Articulating rhetorical field methods: Challenges and tensions

Michael K. Middleton, Samantha Senda-Cook, Danielle Endres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Critical rhetoricians are increasingly adopting in situ rhetorical methods such as participant observation at protests, consumer sites, and memorials. Despite their value, the ad hoc development of central methodological and analytic commitments of such approaches is cause for concern. In this essay, we synthesize these efforts to name a methodological approach-rhetorical field methods-for analyzing everyday rhetorical experience and articulate the commitments and concerns that motivate this approach, thus creating a focus for debate about in situ rhetorical study. We elaborate on three commitments, articulate some critical problematics, and identify heuristic questions and possibilities of this approach. We conclude by discussing rhetorical field methods' contributions to intradisciplinary communication research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-406
Number of pages21
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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