Invitational Rhetoric


Invitational Rhetoric

“The rhetorics of conquest, conversion, and advice all involve the intent of the rhetor to change the behavior and perspectives of others.... We have chose to label this rhetoric invitational because it assumes the form of an offering, an opening, or an availability, and not an insistence. ...The primary and distinguishing feature of invitational rhetoric

is a decision by the rhetor to eschew the intent to persuade”

~Foss and Griffin, 1993

Invitational rhetoric invites, rather than commands, our attention. Proposed as an alternative to argument, Foss and Foss and Griffin suggest that by choosing argument, we shift our attention and our power away from ourselves and our choices, thereby providing others with power over us. Buy into our argument if you will and contribute to our power; disagree and we lose political capital.

“Lack of acknowledgement of feminism’s successes, then, often means we select objectives and employ strategies that no longer seem to be be appropriate responses to the current rhetorical situation.” Foss and Foss, 2009, p.43

“We propose two primary criteria for judging the effectiveness of interpretation-based rhetorical strategies. The first is to ask the question: “Am I creating the world in which I want to be living?” Another way to think about this criterion is: “Does the communication in which I am engaged move me closer to the kind of world in which I wan to live?” If the answer to these questions is “no,” we try to stop what we are doing and do something else--something that does have the capacity to create the world we desire.” Foss and Foss 2009, p. 53

Go back                                                                                            Go on to Cloudy