Identifying and Mapping Issues, Theories, & Research in Asian/American Rhetoric(s): An Annotated Bibliography

Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie: The Making of Chinese American Rhetoric

Posted in Asian American Rhetoric(s) by Jennifer Sano-Franchini on May 7, 2009

Mao, LuMing. Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie: The Making of Chinese American Rhetoric. Logan: Utah State UP, 2006.

Defining rhetoric as “the systematic, organized use and study of discourse and discourse strategies in interpersonal, intercultural contexts, reflecting and reinforcing rhetoricians’ own ideology, their own norms of discourse production and discourse consumption, and their ability to persuade, to adjust, and to realign” (13), Mao takes a cross-cultural approach to rhetoric, acknowledging that “The process of differentiation, unfortunately, is never an innocent one: it always embeds a likely risk of differentiating one tradition according to or in relation to the norm of some other tradition” (13), but also explaining that “to study another rhetorical tradition for comparison or for understanding, we must start somewhere. More often than not, we begin with principles or concepts that are most familiar to our own sensibilities and to our own common sense” (89). Drawing on the work of Ien Ang, Mao focuses particularly on the notions of hybridity, “togetherness-in-difference,” and “process of becoming” as central to Asian American rhetoric.

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