November 18, 2012

Burke and Butler


I found Burke and Butler’s readings to be engaging and discerning of great rhetorical theory. Butler’s gender trouble undermined the difference between sex as an accepted given grouping and gender as an acquired cultural and social category. Butler argued that sex also is a socially construct category that stems out of social and cultural practices and in the context of a discourse that has a history and its own social and political agenda.

Both of Butler and Burkes arguments used valid rhetorical key points in expressing their concerns. Butler's said that the grouping of "women" could possibly endure suffering both with and without a particular meaning which would be in fact be a limitation of representation itself. Butler is expressing bold and forward thinking in the feminism field here.

I thought that a majority of Burke's argument expressed that if the individual wants to learn or accomplish something effectively one must express yourself to the listeners; one must know exclusively the opposing side of the argument and how it operates. "If you want to attack the Republican Party, become a Republican" (p 342). This approach Burke called "boring within". You have to completely submit yourself into becoming and learning as much as possible about the token chosen subject.

1 comment:

James Lannon said...

I'm interested to see if you agree with Butler's argument of gender really being an acquired cultural and social category. From what I got from the reading, I believe this is what Butler thought gender was at it's root, but because of cultural standards our understanding of gender is limited to the exclusionary pre-existing construct that the public prescribes to. I think what Butler is saying is that we need to break away from this mold in order to be able to experience gender as a cultural and social category.

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