Friday, January 21, 2011

Topic: Activism and Writing and Speaking

Question: How can students learn to use their writing and speaking skills on behalf of labor justice in the corporate world?

Answer: The article begins with an anecdote about a labor issue, the closing of a windows factory because Bank of America—AFTER its bailout by the U.S. people—would not loan its owners the required money to keep from bankruptcy. Three days later, after a sit-down strike, the workers won their legally entitled benefits under law. Students learn how to fight an unjust labor event using soapbox arguments, sloganeering, muckraking exposé and other not-very-well respected forms of persuasion.

Comment: It is generally assumed that propagandizing is by its nature evil. This article suggests it is a tool for both positive and negative purposes. And students learn to analyze and use these tools of popular persuasion. RayS.

Title: “ ‘We’re Here, and We’re Not Going Anywhere’: Why Working-Class Rhetorical Traditions Still Matter.” N Welch. College English (January 2011), 221-242.

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