Persuasion in society

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Sage Publications, May 17, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 414 pages
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". . . my most basic convictions are that persuasion is about winning beliefs, not arguments; that communicators who seek to win belief need to communicate with their audiences, not at them; and that persuasion at its best is a matter of giving and not just getting -- of moving toward persuadees psychologically, recognizing that they are most likely to give you what you want if you can show them that what you propose also gives them what they want. This is the essence of my coactive approach to persuasion."

                                                                                                  --From the Preface

"Rich in insight and compelling illustration, Simons's book is both a provocative guide to those who confront problems amenable to persuasion and a theoretically powerful template for scholars and students intent on making sense of the world of argument and influence."  

--Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dean Of The Annenberg School For Communication, University Of Pennsylvania

"For a number of years, Herb Simons has been one of rhetoric's most original thinkers and wittiest practitioners. Students and teachers will welcome his new textbook Persuasion in Society. Simons has provided an important and entertaining introduction to one of the key topics of our age."

                                                                  --Michael Billig, Loughborough University

"Simons et al. has produced one of the most clearly written works on this topic to be found anywhere. Although written as a text for students taking a first course in persuasion, a purpose it serves admirably, this book will also be an engaging introduction to the topic for almost any reader. Among the covered topics are the psychology of persuasion, reasoning and evidence, political campaigns, product advertising, social movements, and ethics. All of these are treated from a perspective that makes them unusually accessible. The reviewer cannot imagine a more clearly presented overview of the subject -- the ways in which it is studied and the ways in which it matters."

                                                                                     --CHOICE, January 2002

Written by respected author Herbert Simons, Persuasion in Society is an integrative guidebook to understanding, practicing, and analyzing persuasion. This text expertly combines contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism with social scientific theory and research to help readers practice more effective persuasion.

Features of the text:

• Provides a dual perspective, that of the persuadee and the persuader
• Places ethical issues front and center
• Incorporates Simons's coactive approach to persuasion
• Translates theory into practical application
• Teaches by example with stories and visuals

Keeping abreast of the field, this book includes chapters outlining the ideology of advertising and television and provides case studies to draw students into the ethical dimensions of persuasion. Students will improve their capacity to analyze critical messages and gain a better understanding of persuasion and its psychological dynamics.

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Understanding Persuasion
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About the author (2001)

Herbert W. Simons is professor of rhetoric and communication at Temple University. He is the author of "Persuasion: Understanding, Practice, and Analysis" and the editor of numerous books, including "Rhetoric in the Human Sciences and The Legacy of Kenneth Burke,"

Joanne Morreale is associate professor in the communications studies department at Northeastern University

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