles W. Macune, Ignatius Donnelly, and James “Cyclone” Davis, saw themselves as writing on behalf of the nation’s struggling farmers and working poor. They attempted to unite the economic suffering of sharecroppers and indebted farmers with the despair of wage laborers and the declining fortunes of independent craftsmen, who were being put out of business by massive corporations. Populist journalists focused on economic suffering along with the political and social isolation of life on the geographic periphery. They contrasted the wealth and power of industrialists and political elites in the boardrooms and exclusive social clubs of the Eastern seaboard with life in the slums of urban metropolises and in rural America. Out of the Populists’ isolation came a form of journalism that was full of intensity for their cause and a certainty in their moral superiority. For instance, Populists did not simply advocate for increasing the nation’s money supply through the free coinage of silver—they declared that “free silver will save us” and “God will raise up a Moses to lead us out” of the bondage of the gold standard. Although free silver may be the most widely remembered Populist plank, its emphasis in 1896 was seen at the time, and by later historians, as a strategic miscalculation that split the Populist movement and played a major role in the movement’s downfall. Nonetheless, the fervor and moral certitude that Populists expressed around free silver was also evident in their advocacy for the sub-treasury agricultural loan program, farming cooperatives, the graduated income tax, postal savings banks, regulation (or public ownership) of the nation’s monopolies, and numerous other Populist policies. The boldness of Populist communication gave farmers and political outsiders the confidence to enter the political arena and fight for their ideas, but it also created intense hostility against the movement. Many Populist journalists preached the superiority of rural areas over urban areas, of the South and Midwest over the East Coast, of manual labor over office work, and of the “plain people” over political and economic elites, and in the process they made many powerful enemies who were committed to defeating the Populist movement. Populist journalism was sandwiched between two broader journalistic trends. With the rise of the yellow press in the 1890s, journalism was moving toward a hypercommercialization, where newspapers were attracting a mass audience and news was becoming a big business. At the same time, journalism was also moving toward greater professionalism, with the rise of journalism education and the flourishing of Progressive journalism in the decades following the Populist movement. Populist journalism did not fit into either of these conflicting trends, and it was instead a vestige of the partisan press era of personal attack journalism that was common in the United States in the early 19th century.

Article

The Rhetoric of Sport  

Michael L. Butterworth

The relationship between rhetoric and sport dates back to ancient Greece, but the academic discipline of rhetorical criticism did not take up the study of sport in earnest until the turn of the 21st century. The growth of the field draws from the traditions of antiquity, featuring a shared emphasis on agonistic democracy. Given this interdependent heritage, rhetoric is especially well suited to the study of sport. In particular, rhetorical scholars have focused on four areas of inquiry: (a) apologia and image repair, (b) presentations and representations of identity, (c) constructions of myth and ideology, and (d) athlete activism. Contemporary work looks to these contexts to demonstrate the many ways that sport has reflected, maintained, and constituted public and political culture.

Article

Argentina and a Racism Hidden in Plain Sight  

Sergio Caggiano

As part of a push to homogenize culture, the modern Argentine nation-state (1880–1930) did away with race as an explicit criterion of social classification, laying the foundations for the myth of White Argentina. Cultural productions and the mainstream media have fed that myth for a century. In recent decades (since the mid-1980s and the 1990s), however, community media outlets have drawn attention to racist practices against specific social groups, particularly Indigenous peoples, regional immigrants, and Black people. While working to forge ties with ancestors from the 19th century or even earlier, these alternative media outlets tend to overlook the 20th century entirely, as if to confirm how successfully Argentina rendered non-White people invisible during the nation’s modern history. Besides targeting minority groups, racism in modern Argentina was also directed at a large swath of the working class that embodies what shall be referred to here as negritud popular (low-class Blackness). What is the relationship between discrimination against specific groups, their responses to this discrimination, and a broader racism directed against working-class and popular sectors? Working through denial and drawing on appearance, Argentinian racism operates ambiguously and intersects with other forms of discrimination. By removing the racial dimension from racism, race could no longer be politicized, but “White” Argentines could still refuse to acknowledge others’ existence, shaping a racism through denial that is epitomized in the commonly heard “in Argentina there are no Blacks/Indians left.” Appearance proves key in this process: Although it alludes to the color of one’s skin and phenotype, it also encompasses a number of visible traits, such as clothing and accessories, gestures, and face and hair care, that, when taken together, convey a person’s social class and value. From this perspective, racism in Argentina targets two types of subjects (ethnic, national, and diasporic subjects, on the one hand, and negritud popular on the other), although certain individuals may fall into both categories. The spaces for racism in Argentina—and for combating racism—are difficult to locate with any precision.