Persuasion in Society: Second Edition

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Taylor & Francis, Apr 20, 2011 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 584 pages
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Persuasion in Society introduces readers to the rich tapestry of persuasive technique and scholarship, interweaving rhetorical, critical theory, and social science traditions. This text examines current and classical theory through the lens of contemporary culture, encouraging readers to explore the nature of persuasion and to understand its impact in their lives. Employing a contemporary approach, authors Herbert W. Simons and Jean G. Jones draw from popular culture, mass media, and social media to help readers become informed creators and consumers of persuasive messages.

This introductory persuasion text offers:

  • A broad-based approach to the scope of persuasion, expanding students’ understanding of what persuasion is and how it is effected

  • Insights on the diversity of persuasion in action, through such contexts as advertising, marketing, political campaigns, activism and social movements, and negotiation in social conflicts
  • The inclusion of "sender" and "receiver" perspectives, enhancing understanding of persuasion in practice
  • Extended treatment of the ethics of persuasion, featuring opposing views on handling controversial issues in the college classroom for enhanced instruction.
  • Case studies showing how and why people fall for persuasive messages, demonstrating how persuasion works at a cognitive level

Highlights of this second edition include:

    • An extensively revised approach, written with the needs of today’s undergraduate students in mind
    • Contemporary examples, selected for relevance, currency, and appeal
    • Updated discussions of theory and research, including cognitive psychology and neuroscience
    • Current illustrations from advertising, politics, social movements, propaganda, and other sources.

To reinforce the topics covered in each chapter, discussion questions, exercises, and key terms are included. Additional resources are available on the Companion Website (, along with materials for instructors, including supplements for lectures and sample exam questions.


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Chater 1 The Study of Persuasion
Basic Concepts and Principles
Chapter 3 Persuasion Broadly Considered
The Coactive Approach
Chapter 4 Coactive Persuasion
Chapter 5 Resources of Communication
Chapter 6 Framing and Reframing
Chapter 7 Cognitive Shorthands
Delivering a Presentation That Persuades
Chapter 10 Persuasive Campaigns
Chapter 11 Staging Political Campaigns
Chapter 12 Analyzing Product Advertising
Persuasion in Social Conflicts
Chapter 14 Leading Social Movements
Chapter 15 More About Ethics

Chapter 8 Reasoning and Evidence
Contexs for Persuasion

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About the author (2011)

Herbert W. Simons taught persuasion and related topics in communication at Temple University from 1960 until his retirement in 2007. He has served as Director of the National Communication Association Forum (NCA-F) and is currently on its Advisory Board. Recipient of the National Communication Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award, he has authored or edited eight books. A frequent media commentator, visiting professor, and guest lecturer, he directed Temple’s London Study Abroad program, lectured at Peking University and at other institutions in China, and served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Hong Kong and Jakarta.

Jean G. Jones is professor of communication at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and has over two decades' experience studying, teaching, and writing about rhetoric and persuasion. Named Edinboro University's "Educator of the Year" in 2006, Jones also has an active life in politics, having run for office and served on her city council. Jones currently serves as president of her local faculty union, where she puts her persuasive skills into practice at the negotiations table, bargaining on behalf of the hundreds of professors and coaches she is elected to represent.

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