The Critique of Vernacular Discourse
Sloop, John M., 1963-
Ono, Kent A., 1964-
Critical rhetoricians should, by criticizing vernacular discourse, follow the path of those who have discussed the rhetoric of the oppressed. The critique of powerful discourse has broad "historical" impact and therefore has been the primary mode of critique within rhetorical criticism. In addition to the critique of widely disseminated texts, critics should examine texts that profoundly influence vernacular communities and communitas. We conceptualize how a study of vernacular discourse could be carried out by defining vernacular, describing the critique of vernacular discourse, explaining the purpose of such criticism, and illustrating our approach through a brief study of one example of vernacular discourse: World War II representations of women in the Pacific Citizen, a Japanese American newspaper.