Lloyd Bitzer coined the phrase "rhetorical situation" in the lead article of the first issue of Philosophy and Rhetoric. By redefining rhetoric as a response to a rhetorical situation, rather than a genre of speech, he paved the way for generations of expansion of the field of rhetoric into non-traditional persuasive forms.
- Rhetorical Situation: A situation that can be altered by means of speech.
- A rhetorical situation has three components; they are exigence, audience, and constraints.
- Exigence: A rhetorical exigence is a need or lack that can be addressed by means of speech.
- Audience: A rhetorical audience is an audience that is capable of altering the situation.
- Constraints: Rhetorical constraints are elements of the situation that limit the possibilities of what can or cannot be said.
Sources on Rhetorical SituationEdit
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Beach, Wayne A. "Temporal Density in Courtroom Interaction: Constraints on the Recovery of Past Events in Legal Discourse." Communication Monographs 52 (1985): 1-18.
Biesecker, Barbara A. "Rethinking the Rhetorical Situation from Within the Thematic of Differance." Philosophy and Rhetoric 22 (1989): 110-130.
Bitzer, Lloyd F. "Functional Communication: A Situational Perspective." Ed. Eugene E. White. Rhetoric in Transition: Studies in the Nature and Uses of Rhetoric. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1980. 21-38.
Bitzer, Lloyd F. "Political Rhetoric." Handbook of Political Communication. Ed. Dan D. Nimmo and Keith R. Sanders. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1981. 225-248.
Bitzer, Lloyd F. "Rhetoric and Public Knowledge." Ed. Don Burks. Rhetoric, Philosophy, and Literature: An Exploration. West Lafayette: Purdue UP, 1978. 67-94.
Bitzer, Lloyd F. "The Rhetorical Situation." Philosophy and Rhetoric 1 (1968): 1-14.
Bormann, Dennis R. "Adam Muller on the Dialogic Nature of Rhetoric." Quarterly Journal of Speech 66 (1980): 169-181.
Branham, Robert. "Speaking Itself: Susan Sontag's Town Hall Address." Quarterly Journal of Speech 75 (1989): 259-276.
Branham, Robert J., and W. Barnett Pearce. "Between Text and Context: Toward a Rhetoric of Contextual Reconstruction." Quarterly Journal of Speech 71 (1985): 19–36.
Brinton, Alan. "Situation in the Theory of Rhetoric." Philosophy and Rhetoric 14/4 (1981): 234–248.
Brummett, Barry. "Symbolic Form, Burkean Scapegoating, and Rhetorical Exigency in Alioto's Response to the 'Zebra' Murders." Western Journal of Speech Communication 44 (1980): 64-73.
Carlson, A. Cheree. "The Rhetoric of the Know-Nothing Party; Nativism As a Response to the Rhetorical Situation." Southern Communication Journal 54 (1988): 364-383.
Consigny, Scott. "Rhetoric and Its Situations." Philosophy and Rhetoric 7/3 (1974): 175-186.
Cox, J. Robert. "Argument and the 'Definition of the Situation'." Central States Speech Journal 32 (1981): 197-205.
Edbauer, Jenny. "Unframing Models of Public Distribution: From Rhetorical Situation to Rhetorical Ecologies." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 35 (2005): 5-24.
Engnell, Richard A. "Otherness and the Rhetorical Exigencies of Theistic Religion." Quarterly Journal of Speech 79 (1993): 82-98.
Ervin, Elizabeth. "Rhetorical Situations and the Straits of Inappropriateness: Teaching Feminist Activism." Rhetoric Review 25 (2006): 316-333.
Garrett, Mary, and Xiaosui Xiao. "'The Rhetorical Situation' Revisited." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 23/2 (1993): 30– 40.
Hoover, Judith D. "Big Boys Don't Cry: The Values Constraint in Apologia." Southern Communication Journal 54 (1988): 235-252.
Hunsaker, David M., and Craig R. Smith. "The Nature of Issues: A Constructive Approach to Situational Rhetoric." Western Journal of Speech Communication 40 (1976): 144–156.
Jamieson, Kathleen M. "Antecedent Genre as Rhetorical Constraint." Quarterly Journal of Speech 61 (1975): 406-415.
Jamieson, Kathleen Hall. "Generic Constraints and the Rhetorical Situation." Philosophy and Rhetoric 6/3 (1973): 162–170.
Johnson, Janet, "Twitter Bites and Romney: Examining the Rhetorical Situation of the 2012 Presidential Election in 140 Characters." Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric 2 (2012): 54-64.
Kaufer, David S. "Point of View in Rhetorical Situations: Classical and Romantic Contrasts and Contemporary Implications." Quarterly Journal of Speech 65 (1979): 171-186.
Kuypers, Jim A. Presidential Crisis Rhetoric and the Press in the Post-Cold War World. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.
Kuypers, Jim A., Marilyn J. Young, and Michael K. Launer. "Of Mighty Mice and Meek Men: Contextual Reconstruction of the Iranian Airbus Shootdown." Southern Communication Journal 59/4 (1994): 294–306.
Larson, Richard L. "Lloyd Bitzer's 'Rhetorical Situation' and the Classification of Discourse: Problems and Implications." Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (1970): 165–168.
McConnell, Kathleen F. "In Appreciation of the Kind of Rhetoric We Learn in School: An Institutional Perspective on the Rhetorical Situation and on Education." Quarterly Journal of Speech 96 (2010): 278-299.
Miller, Arthur B. "Rhetorical Exigence." Philosophy and Rhetoric 5 (1972): 111-118.
Miller, Carolyn R. "Genre as Social Action." Quarterly Journal of Speech 70 (1984): 151-167.
Mister, Steven M. "Reagan's Challenger Tribute: Combining Generic Constraints and Situational Demands." Central States Speech Journal 37 (1986): 158-165.
Norton, Robert Wayne. "The Rhetorical Situation Is the Message: Muskie's Election Eve Television Broadcast." Central States Speech Journal 22 (1971): 171-178.
Patton, John H. "Causation and Creativity in Rhetorical Situations: Distinctions and Implications." Quarterly Journal of Speech 65 (1979): 36-55.
Pomeroy, Ralph J. "Fitness of Response in Bitzer's Concept of Rhetorical Discourse." Georgia Speech Communication Journal 4/1 (1972), 42–71.
Rubin, Alan M., and Rebecca Boring Rubin. "An Examination of the Constituent Elements in a Presently-Occurring Rhetorical Situation." Central States Speech Journal 26 (1975): 133-141.
Salvador, Michael. "Technocratic Discourse and the Rhetorical Constraint of Local Knowledge." Western Journal of Speech Communication 56 (1992): 18-36.
Smith, Craig R., and Scott Lybarger. "Bitzer's Model Reconstructed. Communication Quarterly 44 (1996): 197-213.
Solomon, Martha. "Ideology as Rhetorical Constraint: The Anarchist Agitation of 'Red Emma' Goldman." Quarterly Journal of Speech 74 (1988): 184-200.
Swift, Crystal Lane. "’I Had an Abortion.’: The Rhetorical Situation of a Planned Parenthood T-Shirt." Qualitative Research Reports in Communication 8 (2007): 57-63.
Vatz, Richard E. "The Myth of the Rhetorical Situation." Philosophy and Rhetoric 6 (1973): 154-161.
Young, Marilyn J. "LLoyd F. Bitzer: Rhetorical Situation, Public Knowledge, and Audience Dynamics." Twentieth-Century Roots of Rhetorical Studies. Ed. Jim A. Kuypers and Andrew King. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001. 275-302.
Young, Marilyn J., and Michael K. Launer. Flights of Fancy, Flight of Doom: KAL 007 and Soviet–American Rhetoric. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1988.