Reading Report (week 3) – Power of Words

Question: ” Why did rhetoric and competition seem to go together so well?”

Upon finishing Hutcheon’s paper, I had come across something that is equally as or even more terrifying as physical competition, and that is (some of you would have guessed) – competition with words, or can be tactfully called rhetoric. As a person who is born in a relatively peaceful time and place, I don’t need to worry about some rather unlikely form of competition such as military conflict, where someone who was born eighty- something years ago would have. However, as a first year university student who is going to study for at least four years, I am readily surrounded with discussion, writing in an academic setting, which according to Hutcheon, is currently a quite a “wolfish” place to be.

As many of you would recall from Bateson’s paper, which was read a week earlier, competition is associated with slowing us from solving global issue and we need to accept cooperation to avoid disaster. Hutcheon brings this closer to our life (assuming if you are my fellow classmate, or Mr. Schandorf). Hutcheon provides us with a perfectly relatable example of competition. He suggeste that “Opposition defined social interaction in academy” and this kind of “disputation” (in other words argument) is destructive. Hutcheon work can be seen as a very well support along with Bateson’s argument to have a more interdependent community by voicing a dissatisfaction in the current learning environment. Though it is point out in both paper we can see a battle for personal gain exist in both academic level and cooperate level.

After reading the paper, I feel like some people might be instilled with a rather negative view to critique and rhetoric in academic field, as my question on top suggested. From Hutcheon’s point of view, by no means critique or rhetoric is wrong, the author simply want us to consider the benefit of the existence of diversity, and thus return “agon” as a gathering place instead of contest and conflict.

After reading the paper, I feel like some people might be instilled with a rather negative view to critique and rhetoric in academic field, as my question on top suggested. From Hutcheon’s point of view, by no means critique or rhetoric is wrong, the author simply want us to consider the benefit of the existence of diversity, and thus return “agon” as a gathering place instead of contest and conflict.

If any of you find this post interesting, then I suggest looking up on Alex’s post on Competition is All About Perception (https://mschandorf.ca/2019/01/14/competition-is-all-about-perception/). There he would explore a certain question that I, or even of you might arise after reading both paper, about the fact that the negative intonation of competition that is suggest by both author – might very much be something originated from our conscious.

Image Source: https://steemit.com/etymology/@cryptogee/changing-the-mind-with-the-power-of-words

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