Rhetorical Analysis on Deborah Tannen's Argument Culture

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Rhetorical Analysis on Deborah Tannen's Argument Culture

By | May 2013
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A Move towards Better Communication

Deborah Tannen graduated from The University of California, Berkely, M.A. in 1979 with her PHD in Linguistics. She is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. Tannen has written many books where she applies her theory of Linguistics to everyday situations. Some of her books are: That’s Not What I Meant!: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationship (1986), Talking from 9 to 5: How Women’s and Men’s Conversational Styles Affect Who Gets Heard (1994), The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to Dialogue(1998), and I Only Say This Because I Love You (2001). In an essay from the book, The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to Dialouge, Tannen discusses the controversy in the world when it comes to communication. Tannen focuses this essay on the way that society has used adversarial debates to create problems with communication. Tannen writes about how we think of arguments at “war or a fight” (Tannen, 404). Tannen believes that “we would be much more successful if we didn’t always think of argument as a war or a fight but as a dialogue among a variety of different positions.” (403). She also explains how high tech communication has affected the way society communicates and is pulling us apart. This rhetorical analysis will discuss Deborah Tannen’s ideas and how she was trying to make the society view all sides of this problem, and why we as a society need to work on changing our ways to make the future better.

Tannen begins this essay with questioning “noble American traditions” (403). This is where attention is grabbed and makes you want to read more about what traditions are in question. This is a formal essay that brings up many situations in everyday life that really makes you stop and think about this problem. In the beginning of one paragraph she states “More and more, our public interactions have become more like arguing with a spouse” (404). This brings...

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