In this past week’s video essay I argue that rhetoric–the art of persuasion–is at play in basically all our speech, from one’s polite “good morning” to one’s extended argument against a political issue. More than that, I draw on the work of social theorist Erving Goffman to demonstrate that our performed bodies also constitute a type of speech that is also governed by strategic choices we make to communicate suasively.
I wrote this video after another vlog post I made pondering meanderingly on the problems inherent in communication and understanding. Knowing not only some of the formal methods of rhetoric but also becoming aware of how our whole selves-as-speech are always conveying suasive meaning all the time, my hope is that we can move closer to our goals for reaching understanding with others through more effective speech.
Here’s the full video.