Rogerian Argument and a Clenched Fist

So some colleagues of mine are working on a custom reader (a textbook for students that’s full of readings) for Composition 2 at my university.  This class has a focus on argument through three writing projects:

  1. An introduction to Aristotelian and the Toulmin Model of argument
  2. An introduction to Rogerian argument
  3. A social action project, in which the students make arguments for social change and actually enact their proposition in some way

There’s been a bit of disagreement about the cover for the book.  Here’s the proposed cover:

This clearly fits well as an introduction to visual rhetoric and social action, but the disagreement has stemmed from the Rogerian aspect of the course, which is definitely going to receive a good bit of focus in the course.

The question, then: in what ways (if at all) can this image demonstrate visually aspects of Rogerian argument, which emphasizes finding common ground and admitting the good things about your opponent’s point of view?  I think it probably can, but I’d like to hear some interpretations to help me see it.

(Personally, I love the image, and I think it fits well enough with the course theme to be a keeper–although I admit that I’d like to be convinced still about how/if it fits with the Rogerian aspect.)

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1 Comment

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One response to “Rogerian Argument and a Clenched Fist

  1. Myra Lee

    Dear Friend,

    Honestly, I’m not a fan of the image. It reminds me of the afro hair picks that were cool in the 70s. It’s already been done. With that said, I did proceeded to find reasons why the image can be used for the Rogerian argument (since you seem to love it). This is what I came up with.

    1. It is common for all to make a fist when confronted with a fight. Although, our reasons for the fight may differ.

    2. Your skin color may be different, but our pursuit of justice is the same.

    3. We agree as a people to do nothing does not solve the problem.

    4. We also agree that despite our differences we are stronger when we fight together.

    5. We admit that our common interest gives us something to share with one another but, our differences challenge us beyond our comfort zone.

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