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The Rhetorical Functions of Consciousness-Raising in Third Wave Feminism
Communication Studies (2004)
  • Stacey K Sowards, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Valerie R Renegar, San Diego State University

The rhetorical practice of consciousness-raising has changed since communication theorists first began to apply its Junctions and style, as a small group, face-to-face practice, in the early 1970s. In this essay, we argue that in feminist activism and theory, the practice of consciousness-raising has evolved in response to shifting cultural conditions. Our examination of consciousness-raising rhetoric produced by self-labeled "third wave" feminists reveals how contemporary social contexts have generated d0erent rhetorical problems and discursive responses for feminists. Specifically, we show how third wave feminist consciousness- raising instills a critical perspective that focuses on personal and social injustices. We argue that these rhetorical responses raise consciousness in the public sphere, through mass media, popular culture, and college classrooms, fostering both public and private dialogue about gender inequities that aims at self-persuasion.

Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Citation Information
Stacey K Sowards and Valerie R Renegar. "The Rhetorical Functions of Consciousness-Raising in Third Wave Feminism" Communication Studies (2004)
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