Progay/antigay: the rhetorical war over sexuality
Sage Publications, Feb 10, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 240 pages
Combining humanistic rhetorical criticism with social scientific concepts, Ralph R. Smith and Russel R. Windes examine how the discourse of the progay/antigay debate shapes the self-understanding and strategies of the two opposing sides.
The struggle over issues such as lesbians and gay men serving openly in the military, same-sex marriage, and inclusion of "sexual orientation" in anti-discrimination and hate crime laws have evolved along with the development of rival progay and traditionalist antigay communities. In the process of presenting their arguments to the wider society, the two sides exercise extraordinary influence on each other. As a result of the public policy debates, the progay movement has moved toward an essentialist, non-sexual identity, while the traditionalists have shifted toward a secular public self-representation. Progay/Antigay also analyzes the internal disagreements within the two movements.
The same-sex marriage debate illustrates important dimensions of the contest over sexuality. The authors examine rhetorical strategy and counter-strategy in this specific institutional context. Progay/Antigay also discusses how the study of the variant sexuality issue provides the opportunity to assess paths for reconciliation and to judge concepts of political pluralism and multiculturalism.
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Narrative is an alternate way in which progay and antigay advocates organize
language. Rhetorician Walter Fisher (1987) defines narrative as: Stories meant to
give order to human experience and to induce others to dwell in them in order to
als assess moral reasoning by the standards of narrative probability (coherence)
and fidelity (consistent with experience). He sees narratives as moral constructs
which are often intended to influence untrained thinkers and which combine ...
Both antigay and progay appeals rely heavily on narratives. Among the leading
antigay narratives are those which center on the decline of national morality, the
loss of masculine vigor, and child molestation (Dobson & Bauer, 1990, pp. 3, 106
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Emergence of the Variant Sexuality Issue Culture
Analysis of Communication in Contests
Appeals in Progay and Traditionalist Discourses
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