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  • 1.
    Edberg, Hélène
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Kreativt skrivande och kritiskt tänkande2015Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Gelang, Marie
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Actiokapitalet: retorikens ickeverbala resurser2008Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of actio. Actio refers to how a speech is performed in a public setting. Actio differs from nonverbal communication in general in that actio is performed in a rhetorical situation with the intention to be persuasive.

    The primary interest is to find theories to define actio and find out how actio affects the interpretation of a speaker’s delivery. Therefore, the goal of the research is to try to find interpretive concepts for actio that can be used in the theory and analysis of actio in different rhetorical materials, as well as to find out what recipients perceive regarding a speaker’s actio, and in what way actio influences their interpretation of the speaker.

    In order to do so two different sources of material have been used. One is classical and modern handbooks and recent research about actio as well as nonverbal communication in a wider sense. This literature has been analysed and interpreted. The other is observations and recordings of four university lecturers who were observed by student focus groups. After each lecture, the members of the groups discussed the teacher’s actio, and the conversations were recorded. The lectures and conversations were both transcribed and analysed.

    In the study of literature and research, the following features have emerged as important aspects of actio. Actio is perceived as an activity that informs the recipient/audience about the speaker’s character, including his emotional state. Actio is also an activity that finds its meaning and interpretation in relation to the context. Actio is performed within society, where traditions, rituals, manuals and so on influence people’s understanding of what is appropriate in different situations. Actio is accordingly a personal activity as well as a part of a human social order. It is deeply rooted in history and its context. As a result of this study some rhetorical concepts are suggested that are intended to describe, explain and define actio, namely: ethos (character), pathos (feelings), decorum (propriety) and kairos (“the right moment”). These concepts can make clear and explain some of the processes that are ascribed to actio throughout history. In order for the concepts to define actio some specific aspects of the concepts are more closely examined and presented Accordingly ethos, pathos, decorum and kairos are concepts that can provide theoretical frameworks and analytic dimensions to research about actio.

    Focus in the study of teachers’ actio has been on the receivers’ interpretations. The statements presented in the analysis reveal which aspects of actio the members of the group had noticed, and how they interpret these aspects. The analysis shows that in order to interpret lecturers’ actio, members of the group refer to qualities of actio. It is not what the lecturers do, but how they do it, which makes a difference in the interpretation of the lecturer. Qualities of actio meaning those aspects of actio that create the nuances, and make actio appear with variation. The qualities that have appeared to be important for the interpretation of a speaker’s actio are energy, dynamism, and tempo. Energy relates mainly to the intensity of different bodily movements, dynamism relates to the variation of, e.g. gestures or postures, and tempo relates to speed, timing and rhythmic variations in actio. It is emphasised that these “actio qualities” open up a new perspective on actio for rhetorical research. Altogether the empirical body of material of university lecturers has shown that certain “qualities in actio”, the multimodal activity and the receivers’ preconceptions and expectations affect the interpretation of actio.

    Finally a new concept, “Actio Capital”, is introduced. Actio Capital is a theoretical model that describes the development of a speaker’s actio from actio resource, to asset, and finally to Actio Capital. The model is inspired by Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and symbolic capital along with the analysis of both the handbooks and research, as well as the empirical study. Actio Capital is intended to provide an overall description and understanding of a speaker’s resources with regard to actio. On the whole, all human beings – assuming they are healthy – have the same resources of actio, i.e. the same basic physical ability to use their bodies for gestures, variation of voice and so on. Which of these actio resources a person will use, which will become a person’s actio assets, depends on a variety of different things like personality, what kind of life she has lived etc. Depending on how these assets are used, for instance with the help of actio qualities, they can become Actio Capital. Which of a speaker’s actio assets that will be recognised and valued as capital varies from situation to situation according to the circumstances.

  • 3.
    Hansson-Nylund, Helena
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Hållbar dialog?: Retorik i möten om svensk kärnavfallshantering2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Rhetorical choices and strategies are central to democratic decision-making, especially regarding decisions on matters that are open for argumentation depending on perspective. The thesis considers public meetings on Swedish nuclear waste management as an example of rhetorical argumentation, specifically in relation to the project of finding a place for final deposition of the high-level spent nuclear fuel – with local geological investigation as a critical part of that project. Project managers have met with other organizations such as protest groups, associations of experts and authorities on several occasions, mainly through local and national hearings. The thesis is guided by a research question regarding the most salient challenges to a resilient rhetorical dialogue for nuclear waste management. The concept of rhetorical dialogue is applied in two ways. Firstly to explain the lack of dialogue that is experienced by participants despite arrangements to reach consensus-oriented dialogue in the Habermasian sense. Secondly in a discussion of rhetorical relations that might explain ambiguity in participants’ interpretations of each other. Three meetings are compared: two local meetings at sites of geological investigation (Kynnefjäll 1979 and Kolsjön 1985) and one national meeting held in Stockholm in 2008. Research materials have been collected from the archives of participating organizations and from interviews with participants. Analyses of these materials are combined with a rhetorical analysis of meeting recordings, with a specific focus on question-reply argumentation. One main conclusion is that the principal rhetorical challenges concern the roles of participants in relation to the rhetorical situation, the establishment of rhetorical genre in the format of hearings, and inclusion of relevant perspectives in the early project phase.

  • 4.
    Mral, Brigitte
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    A womanization of public discourse?: Reflections on rhetorical strategies used by Swedish female politicians2009In: Women's rhetoric: argumentative strategies of women in public life : Sweden & South Africa / [ed] Brigitte Mral, Nicole Borg, Philippe-Joseph Salazar, Åstorp: Retorikförlaget , 2009, p. 11-30Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Mral, Brigitte
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Borg, NicoleSalazar, Philippe-Joseph
    Women's Rhetoric: argumentative strategies of women in public life : Sweden & South Africa2009Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Mral, Brigitte
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Larsson, LarsåkeÖrebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Reklam & retorik: 10 fallstudier2004Collection (editor) (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Oja, Simon
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Sverigedemokraternas budskap 2005-2010: en retorisk studie av ett annorlunda parti2015Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis originates from an interest in the relationship between rhetoric and democracy and how a society deals with controversial ideas. In Swedish politics, the Sweden Democrats is an exemplification of this. The aim of the dissertation is to, through a rhetorical perspective, illustrate, explain and discuss the perceived complexity of problems related to the Sweden Democrats on the basis of the following three questions: How are the Sweden Democrats viewed in public debate regarding publishing ads from the party? Which ideas are expressed in externally and internally addressed communication from the party? What communicative and argumentative strategies can be found in this communication?

    The foundation of the thesis is argumentation theory, epideictic theory, visual rhetoric and humor theory. The overall methodological procedure is hermeneutic, applied through close reading of the material with a holistic approach. This is then applied by using the theoretical perspectives in analysis of debate, argumentation, and visual rhetoric.

    The results of the analysis shows that the publishers’ positions regarding ad’s change, but not their view of the party, which is perceived as changed in presentation but not in politics. The analysis of the Sweden Democrats communication does not give a conclusive answer. It shows that they are rather consistent in their topics, but adapt the presentation to the rhetorical situation. Reoccurring strategies are a consistent presentation of the main conflict in society as between Swedes and immigrants, conveying Muslims as a threat, and simple solutions to complex problems.

    Finally, this thesis discusses the categorization of the Sweden Democrats as a xenophobic nationalistic party and the potential for ideological criticism with rhetorical terminology and from a perspective inspired by Luthin’s categories of demagoguery.

  • 8.
    Wikström, Patrik
    Örebro University, Department of Humanities.
    Den argumenterande Olof Palme: en argumentationsanalys av strukturer och strukturbrott i Olof Palmes inlägg i valdebatten mot Thorbjörn Fälldin i Scandinavium, Göteborg, 19762007Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The topic of the present dissertation is argumentation in the late statesman Olof Palme (1927-1986). One may reasonably think that the fascination for Palme is mainly due to his way of expressing his policy, and therefore also to his argumentation strategy. The theoretical background consists of Lloyd F. Bitzers’s theory on the rhetorical situation, Stephen E. Toulmin’s theory on the description of argumentation structures and on the notion of fallacy, as it appears in pragma-dialectics and informal logic. The rhetorical situation is used to identify vital presuppositions and conditions surrounding the analysed argumentation.Toulmin’s theoretical model is used to analyse structures in the argumentation, and the notion of fallacy is used to discover infringements upon these structures. The object of this analysis is the decisive electoral debates of autumn 1976 between Olof Palme and Thorbjörn Fälldin, held in Scandinavium, Gothenburg, Sweden. Palme had to think of a number of surrounding conditions, such as that the debate was decisive, the composition of the audience. Palme and Fälldin otherwise appeared to be rather equally equipped for the debate. Palme’s task was primarily to gain the number of votes needed to continue to keep social democracy in power. There seem to exist several levels making up his argumentation, grouped under attack and defence. Defence is in most cases based upon a strong connection with the social democrat tradition. The attack is more complicated, linked to Palme’s overall argumentative intention: to depict the non-socialists as a bad governing alternative, and the social democrats as a better one. Fallacies are regarded as instances of breaking the frame of rules that govern a critical discussion. Palme has several fallacy-like features in his argumentation. Among those, most common, are that he attacks the person Thorbjörn Fälldin, instead of the policy or party that he represents. Palme also starts from presupposed premises and tries to link the economic policy of the alliance to an intellectually-thought delimiting between liberal and conservative capitalism and social-democrat solidarity. He strives to portray the liberals and conservatives as money-orientated, whereas social democracy is depicted as people-orientated.Palme goes arguably too far at several moments during the debate,which possibly hurts his own argumentation.

  • 9.
    Wolrath Söderberg, Maria
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Topos som meningsskapare: retorikens topiska perspektiv på tänkande och lärande genom argumentation2012Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
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