Argument and rhetoric

Most social activity involves discussion and argument in some form, often with the aim of persuading people towards some opinion or course of action. Considering how widespread practices of arguing are, they are remarkably under-represented in analyses in the human sciences. The works below attempt to redress this lack by examining a wide range of situations in which people use argument and styles of persuasion. Evidently, research into the topic requires familiarity not just with language, but with how verbal, aural and visual styles and idioms are used in different social contexts. So these studies draw on Balinese materials with which I am familiar. As the topic of non-Western rhetorical practices is beyond the remit of most academic journals, I have preferred in most instances to make the materials available online.

Apart from the sources below, the theme of argument and rhetorical styles in Indonesia is explored in a series of papers on the theme of How Indonesians ArgueAlthough the materials presented address Indonesia specifically, the approaches and arguments are easily adaptable to other societies.

2019.  How South East Asians argue. Keynote address to 14th. Graduate Forum, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Lecture video: Part 1; Part 2.

2019.  How Balinese argueJurnal kajian Bali (Journal of Balinese studies) 9, 1: 1-34.

2017.  It’s fine to pull his head off… (final version)Murder is fine (conference paper)EuroSEAS 2017 Conference, University of Oxford.

2016. Of Popes and soaps: on argument, authority and audiences. Second Symposium on How Indonesians Argue, Oxfordshire July 2016.

2016. Talking to God: on argument, agency and articulation in Bali. Second Symposium on How Indonesians Argue, Oxfordshire July 2016.

2015. Beyond words: some thoughts on how Balinese argueFirst Symposium on How Indonesians Argue, Oxfordshire July 2015.

2015. How Indonesians argue: background paper. First Symposium on How Indonesians Argue, Oxfordshire July 2015.

2015. Beyond the Whorfs of Dover: a study of Balinese interpretive practicesHeidelberg ethnology. Occasional paper. 

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