Introduction to the Rhetoric of my Social Movement

It was difficult for my to decide upon a social movement to evaluate. I brainstormed several ideas and thought it may be interesting to study groups whose rhetoric I’m very opposed to, like the Meninism movement or the #GamerGate misogynists, but I figured that, because I’m going to be analyzing this group for several months, I should choose one that I wholeheartedly support and enjoy listening to. Therefore, the social movement whose rhetoric I will be evaluating is the Anti-War Movement. I realize that anti-war philosophy is a broad, multi-faceted, and complicated subject, so in the interest of specificity, I’ll focus mainly on pacifists in the United States and how they shaped the anti-war rhetoric we can observe today. In this manner, I can look closely at the hippie movements in the 1960s in opposition to the Vietnam war, scholars in academia who advocate pacifism, and modern rhetors of anti-war protests in pop-culture, political arenas, art, and

Having been raised in a UN family, I had the opportunity to grow up in Kenya, Madagascar, Egypt, and Cambodia before moving to the United States for University. Because of this strange upbringing, I was lucky enough to make friends from all corners of the world and learn of their cultures, customs, and beliefs. With this sort of global perspective, we all developed very anti-war philosophies, believing that violence and conflict is never an acceptable, nor an appropriate means to solve global issues. We were also pretty anti-guns as well. This is why the Anti-War Movement is the one I’d like to analyze; it’s a topic that I feel very passionately about.

Over the next few months, I’ll be specifically looking into:

  1. What rhetorical devices do pop-pacifists such as hippies employ to engage their audience?
  2. What methods of rhetoric do academic and scholarly critics use to evaluate pacifist speech?
  3. What has been the socio-political impact of pacifist rhetoric, and how do terministic screens affect these arenas?
  4. Within the scope of Neo-Aristotelian criticism, what devices are employed in pacifist rhetoric?
  5. How has pacifist rhetoric evolved to a form of digital delivery and remediated itself to the internet?
  6. Finally, how has pacifist rhetoric shaped western culture and what impact will it have on future generations?

Through these research guidelines, I hope to develop a succinct and well-investigated evaluation of pacifist rhetoric and how it has affected western culture.


3 thoughts on “Introduction to the Rhetoric of my Social Movement

  1. The Anti-War movement is an awesome Idea! There should be a lot of interesting rhetoric to analyze about the 60’s movement against Vietnam; I am eager to see what you analyze! You should find a lot of interesting information about the current wars in the middle east. I am intrigued to see how you analyze rhetoric with the scope of “how has pacifist rhetoric shaped western culture and what impact will it have on future generations?” I haven’t quite thought about the implications of the Anti-War movement on future generations and I am excited to see how you critique it.


  2. I think you are going to find an immense amount of rhetoric regarding the pacifist-movement, particularly in the 1960s. The immense opposition to the Vietnam War served as one of the largest collective social movements in American history. War and violence has, and continues to be, a major point of public criticism toward government entities, and many of the same ideals and tactics extend into today’s culture. The entire concept of history is that “it’s destined to repeats itself,” which is an important notion moving forward. In understanding the rhetorical discourse of this movement, you, as will we all, immensely learn of the successes and failures of this movement’s rhetorical strategies and of its surrounding discourse.


  3. Cole, sounds like you have had the opportunities to see some cool parts of the world, that is awesome. I am very fascinated by the anti-war movement because I am surprised it something that exists. However, for some reason, war is a part of our history and consequently so is the anti-war movement. I share the ‘Bombing for peace is like fucking for Virginity’ bumper sticker on my car and believe it wholeheartedly as well. Perhaps look into several anti-war movements internationally, that would be interesting to see in comparison to Americans. But then again, oppression is oppression; or is it different internationally? How are wars started? How does the government react to anti-war protesters? Are anti-war protesters the same or different today? How so? I am glad to know that there are more of us out there and look forward to your research. Good work.


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