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‘The Piety of Degradation’: Kenneth Burke, the Bureau of Social Hygiene, and Permanence and Change


Jordynn Jack


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2004

Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 90, No. 4, pp. 446-468, 2004

Abstract:     
Kenneth Burke’s employment with the Bureau of Social Hygiene informed his rhetorical theory in the 1930s. Between 1926 and 1930, Burke researched criminology and drug addiction and ghostwrote a book for Colonel Arthur Woods, Dangerous Drugs. An investigation of archives indicates that this research left its mark on Burke’s Permanence and Change (1935): in particular, Burke’s concept of piety can be understood better in relation to the Bureau of Social Hygiene. An account of Burke’s criminological research shows that piety, as a rhetorical concept, involves both embodied and discursive acts. Because it involves mental and affective factors, piety forms the basis for metabiology.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Kenneth Burke, rhetoric, rhetorical theory, identification, piety, metabiology

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Date posted: May 19, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Jack, Jordynn, ‘The Piety of Degradation’: Kenneth Burke, the Bureau of Social Hygiene, and Permanence and Change (2004). Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 90, No. 4, pp. 446-468, 2004. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1525986 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1525986

Contact Information

Jordynn Jack (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.jordynnjack.com
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