After a visit to a political debate in the Western Han, probably the most striking revelation is that public debate is not the sole property of the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition. Some assert that ancient Greeks favored argumentation because they valued individualism and competiveness, whereas non-Western cultures used rhetoric for the purposes of agreement, reconciliation, and emotionalism (Becker; Kennedy 197-99). Others have described modern Chinese as habitually trying to avoid confrontation and being indirect when ED Hardy Hoodies expressing themselves; and they have attributed these characteristics to the lack of an argumentative tradition in China.
The stereotypical view of the non-argumentative Chinese, in part derived from the West’s ignorance of the East, has perpetuated Orientalism in communication and composition studies. My analysis of the debate on salt and iron has revealed the complexities of the Chinese argumentative tradition. In fact, argumentation is a viable mode of communication between modern citizens East and West. To better use this mode, we need to understand more about the argumentative tradition in non-Western cultures. This ancient debate also bears direct implications for communication and globalization. Contemporary globalization can be understood in ways that are comparable to the situation of China during the period of the salt and iron debate a large territory, somewhat heterogeneous, defined by a number of different rhetorical schools representing competing interests of different groups. While both the pro-Legalists and the Confucians used hybrid rhetorical styles, the pro-Legalists used rhetoric only in support of conservative legal practices. They were more authoritarian in their rhetorical practices.
The Confucians, on the other hand, used hybrid styles to rhetorically disarm and reconstruct power in some way, and thus remained more in touch with history, context, customs, and the masses. Their critical voices brought the attention of Ed Hardy Clothing those in powers to the interests of the Other not only the interests of the disenfranchised merchants, landlords, peasants, and recently annexed ethnic groups inside the empire, but also the interests of people beyond the empire, like the Xiongnu. In the age of globalization, rhetoric offers the marginalized other, through critical reflections like those of the Confucian debaters, opportunities to speak to and against the privileged.
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