Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Topic: Rhetoric

10-second review: Contrasts the “democratic approach” to rhetoric to the expert’s authoritarian approach.

Title: “Lydia J. Roberts’s Nutrition Research and the Rhetoric of ‘Democratic’ Science.” Jordlynn Jack. College Composition and Communication (September 2009), 109-128.

Quote: “The ‘democratic approach’ served as both a scientific and rhetorical resource for Roberts. As a scientific method the ‘democratic approach’ helped Roberts fulfill her scientific goals, which included cooperating with researchers in other disciplines, influencing public policy, and creating knowledge useful for public as well as scientific audiences. As a rhetorical strategy, the democratic approach’ sometimes served mainly to shore up Roberts’s own expertise and that of experts, while in other cases it helped to distribute expertise among a wider group of individuals.”

Quote: “…I analyze how Lydia J. Roberts, a nutritionist, employed what she called the ‘democratic approach’ as a rhetorical strategy. When she enacted this approach, Roberts typically sought to involve multiple stakeholders in knowledge-making projects, whether by surveying experts, holding conferences and meetings to discuss findings, or holding workshops to develop strategies for education and outreach work. By giving these stakeholders opportunities to influence decisions, Roberts hoped to ensure that nutrition research would serve the interests of dietitians, educators, policy officials, extension workers and local communities, not just the interests of research scientists.”

Comment: Hard to pin down just what the “democratic approach” to rhetoric is, but it seems to put the source of knowledge on groups of people involved with the topic instead of a single expert. RayS.

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