A Social Movement Perspective on Demagoguery: Achieving Symbolic Realignment
Format of Original
27 p.; 26 cm
Taylor & Francis
Original Item ID
doi: 10.1080/10510978909368272; Shelves: PN 4071 .C457 1989 v. 40, Memorial Periodicals
This essay argues that negative assumptions about demagogues have precluded an adequate understanding of demagogic discourse. Scholars typically have been unwilling to acknowledge that demagogic responses may be functional and even appropriate in certain rhetorical situations. This essay analyzes and critiques the literature on demagoguery, and then turns more helpfully to a social movement perspective which employs a “social construction of reality” approach. Specifically, the essay analyzes the discourse of Louis Farrakhan using a “symbolic realignment” perspective drawn from social movement literature.