Miriam Louise Olver

Negotiation of difference, context, and audience: A case study of a Haitian-American young adult’s written and oral strategy

Miriam Louise Olver

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 1999 pp: 116
  • Advisor: Silva, Tony; Lauer, Janice
  • Source: DAI-A 60/11, p. 3842, May 2000
  • Subjects: Speech Communication (0459); Sociology, Ethnic And Racial Studies (0631)
  • ProQuest Document Number:
  • ISBN: 0-599-53827-9
  • UMI Number: AAT 9952154

Abstract:

    The purpose of the present study is to examine how the rhetorical strategy of negotiation is used in the discourse of a Haitian American young adult who immigrated to the United States as a child. After forging a definition of negotiation as a rhetorical activity, samples of his discourse, including an oral fund-raising presentation and a 90-page written thesis, were examined for evidences of the categories of negotiation elements in the definition. Evidences of three basic categories as stipulated in the definition were located in the discourse samples, both written and oral: focus, statement, adjustment. While the evidence of a fourth category, outcome, is somewhat conflicted, there were clear evidences of several other categories which were found in either written or oral discourse but not both. The conclusion is that negotiation as a rhetorical strategy does exist, its elements can be identified and shared, and through the strategy of negotiation writers, speakers, and audiences can come to mutually satisfying understandings in many kinds of rhetorical situations, but especially when conditions (i.e. social or political) are less than ideal.