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Title: Indian independence movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the U.S.A. civil rights movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Title: Indian independence movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the U.S.A. civil rights movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Nimocks, Mittie Jo Ann, 1957-
Copyright Date: 1986
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Full Text







Copyright 1986


Mittie Jo Ann Nimocks

I dedicate this dissertation to
Cordelia Jones Nimocks
Frances Lane Nimocks
Robert Franklin Nimocks, II

This dubious honor is bestowed with
all the love and appreciation I can express,
for their cheerful, patient and generous acceptance
of numerous,
extra years of parenting
to get the last one launched


I suspect that it is rarely if ever that a dissertation

is truly the product of a single individual's efforts. It

is certainly not so for this one, and so I would like to

acknowledge and offer a special note of thanks to those who

made the completion of this dissertation possible for me.

First of all, there are no words that can adequately

express not only my gratitude but my respect and admiration

for Dr. Donald E. Williams, who served as chair of my

committee until he left to fill a Fulbright Professorship in

Zimbabwe. Not only did he give skilled guidance for my

research, but he gave willingly of his much-demanded time to

enable me to complete most of my work before his departure.

His enthusiasm, professionalism, and understanding, as well

as his expertise, form a model of a university scholar and

educator that I gratefully carry with me as I begin my own


I also want to express my appreciation to Dr. Norman N.

Markel who graciously stepped in as cochairman of my commit-

tee. His time and advice were of incalculable value, and

his enthusiastic interest in my study was an endless source

of motivation. For conquering my statistic-phobia, he has

my unflagging wonder as well as gratitude!


The course in general semantics I took under

Dr. Anthony Clark provided information that stimulated my

thoughts more than any one course in my academic career.

It, in fact, provided the basis for the theoretical portions

of this study. Dr. Gene Thursby introduced me to the

philosophies of Gandhi's India (not to mention "A Prairie

Home Companion"!). His thoughtful suggestions and friendly

words of encouragement could always be counted on. Dr.

Joseph Vandiver also graciously stepped in at the last

moment to make available his knowledge of sociology and

social movements as a resource for this study.

I also want to pay special thanks to two professors who

were not on my committee but who were still most instructive

in the development of my study; they are Dr. Maxine Thompson

and Dr. Lynne Webb.

Thanks go to my typist, Barbara Smerage, whose profes-

sionalism and ingenuity made her a pleasure to work with.

Thanks are also due my cocoders, Annie FitzSimons,

Anita Raghaven, Sylvia Oosterhoff, and Lorin Mullins for

their time, conscientiousness, and interest.

My acknowledgments would never be complete without my

thanking those friends who through their time, hospitality,

and emotional support were as instrumental in the completion

of this document as those who helped in the actual writing.

I extend thanks to Mary and Ted Landsman for providing my

home away from home; to Fred Zendt for his "southern"

hospitality which mitigated the expense of trips to the

M.L. King Center in Atlanta; to Martin de Wet for introduc-

ing me to the wonderful world of word processing and for

many hours of typing so generously given; to my roommate,

Susan Roxbury, who helped make our apartment a quiet and

congenial escape from academic pressures; to Bill "Chief"

Wallace who gave me the best advice I received ("Don't worry

about it; just write it!"); to Jim Flynn who went to great

lengths to keep me smiling ("dammit!"); to Laurie Weiman for

being so "heroic" (Boy, have you got 'em all fooled!);

and to Amanda Jamison who is certain to want to keep this

document so that she can sell it with my other personal

correspondence once I am rich and famous.

Finally, I would like to thank all of my family for

their continuing interest and encouragement. My greatest

thanks go to Mother, Dad, and Aunt Frances, for reasons so

numerous they could comprise another dissertation! To them,

I can only say "Thanks for everything!"



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................... ... iv

LIST OF TABLES........................................ x

LIST OF FIGURES....................................... xi

ABSTRACT.............................................. xv


MOVEMENTS................................... 1

Introduction................................. 1
The Question ................................ 18
Review of Existing Research................. 22
Rhetorical Studies in Intercultural
Communication........ .................. 22
Indian Independence and Civil Rights
Movements Research..................... 27
Rhetorical Studies about King and Gandhi. 30
Research on the Use of Nonviolence as a
Persuasive Device...................... 42
Movement Studies.......................... 49
Methodology for the Present Study........... 59

MOVEMENTS................................... 63

Major Propositions of NVET.................. 75
Operational Linkages........................ 82
Objective Material Conditions............ 83
Rhetorical Discourse..................... 98
Ideologies ............................... 108


EFFICACY THEORY APPLIED..................... 117

Variables Affecting the Movement's
Potential for Power.................... 118
Level of Exposure (to Movement
Rhetoric)............................... 119
Level of Identification (of Followers
with Movement)........... ............. 128
Level of Unity (among Followers).......... 141
Level of Motivation (among Followers).... 145
Extent of Economic and Political
Influence (of the Movement)............ 151
Level of Potential Physical Power......... 158
Degree of Credibility.................... 160
Level of Power (of Movement)............. 162
The Level of Persuasibility of the
Opposition to Movement Rhetoric......... 165
The Level of Socio-Psychological
Importance ............................. 165
Level of Economic/Political Importance... 171
The Level of Persuasibility.............. 173
Variables Influencing the Potential Efficacy
of Nonviolence...... ................... 176
Level of Cultural Preference for
Nonviolence ............................ 176
Level of Violent Reaction................ 178
Extent of Modification................... 182
Strength of the Rhetorical Vision......... 185
Degree of Possible Rejection............. 188
Degree of Efficacy........................ 189
Variables Affecting the Extent of Change.... 190
The Level of Disequilibrium.............. 191
The Extent of Change in Attitudes and
Policies. .............................. 191
Extent of Restoration of Equilibrium..... 193
Synthesis................................... 194

AND KING. ................................... 200

Procedure................................... 203
Selection of Speeches.................... 203
Description of Content Measures.......... 206
Word count measures................... 206
Content analysis measures............. 207
Reliability of Measure................... 209


Method to Determine Differences Between
Speakers............................ 211
Results.................................. 212
Results of word count measures......... 213
Results of content analysis measures.. 214
Method to Determine Differences Among
Speeches of One Speaker........... 215
Methodology............................. 215
Results of Friedman two-way analysis.. 217
Discussion.................................. 227


Nonviolent Efficacy Theory Analysis......... 228
Psycholinguistic Analysis................... 229
Research Limitations........................ 230
Suggestions for Further Research............ 231


A CODER'S PROTOCOL ............................. 234

B WORKSHEETS FOR CODERS....................... 252

CONTENT ANALYSIS MEASURES................... 261

MEASURES... ................................. 296

ANALYSIS MEASURES........................... 298

REFERENCES............................................ 300

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.................................. 307


Table Page

4.1 Intercoder Reliability for Each
Measure.................................... 210

4.2 Score for Mann-Whitney U-Test............. 213

4.3 Scores for Friedman Analysis.............. 217

4.4 King's Scores on the Flesch Human
Interest Score.............................. 218

4.5 Gandhi's Scores on the Anxiety Scale...... 220

4.6 Gandhi's Scores for the Attitude Toward
Self Scale................................. 221

4.7 Results of Mann-Whitney U-test Applied to
Find Differences in Gandhi's Speaking
Style According to Audience's Racial
Composition............................... 224

4.8 Results of Mann-Whitney U-test Applied
to Find Differences in King's Speaking
Style According to Audience's Racial
Composition ................................ 224


Figure Page

2.1 Four stages of change in the opposition's
vision of social reality................... 77

2.2 Theoretical path model for NVET. (Lucas'
Vital Force #3; ideologies of those
involved is present throughout the model.). 80

2.3 The greater the Degree of Exposure to the
movement's rhetoric, the greater the Level
of Persuasibility (of the opposition) to a
critical point of saturation at which the
Level of Persuasibility lessens............. 85

2.4 The greater the Degree of Exposure to
the movement's rhetoric, the higher the
possible Level of Identification with the
movement will be until the Degree of
Exposure reaches a critical point of
saturation at which the Level of
Identification lessens slightly and
levels off.................................. 85

2.5 As the Degree of Identification (with the
movement by followers) increases, the
Level of Unity (among factions) increases.. 88

2.6 As the Degree of Identification (with the
movement by followers) increases, the
Level of Motivation (among followers)
increases ................................... 88

2.7 As the Level of Follower Unity increases,
the Extent of Power (of the movement)
increases steadily until it reaches a
critical point at which the Level of Unity
increases incrementally................... 90

2.8 As the Level of Motivation increases, the
Extent of Power (of the movement) increases
steadily until it reaches a critical point
at which the Extent of Power increases
incrementally.............................. 90

2.9 As the Extent of Economic and Political
Influence (of the movement) increases, the
Level of Power (of the movement) increases
until it reaches a critical point at which
the movement is so powerful that no
"movement" is necessary--change can occur
on demand................................... 93

2.10 As the Extent of Physical Strength (of
movement followers) increases, the Level of
Power (of the movement) increases to a
critical point at which a "movement" is
not necessary............... ................ 93

2.11 As the Degree of Credibility (of the
Higher Authority) increases, the Level
of Power (of the movement) increases........ 96

2.12 As the Degree of Credibility (of the
Higher Authority) increases, the Level of
Persuasibility increases................... 96

2.13 As the Level of Sociopsychological
Importance (of the opposition's original
social reality) increases, the Level of
Persuasibility (of the opposition)
decreases............................ ......... 99

2.14 As the Level of Economic/Political
Importance (of the opposition's original
social reality) increases, the Level of
Persuasibility (of the audience)
decreases.................................. 99

2.15 As the Level of Power (of the movement)
increases, the Degree of Efficacy (of
nonviolent symbolic action plus rhetoric)
increases incrementally.................... 103

2.16 As the Level of Persuasibility (of the
opposition) increases, the Degree of
Efficacy (of nonviolent symbolic action
plus rhetoric) increases incrementally..... 103


2.17 As the Level of Cultural Preference (for
nonviolence) increases, the Degreea of
Efficacy (of nonviolent symbolic action)
increases. ................................ 105

2.18 As the Degree of Violent Reaction (evoked
in the opposition by the movement)
increases, the Level of Efficacy
increases. ................................ 107

2.19 As the Degree of Violent Reaction (evoked
in the opposition by the movement)
increases, the Extent of Modification (of
the rheteorical vision by the opposition)
decreases ................................... 107

2.20 As the Extent of Modification (of the
rhetorical vision by the movement)
increases, the Degree of Efficacy
decreases.................................. 107

2.21 As the Degree to which Verbal Rhetoric
embodies commonly held ideological myths
increases, the Degree of Efficacy
increases incrementally.................... 110

2.22 As the Degree to which Verbal Rhetoric
embodies commonly held ideological myths
increases, the Extent to which the
Opposition may Reject or ignore the
rhetoric decreases incrementally........... 110

2.23 As the Extent to which the Opposition may
Reject or ignore rhetoric increases, the
Degree of Efficacy (of nonviolent symbolic
action) decreases incrementally............ 110

2.24 As the Degree of Efficacy of nonviolent
symbolic action plus rhetoric) increases,
the Level of Disequilibrium (in the
opposition) increases...................... 112

2.25 As the Level of Disequilibrium increases,
the Extent of Change in attitudes and
policies of the larger society increases to
a point at which it levels off. As it
reaches another critical point, disequi-
librium becomes so great that change is
again required.... ........................ 112


2.26 As the Extent of Change in attitudes and
policies increases, the Extent of
Restoration of Equilibrium increases to a
critical point at which the opposition
feels enough change has been made, at a
second critical point so much change
has caused the opposition to feel good
and generous................................ 112


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Mittie Jo Ann Nimocks

May, 1986

Chairman: Norman N. Markel
Cochairman: Donald E. Williams
Major Department: Speech

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy

of nonviolent direct action in effecting social change. The

Nonviolent Efficacy Theory (NVET) was developed to describe

major variables interacting to influence the success or

failure of nonviolent social movements. The theory suggests

the manner in which these variables interact and offers a

method by which to estimate effectiveness or potential

effectiveness of nonviolence used in historical,

contemporary, or future movements. Two successful 20th

Century movements, the Indian Independence Movement under

the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the U.S.A. Civil

Rights Movement under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther


King, Jr., were analyzed using NVET to ascertain which

variables existing in and around these movements were not

essential for the successful utilization of nonviolence.

The salient variables of leader's style and personality as

revealed through language were analyzed using nine psycho-

linguistic measures. Word count measures used included word

and sentence counts, Type-Token Ratio, Adjective-Verb

Quotient, and Flesch Human Interest Score.

The content analysis measures used included

Discomfort-Relief Quotient, Gottschalk-Gleser Anxiety Scale,

and Markel's Social Orientation Scales adapted from

Gottschalk. The author's hypotheses that a culture's

preference for nonviolence and appeals to higher authori-

ties, standards, and concepts common to the movement and its

opposition are the two most important factors to a success-

ful movement were neither proven nor disproven. However,

results indicate that high levels of political, economic, or

physical power are not essential to a movement's success.

Results of content analyses reveal no significant stylistic

differences between King and Gandhi. However, results show

that Gandhi experienced a significantly higher level of

speaker discomfort and King demonstrated a significantly

higher level of positive attitudes toward self and others.

Complete descriptions of each word count and content analy-

sis with coder's protocol and examples of coded speech

segments are included for easy reference to methodology.





In his work Essays in Sociology (1946), German soci-

ologist Max Weber discusses the structure of human society,

the ways in which this structure is stratified, and for what

reasons. He discusses intergroup conflict within society

and the causes of such conflict, identifying the major cause

as disagreement over the distribution of three areas of

societal rewards: class, status, and power.

The rewards of class are primarily economic: one's

income, property, and material possessions. The opportuni-

ties to attain wealth such as proper education and entrance

into lucrative occupations are also rewards of class.

Status rewards are given by society through rituals,

formalities, norms of politeness and etiquette, and forms of

address which bestow honor, respect, or prestige on an

individual or group. Power rewards are access to political

office and influence in the society's decision-making


Intergroup conflict occurs in a society when one group

feels that it is not getting its due share of one or more of

these rewards. Such distinctions may be the result of

racism. The term "race" in this study will be used to

refer to a social definition based on perceived physical

differences deemed significant by a society (Gordon, 1964;

Marx, 1971). "Racism," then, is the uncritical acceptance

of negative social definitions of a group identified as a

race on the basis of such perceived significant physical

differences (Gordon, 1964; Marx, 1971). A study of Indian

society during its years as a British colony reveals such

disparity in the distribution of rewards of class, status,

and power between the native people and the alien rulers;

this disparity led to the Indian Movement for Home Rule.

A nation rich in natural and human creative resources,

India is also a nation with a history of invasions by

foreign warriors and merchants interested in enriching

themselves and their homelands with the endowments of this

mystic land--its mineral and agricultural wealth, its

beautiful and unusual crafts, and its strange and intriguing

ideas. Near the beginning of the 17th century, Great

Britain joined the ranks of Indian invaders with a plan to

exploit India's commercial potentials. The East India

Company was founded expressly for the exportation and sale

of Indian spices, drugs, cotton, sugar, and crafts. Slowly

but surely as the British Empire expanded in other parts of

the world so did its control of India. Frequently, this

expansion was made possible by less than respectable means

through the making and breaking of agreements with leaders

of the various and constantly warring states within India.

Britain would promise to aid the cause of the prince or

sovereign of one Indian province in return for land and

privileges but would take that land and those privileges and

forget the promise to the giver. It was in this way that by

the 1700s Great Britain had gained control of India's gov-

ernment completely, ruling it either directly through

appointed British governors or indirectly through Hindu

maharaja and Moslem nawab puppets.

With the dawning of the Industrial Revolution,

Britain's import of Indian goods waned as the export of its

own manufactured goods increased. India's industries sagged

under this loss of trade, and quickly the nation regressed

to a purely agrarian state that was neither fertile enough

nor sophisticated enough to supply the already huge and

growing Indian population.

Embittered by a history of exploitation, incensed by

discriminatory British laws and taxes, and driven by poverty

and hunger, Indians waged a major spontaneous and disorgan-

ized military uprising against its oppressive foreign

rulers. Many insults were experienced by the Indian popula-

tion but the catalyst to this 1857 "Sepoy Uprising" was, to

the British, the oversight of seemingly unfounded supersti-

tious beliefs. To the Indians it was an insensitive and

blasphemous disregard on the part of the British of

traditional Hindu and Moslem law. British-made cartridges

were newly distributed among the Indian-populated British

military units; the cartridges, which had to be bitten

before loading, were greased with cow or pig fat, an element

considered untouchable or unclean to Hindus and Moslems,

respectively. During the uprising, one Indian regiment

did manage to seize Delhi through much killing and vandal-

ism. Yet the fury of the rebellion did not make up for the

lack of cohesion and planning among Indian forces, and the

British were able completely to suppress the uprising within

but a matter of months.

However, the Sepoy Mutiny did cause a few minor

improvements in conditions and attitudes in India. British

rulers became more conscientious about their public trust,

improving living conditions and communication and transpor-

tation systems. British officials of this time period quite

commonly had lived most of their lives in this mysterious

and beautiful colony and considered it, much more than

England, as "home."

Britain postured as the benevolent but temporary gov-

erning power, "parenting" India until the time India was

capable of self-rule. Yet racism, hardly a condition con-

ducive to learning and taking on responsibility, continued

in India against Indians. All things native or Asian were

deemed second-rate by the British elite. In their own land

Indians were subjugated, as all real power to spend taxes,


to appoint leaders, and to decide policy was in the hands of

the British. Also, while India was supposedly gaining

political and economic independence under British tutelage,

its economic and political power was severely restricted

through British law.

In 1888 the Indian National Congress was formed as an

overt step in the direction of India self-governance, but in

reality that Congress was possessed of much ceremony and

little real power. Another organization, intended, in

theory, to train India for self-rule was the Indian Civil

Service. Yet, at no time was this organization comprised of

less than 95% British members. Instead of encouraging

national factions to unite, Britain seemed further to divide

the already splintered population against itself by favoring

first the Hindus then the Moslems as well as dividing the

nation into British India governed by Britain directly and

Native India governed by Britain indirectly through Indian

princes. Such division encouraged feuding among states

which kept India politically weak especially in comparison

to the mighty and united British empire.

Economically, Britain could be expected to do what was

best for England without regard to its "ward," India.

Indian shipping and shipbuilding were officially restricted

so that they would not impinge on demands for British

shipping and shipbuilding. According to Fischer (1950),

Indian historian and biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian


industry and professional services were actively discouraged

through a system of "Education [which] was not designed to

train a technical staff for industry nor a professional

class to serve the country." Thus, dependence on British

talent and know-how was perpetuated rather than mitigated.

Under Weber's heading of rewards of class, great

disparity existed between British and Indians in the amount

of material goods and property owned and in the occupations

and salaries available to each group. The status of Indians

was low. Even members of the highest caste were considered

lower than the British. Field Marshall Lord Roberts, quoted

by Fischer, summed up this prejudice against Indians when he


It is this consciousness of the inherent superi-
ority of the European which has won us India.
However well-educated and clever a native may be
and however brave he may have proved himself, I
believe that no rank which we can bestow upon him
would cause him to be considered an equal by the
British officer. (Roberts, cited in Fischer,
1950, p. 171).

Such attitudes openly expressed, and translated into insti-

tutionalized racism through discriminatory laws and social

practices, made Indian discontent unavoidable and

British-Indian conflict inevitable.

In the midst of such conditions, a young Indian was

born by the name of Mohandas Karmachand Gandhi. Born into a

family of the Vaisya caste, considered of lower status than

the priests and warrior castes, the child Gandhi enjoyed a

happy homelife in a cultured and well-to-do household. The

youngest in the family, he respected his father but was

closest to his mother whom he revered as a near saint.

Although he was not a religious child, he respected his

mother's religious discipline which was to influence his own

religious discipline in later years. At the age of 13 he

was married to the girl, Kasturbai, through the traditional

parentally-arranged marriage of Hindu India, yet he remained

in his father's home and continued school as any other

typical adolescent. As a student, he was unremarkable, but

in high school he took a particular interest in comparative

religion and studied the scriptures of Moslem, Parsi, Jain,

and Buddhist philosophies. In 1888, Gandhi had the oppor-

tunity to travel to London seeking a law degree. He left a

pregnant wife, a small son, many friends, and relatives, but

it was the separation from his mother that most grieved him.

Upon his departure she extracted a promise from him that he

would not fall victim to English temptations of alcohol,

cigars, promiscuous women, and diets including meat.

Young Gandhi proved to be a conscientious student not

only of law but of many other human issues. In London, he

enjoyed the company and friendship of many native English

men and women and soon found himself to be a loyal British

subject much in tune with and enamoured of the "British way

of thinking." He took a particular interest in the study

and discussion of vegetarianism and Christianity. As a

vegetarian in a meat-eating society, Gandhi sought out the

company of other vegetarians and joined a society for vege-

tarianism. With the help of these associations, he was able

to formulate a rationale based on remaining on a meatless

diet for health and humanitarian reasons.

In London, Gandhi continued his explorations in com-

parative theology by studying the New Testament for the

first time at the encouragement of his many new Christian

friends. He was much inspired by many of Christ's teach-

ings, particularly the Beatitudes. Many Christian hymns

remained lifetime favorites. Still, Gandhi was never con-

vinced that Christianity was the one true religion for two

main reasons. One was that Christianity was basically

intolerant of other religions. The second was Gandhi's

observation that Christianity was the only major religion

that did not directly protect the rights of animals.

Three years of study in London changed Gandhi in many

ways. His beliefs about people and life became firm; he was

to remain a convinced vegetarian throughout his life, his

loyalty to England and Queen was unbounded, and his confi-

dence in himself was improved. It was on the crest of this

new-found selfhood that Gandhi first felt the indignity of

being considered a "colored, second-class citizen."

Although he was attired as fashionably and educated as

reputably as any London barrister and although he had

purchased a first-class passage in travel to a legal case

in South Africa, he was told that he must move to the

second-class coach because of his race. Refusing to do so,

he was peremptorily ousted from the train altogether in a

little town called Maritzburg, miles from his intended final

destination of Durban in the province of Natal, South Africa.

Once in Durban, he anxiously conferred with other

prominent Indian residents of Natal about the anti-Indian

feeling and practices with which he had been confronted.

Not only was Gandhi greatly distressed to learn of more

blatantly discriminatory laws and social norms of British

South Africa but was even more distressed to learn of the

acquiescent and philosophical manner in which he was

expected to bear them.

In South Africa, all society was strictly segregated.

All Asiatics were disenfranchised. After 9 p.m. Indians had

to carry passes, and if caught without their "papers," they

were arrested. In some colonies, Indians were not allowed

to own property, set up business, or own farms. In others,

Indians could not own African gold. Everywhere, Indians

suffered a lack of status and respect. They were commonly

referred to by derogatory terms such as "Sammie" or "coolie"

and were described even in legal and educational literature

as "semibarbarous."

Mohandas Gandhi felt a strong moral need and desire

to resist these insults and injustices. An avid student of

religion, he had learned all he could of the world's major

religions. He identified with Hinduism because it was the

religion of his mother, yet he respected all religions as

means to finding God, and he repeated all persons as

children of God. He was also greatly influenced by the

pacifistic philosophies of such people as Henry David

Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, and particularly Jesus of Nazareth as

he instructed his followers in his historic "Sermon on the

Mount." Gandhi's personal and religious view placed all men

and women on an equal plane as brothers and sisters. Even

animals were kin to humanity; all life was interrelated and

interdependent. For this reason, violence in word or deed

against another living being was violence against oneself

and was abhorrent and never to be practiced.

Yet, to accept with no resistance the system of racism

in which he now found himself enmeshed was equally abhor-

rent. Gandhi was determined to act against the system yet

to do so in a nonviolent manner.

Thus, in time, Gandhi's doctrine of nonviolent direct

action developed. He coined the term "satyagraha" taken

from "satya" meaning truth and love and "agraha" meaning

firm grasp in Sanskrit or, more generally, "force"

(Bondurant, 1958). The means of satyagraha, therefore, are

the forces of truth and love. It was through this channel

that a person could most effectively persuade an opponent

and do so in a manner which uplifted the persuader and the

persuaded. Because of his faith in the oneness of all

people, he believed that through violence one only hurt


oneself. Responding to violence with courageous nonviolence

would make this truth obvious to a violent opponent, soften-

ing his or her resolve. He felt that changing society for

the better began with strengthening and purification of the

individual. Through a simple life of prayer, labor, good

health habits, and abstinence from worldly pleasures, a

person could begin the changing of society as a whole. It

was in this belief that Gandhi proposed and successfully

led a movement that started with a handful of devotees.

Over the next 40 years he masterminded a movement that

culminated in a nationwide struggle for social and legal

reforms; finally, India established its independence from

Great Britain.

While Gandhi and the nation of India struggled toward

national independence and an end to racial and class dis-

crimination, similar conditions of prejudice and institu-

tionalized racism were being endured by another oppressed

people in a country of contrasting history and located

halfway around the world from India. In the United States

of America, the Civil War ending in 1865 marked the end of

slavery, yet black people in this country could hardly

consider themselves free in the true and fullest sense of

that word. As late as the 1950s, nearly a century after the

Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln,

blacks shared disproportionately in their national society's

resources and rewards. Blacks and whites were segregated,

by law and by social norms, according to neighborhoods,

primary groups, and public services, facilities and institu-

tions. Many whites chose to believe that this was what

blacks wanted and that this was an equitable "separate but

equal" arrangement. Equal it was not. Returning to Weber's

theory which identifies class, status, and power as the

three most valuable resources of a society, the deprivation

of which is likely to cause intergroup conflict, great

disparity existed between American blacks and whites. In

terms of class considerations, the occupations available to

blacks were limited and lower in prestige than those avail-

able to whites. Salaries for the vast majority of blacks

were lower than for whites employed to perform equal labor.

Blacks were trapped in the lower socioeconomic group where

they were of lower status, trapped because low incomes and

assignment to inferior school systems did not provide the

opportunities needed in order to improve their position in

society. They were afforded little respect in the accepted

social hierarchy. Adults were referred to by first names or

as "boy" or "girl," yet were expected to refer to whites by

formal titles and by "ma'am" and "sir." The word "Negro"

was often spelled with a small "n" when it was used;

furthermore, it was often replaced in common usage by the

derogatory word "nigger." Black attitudes or accomplish-

ments (beauty in physical appearance, artistry in music,

literature, etc.) were viewed customarily as second-rate.

Statements of praise were often qualified: "She's pretty

for a Negro girl" or "He's smart for a colored" as though a

black could not really be compared with whites who would

obviously be superior. Black heroes, heroines, and

historical figures were conspicuously absent from history


Lack of power among blacks was an inevitable result

of this self-perpetuating system in which blacks could not

significantly improve their socioeconomic positions. Few

economic opportunities and poor educational background did

little to arm this minority with any sort of societal

power. Few, if any, blacks held a governmental position.

Few felt it worthwhile to try to overcome procedural

impediments giving sanction of law deliberately to keep

blacks from registering to vote. Blacks, therefore, had no

influence in making, changing, or enforcing rules by which

they lived and could not be certain that their constitu-

tional rights would be upheld. At every turn, this minority

group was met with barriers to their upward mobility. Even

those few who became famous or financially successful were

not given opportunities to assert fully equal power or to be

accorded social status commensurate with that enjoyed by

white people. Entertainers, such as Harry Belafonte, sports

figures, such as Jackie Robinson, though well-known and

wealthy, were many times denied access to common public


institutions and facilities that were clearly designated as

being for "whites only."

An accumulation of grievances made the 1950s a time

ripe for confrontation between blacks and whites, particu-

larly in consideration of another major factor of that

time. Many blacks had served the U.S.A. in World War II.

Many were injured; many died. Surely, a country for which

blacks had gone to battle owed them basic rights. Addition-

ally, trips overseas by black U.S.A. servicemen broadened

the horizons for a large percentage of the young black

population, raising their goals and expectations. They

returned to the country for which they risked their lives

and found that it still offered persons of their race only

limited goals for their futures and minimal opportunities by

which to reach those goals.

So it was, that in 1929, a decade before the war,

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born a second-class citizen in

U.S.A. society. He was more fortunate than most blacks in

the U.S.A. at that time for he grew up in a prominent, well-

educated, middle-income family in Atlanta, Georgia. The

Kings were considered an "upper-class black family." Unlike

Gandhi, King felt the indignity and insult of racism at an

early age when his best childhood playmate became too old to

play with "niggers" anymore. Like Gandhi, he was raised in

a devout household; his father and grandfather were both

Baptist ministers. He was a bright student and became


concerned with social problems at an early age. He pondered

becoming a doctor or lawyer in order to help others before

deciding that the ministry was the helping profession for

which he was best suited. Like Gandhi, he was an avid

student of the world's great religions and philosophies and

also went "abroad" from his native southland for a more

distinguished education. After he received a B.A. in

sociology from Atlanta's Morehouse University, he matricu-

lated to Crozer Seminary in Pennsylvania where he earned a

Bachelor of Divinity degree. Afterwards, he pursued a

doctorate in philosophy at Boston University. It was in

Boston that he met and married Coretta Scott, a voice

student at a local conservatory.

Throughout his study, King was greatly impressed and

influenced by the same pacifists who had inspired Gandhi:

Thoreau, Tolstoy, and Christ. In 1950, while a student at

Crozer, King heard an address on Gandhi and his philosophy

of nonviolence given by Mordecai Johnson, president of

Howard University. King was so inspired he signed up for a

seminar the following semester entitled the Philosophy of

Religion for which he researched and wrote a paper on the

Mahatma and his teachings. Gandhi's contributions to King's

personal philosophy can be best described in King's own


Gandhi was probably the first person in history to
lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere inter-
action between individuals to a powerful and
effective social force on a large scale. Love for

Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and
collective transformation. It was in this
Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I
discovered the method for social reform that I had
been seeking for so many months. (King, 1958,

The two men took somewhat different theological routes.

Gandhi's ideas, though influenced by western Christianity,

are more firmly based in the Hindu religion; King's ideas,

influenced by Gandhi, are more firmly based in the teachings

of Christ. However, the two men reached similar conclusions

regarding the nature of humanity and the means to deal with

social injustices within society. Believing in the equality

of all persons, King could not accept the prevailing unjust

system perpetuated by society in his native land. He

believed it wrong to stand by stoically and excuse inaction

because "this is just the way things are." Yet, force or

violent rebellion was not acceptable either to a man steeped

in Christian instruction to love one's neighbor. Whatever

was to be done must be done in a loving and nonviolent

manner. The discovery of Gandhi's "satyagraha" seemed to be

the solution. He saw it as the practical infusion of action

into the philosophy of Christ. It offered a third choice

between the extremes of violent rebellion and passive acqui-

escence in response to the unjust status quo. It offered a

means of resistance which was courageous, active, yet

avoiding physical or emotional violence against the persons

toward whom it was directed. The first opportunity to adapt

satyagraha to the purposes of the Negro in the U.S.A.


presented itself, ironically, in the shape and form of Rosa

Parks, a mild-mannered seamstress from Montgomery, Alabama.

On a cold December day in 1955, Rosa Parks refused

to give up her seat to a white passenger which was the

common practice when no other seats were available. She was

quickly arrested. This arrest was the final insult in an

ever-increasing burden of grievances borne by the black

community, and it brought this dispersed community of

Montgomery solidly together to confront the norms of dis-

crimination as they existed. The response was a boycott of

that city's buslines which depended largely upon black

patronage as a source of income. After a year-long strug-

gle, during which blacks car-pooled, taxied, or walked,

often at great inconvenience, the boycott was finally

successful; the laws governing Montgomery buslines were

changed. Buses could not feature racially-segregated seat-

ing, and blacks were to be hired as drivers. This victory

marked the beginning of a national movement that would claim

a dramatic toll in terms of time, money, energy, and human

life before it ended. Though King was assassinated in 1968,

the early 70s found nearly every element of U.S.A. society

desegregated in terms not only of race but of gender and

creed as well. Perhaps, even more importantly, the goals

and purposes of nonviolent direct action, as well as its

relative success as a method of persuasion, set an example

of a method that was utilized by other similar movements to

claim rights for women, the disabled, and people asserting

nontraditional gender preferences.

The Question

These two movements, the Indian Independence Movements

led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Civil Rights Movement in the

U.S.A. under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

are the two most significant examples of widespread non-

violent movements for social change in the 20th century.

Each is significant in terms of the number of people united

and motivated to action in a single embracing cause. Each

is significant in the degree of positive results that were

allegedly caused by the persuasive methods utilized by the

leaders and followers of each movement. Finally, each is

significant because these persuasive methods, which were

taught by the leaders and used primarily by followers, were

nonviolent--nonviolent in situations in which violence,

rioting, and civil warfare seemed to many to be the most

obvious and expedient means by which to achieve the

movement's ends.

Both Gandhi and King believed in the effectiveness

of nonviolent protest because of religious and philosophical

convictions that all people are innately good. Each

believed that basic compassion and a desire to do that which

is right were two common characteristics of a "universal

audience." Such beliefs prompted both of these charismatic

leaders to develop elaborate philosophies about people,

the world, God, right and wrong, and as an ultimate con-

sideration, about the use of nonviolent symbolic action as

the most telling persuasive rhetorical method. Not only did

Gandhi and King believe this strategy could achieve the

desired reforms, but also they believed it did so in a

manner which left the dignity of both the movement and the

opposition intact.

Acts of violence create bitterness in the surviv-
ors and brutality in the destroyers; Satyagraha
aims to exalt both sides. (Gandhi, cited in
Fischer, 1950, p. 77)

The nonviolent approach does not immediately
change the heart of the oppressor. It first does
something to the hearts and souls of those com-
mitted to it. It gives them new self-respect; it
calls up resources of strength and courage that
they did not know they had. Finally, it reaches
the opponent and so stirs his conscience that
reconciliation becomes a reality. (King, 1958,
p. 219)

King and Gandhi felt that nonviolent tactics of protest

accomplished by words that expressed a conviction in the

rightness of their cause and in the ability of the opposi-

tion to perceive this rightness could "break through" any

barriers between speaker and listeners generally. They

believed that such rhetoric would be able to touch a common

chord of humanity that they believed to exist in the heart

and mind of even the staunchest opponent.

One would like to agree that these idealists were

correct in their assessment of their fellow-beings. If

nonviolent persuasion through words and symbolic acts is

truly as powerful against any opposition no matter how

entrenched and strong, as Gandhi and King believed it to be,

then it is obviously a valuable method to effect influence

and should be understood, mastered, and utilized. By the

great majority of human beings, nonviolence, if effective,

would surely be deemed preferable to violent coercive tac-

tics such as rioting, terrorism, and warfare. In the period

in which we live, as many feel that our world quakes under

shadowy threats of a nuclear holocaust, the prospect of

nonviolent persuasion being a possible alternative if not

appearing feasible or efficient at first glance, is never-

theless certainly worthy of examination.

Thus, the major issue addressed in this study concerns

whether or not nonviolent symbolic action is indeed an

effective means of persuasion. Primary questions include

the following: 1) What were the results emanating from each

movement? Were most of the declared goals met? 2) Can a

reasonable causal relationship be drawn between nonviolent

strategies and realization of intended purposes or were

other factors present in the situation that better explain

this realization? Was the opposition predisposed to comply

to demands of the movement due to moral reasons primarily,

the nonviolent demonstrations notwithstanding, and/or were

other causal explanations, perhaps economic or political in

nature, more salient? Did the opposition most fear violent

reactions as extensions of the nonviolent activity, if

demands were not met? 3) Did the opposition feel pressure

from other parties not represented in the protest move-

ments--influential parties commanding attention? 4) In

summation, is nonviolent symbolic action effective? If so,

to what degree? Why is it effective? Is it effective in

any society and under any circumstances? If not, under what

culture-characterizing circumstances can it be predicted to

be an effective alternative to violent means of coercion?

Secondly, this study includes an analysis of Gandhi

and King as primary spokespersons for nonviolence as well as

an analysis of major spokespersons representing the opposi-

tion to the cause, and an analysis of the strategies of

these two nonviolent movements. An analysis of the leaders'

predominant verbal rhetoric that accompanied selected

significant symbolic acts will serve a three-fold purpose.

Primarily, this analysis should reveal major themes and idea

formats used to motivate movement followers as well as

themes and formats used to persuade the opposition. Such an

analysis should also reveal which common higher authorities

(i.e., church, state, etc.) were featured in the rhetoric of

Gandhi and King. Secondly, a content analysis of the

responses from representatives of the opposition should

yield information about the opposition's rhetorical strate-

gies, themes, and formats, as well as the opposition's

vision of social reality. It should also show what changes

occurred in this vision over time as the opposition's view

of social reality was represented by the rhetoric of the

movement as being in direct conflict with mandates of an

accepted higher authority (i.e., the Bill of Rights, the

Gita, etc.).

Finally, a content analysis that compares and contrasts

the style and personality traits of two leaders such as

Gandhi and King will yield a baseline of information by

which to compare the rhetoric of other powerful spokes-

persons. Such information could be utilized to predict the

power and interpret the intention of other charismatic

leaders of contemporary movements. This information might

also be used to compare the speaking styles and personality

traits of leaders of historical movements such as Adolph

Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, to determine whether such

leaders have any similarities or significant differences by

which to be categorized.

Review of Existing Research

Rhetorical Studies in Intercultural Communication

One of the major problems confronted in a study of this

nature is that in an analysis of the rhetoric of movements

within and between differing cultures, the critic is often

comparing proverbial "apples and oranges." Most rhetorical

theory and methodology employed by researchers in our nation

is based on Aristotelian, if not more specifically, Western

logic, thought patterns, and communication behaviors. How


valid is such rhetorical theory when used to study nonocci-

dental rhetoric? Can any rhetorical theory or critical

perspective be thought of as being universal in scope? An

extensive literature review was conducted to find some

answers to these questions. Three dissertations dealing

with intercultural rhetoric and several essays describing a

need for intercultural rhetorical theory development and

discussing the problems such theorizing will entail were


In 1969, Carlson of Northwestern University completed

her dissertation entitled "The Kenya Wildlife Conservation

Campaign: A Descriptive and Critical Study of Intercultural

Persuasion." As the title suggests, Carlson analyzed an

unsuccessful campaign by Americans and Europeans to intro-

duce wildlife conservation programs into the country of

Kenya. She concluded that the campaign failed for two

reasons. First, Western hypotheses about persuasion are

invalid in the Kenya culture. Secondly, no attempt was made

to "make adjustments to the traditional age-authority cus-

toms, tribal taboos, history, or tribal geographical varia-

tions" of that culture. She suggests that accurate theory

and practice of intercultural communication can be achieved

only after a careful analysis and understanding of the values

of the "audience" culture.

In 1973, MacDougall of Brigham Young University

conducted a study to link value systems to styles of

communication, source credibility and communication atti-

tudes. Value similarity was found to be the transcendent

factor in successful communication within and among cultures.

A third dissertation, the 1979 work of Nishida of the

University of Minnesota, compared Japanese and American

styles of communication. Nishida concluded that Confucian

philosophy exerts at stronger influence than any other factor

over Japanese values, thinking, and communication. Deeply

ingrained national values of "individuality" and "equality"

that dominate the U.S.A. thought and a complete absence of

Confucian philosophy cause U.S.A. rhetoric to be quite dif-

ferent from Japanese. In U.S.A. rhetoric the speaker most

often communicates the importance of the self and the other

as individuals. In Japanese rhetoric the speaker communi-

cates the importance of "us" as a joint entity. The U.S.A.

spokesperson, therefore, quite often seems egocentric, self-

serving, arrogant, abrasive, aggressive, and rude to the

Japanese listener. On the other hand, the Japanese speaker

to the U.S.A. listener seems self-effacing, wavering, overly

polite, and submissive.

Each of these studies provides support for the thesis

that cultural differences do cause differences in communica-

tion behavior from one culture to another. They also focus

on value systems as the key to understanding thought pat-

terns and communication behaviors in any given culture.

Therefore, in developing a rhetorical theory of intercultural

communication, the ascertaining of operating value systems

within cultures must be a primary factor.

In 1962, Oliver wrote Culture and Communication, a book

on effective diplomacy that necessarily deals with inter-

cultural rhetoric. Oliver stresses throughout that there is

not "one rhetoric but many rhetoric" and that quite often

intercultural rhetoricians take Aristotelian patterns to be

rhetoric itself rather than a rhetoric. In such cases,

communicators confront audiences of a differing culture with

arguments that would be effective only if that audience

shared a similar value system with the communicator. Such a

communicator is functioning from his or her own value system

as though it were the only system. An effective intercul-

tural communicator must consider that topic for discussion

through the filter of the audience's cultural value system,

building an argument accordingly.

The way the world looks to us is determined in
large part by the way in which we have been
brought up. . People in separate cultures and
separate nations are concerned about different
problems; and they have different systems for
thinking about them. What is important to us is
not necessarily important to everyone. Our logic
may not be theirs; and our very faith in
rationality may be countermatched by their faith
in irrationality. What we consider proof of a
particular proposition, they may consider
irrelevant. (Oliver, 1962, pp. 154-155)

One may correctly conclude from these studies and

statements that it is not possible to draw accurate

conclusions by analyzing the rhetoric of foreign cultures

using rhetorical theory based solely on U.S.A. values or


Western thought and language patterns. Yet, that is not to

say that it is impossible to develop theory flexible enough

to adapt to differences in speaker and audience cultural

backgrounds. Again, the key concern is value systems. It

is necessary for an intercultural rhetorical theory to

contemplate value systems, thought patterns, and argumenta-

tion behaviors as variables, as functioning elements of

culture rather than as static or stable elements. Rhetori-

cally to criticize any intercultural or non-U.S.A. inter-

action, one must, as Carlson stated in her study of the

Kenyan culture, gain an understanding of the values of the

audience culture through a careful study of that culture.

When the speaker or the critic has a working knowledge of

the cultural values functioning in a communication inter-

action, a knowledge of values that shape and are reflected

in that communication behavior, then he or she is equipped

to develop an effective argument for a specific audience or

accurately to analyze the effectiveness of that interaction.

The Indian Independence Movement and the U.S.A. Civil

Rights Movement are the subjects of this intercultural

rhetorical study. The former is obviously intercultural in

nature; the latter, a study of conflict between two distinct

subcultures within a larger national categorization. A

comparative study of the two movements is also of an inter-

cultural nature. It is important to establish what has

already been written about these two movements.

Indian Independence and Civil Rights Movements Research

The only speech communication studies conducted con-

cerning the Indian Independence Movement or the Civil Rights

Movement include an article by Merriam (1975) on Gandhi's

use of symbolic action and an article by Simons (1967) on

patterns of persuasion in the Civil Rights Movement. The

first of these is a simple description and interpretation of

the symbolic acts utilized by Gandhi in the struggle to aid

India in gaining independence from British rule. Merriam

identifies acts of fasting, propaganda tours, the Great Salt

March, silence, and bonfires, as well as symbols such as

spinning wheels and peasant clothing, as elements of non-

verbal persuasion. He then interprets the messages conveyed

through each nonverbal channel and explains the effect of

each on the audience toward whom such messages were

directed. In this analysis, Merriam touches briefly upon

the phenomenon of cultural myths and the part they play in

emphasizing common ground with an audience. Such myths are

reflected in symbolic acts with which they have a two-way

dynamic relationship. The myths shape the symbolic act, and

the symbolic acts confirm the myths. For example, the

symbolic act of fasting was highly appropriate for the mixed

audience of Indian followers and British opposition. The

practice of fasting for religious purification of the body

and spirit is an element of traditional Indian and Christian

religious practices. Also, hunger, a problem of national


magnitude in India, was a condition which spoke strongly to

the heart of the majority of Indian peasants. Therefore,

cultural values and conditions shaped the choice of this

symbolic act of fasting as well as the way in which it was

perceived. In turn, the fact that Gandhi was willing to

risk his life in this manner reinforces the cultural

religious belief in the saintliness of fasting. Merriam

offers important insights into Gandhi's use of symbolic

action as an alternative to violent action; however, he does

not fully explicate relevant myths of the Indian and British

cultures nor their importance to Gandhi, the Indian people,

and the British opposition forces.

In the second article, Simons refers to two types of

audiences against whom nonviolent symbolic action might be

used effectively and ineffectively. The "power vulnerable"

group includes persons who will lose either money or public

favor as a result of nonviolent protest. For instance, a

business owner who is boycotted or a police officer

photographed administering unnecessary violent punishment are

two "power vulnerable" to symbolic action. The "power

invulnerable" group consists of those who have nothing to

lose by voicing self-concerns. They have no businesses

which might be hurt financially and no public image to keep

clean. These are the vast majority of the general public,

and Simons theorizes that they can be reached only through

"communications aimed at a change in . attitudes." This

is an important observation for the study at hand since

Gandhi and King saw the primary purpose of nonviolent

symbolic action as changing the heart, the attitudes of the

opponent. Through changing the individual one can change


Along these lines, Simons also identifies two broad

categories of persuasion utilized by Negroes in the 60s

protests, 1) peaceful persuasion and 2) coercive persua-

sion. Peaceful persuasion is reasoning aimed at the mind

and heart of the listener while coercive persuasion is the

inclusion of threat or employment of force such as that used

in boycotts, marches, and sit-ins. (Although the term

"coercive" implies force, it is force applied to hurt the

wallet, the public opinion poll, not the soul or the body of

the opponent.) Simons goes on to say that peaceful persua-

sion is the type taught in the public speaking classroom and

textbook. It is effective to the extent that the speaker

can analyze the audience correctly and appeal to that

audience's needs, desires, and values.

It is axiomatic, we are told, that effective
communication requires a shared frame of reference
and a common set of symbols in an atmosphere free
from fear and threat. By all our scholarly yard-
sticks, the effectiveness of the civil rights
advocates ought to be a direct function of their
psychological proximity to white audiences.
(Simons, 1967, p. 26)

In this way Simons recognizes the importance of cultural

values in discourse and the importance of knowing an

audience in terms of these values. Such recognition of

cultural values is also of utmost importance to the study


Rhetorical Studies about King and Gandhi

In this study King and Gandhi are identical and will be

analyzed as the single, primary spokespersons for their

respective movements. Much has been written on both in the

form of biographical, theological, sociological, anthro-

pological, historical, political, and even psychiatric

studies. However, a review of dissertation abstracts and

major journals in the field of speech communication uncovers

little research within the field of rhetorical criticism

that concerns these two significant communicators.

Two studies of Gandhi found in speech journals are the

aforementioned article on symbolic action by Merriam and

Beatty, Behnke, and Banks' "Elements of Dialogic

Communication in Gandhi's Second Round Table Conference

Address" (1975). The latter focuses more on the methodology

of a dialogic perspective in rhetorical criticism than on

Gandhi, his message, or his nonviolent persuasive strategy

and offers little insightful information useful to the

present study.

Rhetorical studies on King have indeed been more num-

erous than two but not by a large margin. One study concen-

trated primarily on the persuasive strategies utilized by

King. Simons (1967) characterizes King's ability to analyze

his widely diverse audiences comparing the Baptist minister

to a tightrope walker because of his agility in walking a

"thin line" when addressing both blacks and whites at one

time. Simons speaks of King's direct action tactics as

militant enough to appease angry blacks while his doctrine

of love won white sympathies. Smith (1967), in his study of

King, focused primarily on the distinguishing style of

King's oral discourse, noting his "Southern black baptist"

delivery. He describes King's rhetoric as filled with

striking images such as metaphors, analogies, and with

repetition and alliteration. Keele (1972) offers further

information on King as a speaker in her dissertation con-

cerning his rhetorical strategies. Keele identifies

recurring ideas in King's rhetoric. She theorizes that King

intended to inspire the average black audience member to

identify with higher ideals and rise above the current

operative hierarchy.

All of these studies contribute useful background

information for this study on Gandhi and King as

rhetoricians. However, it is clear that by no means has

study of these two charismatic speakers been exhausted. One

final study in which King is one of numerous subjects is of

particular instructive value to the purposes of the ques-

tions posed by this study. In 1973, Payne completed a

dissertation at Florida State University in which he

analyzed the speeches of six prominent black spokesmen using

several different content analysis measures not tradition-

ally used in rhetorical criticism. These are measures

developed for research in journalism and communication,

social psychology, and psycholinguistics and are used to

categorize content according to stylistic features or to

categorize speakers according to personality traits. The

purpose of Payne's study was to establish norms among black

spokesmen using these measures that could be used in further

comparative research such as that proposed herein. In his

introduction, Payne defends his methodology by quoting

Redding's 1968 essay "Extrinsic and Intrinsic Criticism."

In it Redding recognizes the value of extrinsic data in a

rhetorical event (historical, biographical, cultural data,

etc.) but urges a shift of emphasis in research to the

intrinsic data of content.

The measures used by Payne include syllable and word

counts/lengths, sentence count/length, Type-Token Ratio,

Adjective-Verb Quotient, Flesch's Reading Ease Scores,

Flesch's Human Interest Scores, Discomfort-Relief Quotient,

and Gleser-Gottschalk Anxiety Scales.

Features of style that have been measured are

represented in syllable, word, and sentence counts and

measures of length as well as counts of punctuation types.

These measures are usually taken by diagramming a frequency

distribution of one-word, two-word, three-word, etc.

sentences and similarly one-syllable, two-syllable,

three-syllable, etc. words in selected passages. Punctua-

tion marks are recorded according to relative frequency of

occurrence per one thousand marks. Comparison studies have

revealed stylistic differences between authors, between time

periods, between types of speeches, and between speeches of

one source over time.

The Type-Token Ratio is another quantitative speech

measure. It is designed to determine the diversity of a

person's vocabulary by counting the number of different

words (types) utilized by a source and then dividing that

number by the total number of words (tokens) in the passage


Vocabulary Diversity = Type

Variations of the Type-Token Ratio (TTR) are the mean

segmental TTR, the cumulative TTR, and the decremental TTR.

The mean segmental TTR is calculated by dividing the word

sample into segments of equal length (number of words),

determining the TTR for each segment, and then finding the

mean TTR for the entire sample. Cumulative TTR is rep-

resented by a curve that shows successive TTR's measured at

various points in the sample. In the decremental TTR,

however, the passage is divided into segments of equal

length, and the number of words per segment is divided into

the number of new words in the passage which first appear in

that segment. The Adjective-Verb Quotient (AVQ) originated

with a German researcher, Busemann, in 1925 and was used in

the same year by an American, Boder. This method is

conducted by dividing language into two categories:

"qualitative" and "active." The qualitative or adjective

category includes adjectives, nouns, and verb participles

when used as descriptors of nouns. Into the "active" or

verb category are placed all verbs with the exception of

auxiliary verbs. By dividing the number of active words by

the number of qualitative words in a given passage, the AVQ

measure can be obtained. Busemann (1925, cited in Boder,

1940) and also Stern and Rorschach (1925, cited in Boder,

1940) used AVQ to measure emotional stability of speakers.

Boder (1940) borrowed from the fields of psychology,

psychiatry, and psycholinguistics to produce a baseline AVQ

for styles in various types of communication: legal,

scientific, and fictional writing. The AVQ can be used to

establish stylistic modes and to compare and contrast the

various writings of one individual, similar writings of two

individuals, and different types of writing.

Flesch's Reading Ease Score was devised as a method

to measure linguistic complexity and readability/listenabil-

ity of a particular 100-word passage. Flesch's Reading Ease

Score is calculated by finding the average sentence length

(sl) and the average word length (wl) of a passage and

placing these figures in the formula

FRES = 206.835 .846wl 1.015sl

Norms for FRES are as follows:

DEGREE OF EASE (sl) (wl)

EASY 8 or fewer 123 or fewer
VERY DIFFICULT 29 or more 192 or more

Not only can this formula be used to establish listen-

ability/readibility of a passage but it can also be used to

establish categories for types of word-production based on

FRES norms. For instance, Flesch established readibility

score norms for types of magazines with comics scoring

highest and scientific journals scoring lowest in level of


Flesch also devised a formula to quantify the level

of "human interest" contained in a given passage (1960). As

in the Reading Ease calculations, the passage is divided

into 100-word sections. The number of personal words (pw)

and personal sentences (ps) in each segment are then

counted. Flesch defines personal words as a) all first-,

second-, and third-person pronouns, except neuter pronouns

if not used in reference to people, b) all words having

masculine or feminine natural gender, and c) group words

such as "people" and "family." Personal sentences are those

which a) include spoken sentences marked as quotations,



b) are questions, commands, requests, and sentences directed

to the reader or listener, c) are exclamations, or d) are

grammatically incorrect sentences of which the full meaning

must be taken in the context of the passage. The percentages

of personal words and personal sentences are substituted in

the following formula:

Human Interest (H.I.) = 3.63(pw) + .314(ps)

EVALUATION % of pw % of ps

DULL 2 or less 0
DRAMATIC 17 or more 58 or more

Several content measures give information about the

level of stress or anxiety present in the source of the

message. One of these measures is the Dollard-Mowrer ten-

sion index or Discomfort-Relief Quotient (DRQ) (Dollard &

Mowrer, 1947). The unit of analysis for this measure can be

clauses, thought-units, sentences, paragraphs, pages or

words. Units are analyzed and categorized as discomfort or

relief units. "Discomfort units" refer to suffering, pain,

distress, etc., while "relief units" refer to comfort,

happiness, enjoyment, etc. Other units are disregarded.

The DRQ formula is

DRO = Discomfort Units

Discomfort Units + Relief Units


The Gottschalk-Gleser Anxiety Scale (AX) measures "free

anxiety," which includes only the psychological manifesta-

tions of anxiety as revealed in language (Gottschalk, Winget,

& Gleser, 1969). Anxiety is classified into six subtypes

which include l)death, 2)mutilation or castration, 3) sepa-

ration, 4) guilt, 5) shame, and 6) diffuse or nonspecific

anxiety. Output in each category is weighted according to

whether the reference is to the self (3), an animate other

(2), or an inanimate other (1). A denial of anxiety is

given a weight of 1 (1). The scoring unit is the thought

unit or sentence clause. Units are coded according to

subtype and weight. Once coded, the scores are totalled,

and this sum is divided by the total number of words. The

product obtained is then multiplied by 100 to attain a "raw

anxiety score." The square root of the raw score is used

for norms, comparisons, and inferences.

Three separate measures are derived from the Anxiety

Scale. They are the Hostility Directed Inward Scale (HI),

Hostility Directed Outward Scale (HO), and Ambivalent

Hostility Scale (HA).

The HI scale measures self-critical and self-destruc-

tive thoughts. Thought units are coded and weighted accord-

ing to a classification of 11 thematic categories which

range from references about feeling driven to meet one's own

expectations to references about suicide. The HO scale

measures critical or destructive thoughts toward others.

Twenty-five weighted thematic categories are used to code

thought units. These range in seriousness from references

to abusive language to references about murder. The 25

categories are further differentiated according to the

overtness or covertness of outwardly hostile thoughts.

Overtly hostile classifications include those units which

refer to hostile acts committed by the speaker toward others

while covertly hostile classifications include references to

hostile acts committed by others against self. The HA scale

measures the intensity of units expressing destructive

actions of others against themselves. Eight thematic cate-

gories for coding units range from items referring to others

denying blame to others killing or threatening to kill


Another formula devised by Flesch (1960) measures the

level of abstraction in a text. The total number of words

in the text is divided into the total number of definite

words. This quotient is then multiplied by 100. "Definite

words" include natural gender nouns, nouns denoting time,

numeral adjectives, finite verb forms, present participles,

personal pronouns, the definite article and the words "yes,"

"no," "here," "then," "there," "that," "these," "those,"

"now," "who," "whom," "when," "where," "why," "how," "this,"

"each," "same," "both," "what," and "which."

Finally, the Gunning-Fog Index (GFI), similar to

Flesch's Reading Ease Scale, is based on sentence length and


number of polysyllabic words (Gunning, 1968). Polysyllabic

words are defined as those of three or more syllables which

are not capitalized nor are compound or hyphenated words

such as "bookkeeper." Verbs of which the third syllable is

a simple suffix such as "ed," or "es" are also excluded.

The GFI formula is

GFI = Ave. Sentence Length + Polysyllabic Words (0.4)

As mentioned earlier, the content and style measurement

tools listed and described above were not initially devised

for the purpose of rhetorical criticism. Originating from

diverse fields of inquiry, their usefulness to rhetorical

critics is slowly and only now being discovered. Payne

used these measures to establish norms of style and person-

ality traits among prominent black spokesmen in the United

States of America during the 20th century. Although in his

single-page review of literature he states that no other

critical studies had utilized the above-mentioned content-

analytic techniques, at least one such study was in fact

previously conducted. In 1965, Gwin used the Type-Token

Ratio and Adjective-Verb Quotient in an analysis of the

speeches of Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr. Gwin chose this type

analysis to test the hypothesis that Lodge's feelings about

the president of the United States were manifested in his


In 1973, Day used syllable/word/sentence counts, TTR,

AVQ, DRQ, FRES, and HIS to establish norms and to identify

trends in the inaugural addresses of Florida's 34 gover-

nors. She established that speakers in the 20th century

tend to be more "listenable" and more interesting.

Lower in 1974 employed the TTR, DRQ, FRES, GFI, FHIS,

and Gleser-Gottschalk anxiety scales in an analysis of the

speeches of Julian Bond. Lower hypothesized that Bond's

speeches would not vary significantly from the norms estab-

lished by Payne in his 1973 study. In 1980, Evans analyzed

speeches of black students enrolled in public speaking

courses at one predominantly black university and one pre-

dominantly white university. Speech samples were coded for

the following stylistic variables: word length, sentence

length, segmental TTR, AVQ, FRES, FHIS, and nonfluencies.

Significant differences between the two samples on mean word

length, mean sentence length, and reading ease were found.

One major purpose of this dissertation is to compare

and contrast King and Gandhi's speaking styles and personal-

ity traits as revealed in their speeches. Payne's study and

methodology therein comprise a workable model to use in

searching for similarities and significant differences

between the two leaders. However, since only speeches of

King and Gandhi will be analyzed and none of their written

rhetoric, it can be argued that the Flesch Readability Yard-

stick (1960) and the Gunning-Fog Index (1968) are not

necessarily valid measures for the purposes of this study.

It is true that in all the previously mentioned studies these

two measures were used to analyze spoken messages. However,

the two scales were originally developed for written mes-

sages. It is questionable that a passage that may be read

with general ease may also be heard with the same ease and

level of comprehension. DeVito (1984), in his text on public

speaking, reminds the novice public speaker that "oral style"

differs from written style. It must necessarily be more

simplistic because of the nature of the communication situa-

tion. The reader may read at a self-imposed rate while a

listener must comprehend at the rate chosen by the speaker.

Also, the spoken message is given once and is gone (unless

tape-recorded, of course) while the written message may be

reread as many times as is needed for clear meaning to be

obtained. Students and teachers of foreign languages can

attest that reading an unfamiliar language is much easier

than listening to it in terms of understanding what is being

communicated. The receiver of written messages also does

not have to contend with channel disturbances such as low

voice, a heavy accent, outside noise, or unfamiliar pronun-

ciations. Therefore, a sample of spoken words may be cate-

gorized as easy to listen to when what is really true is

that, if written, they might be read and comprehended with

ease. In order for the Flesch Reading Ease Score and the

Gunning-Fog Index to be valid for spoken messages, another

set of categories must be established specifically for

spoken communication. These two measures will not be used

in the analyses of the speeches of Gandhi and King in the

study at hand.

Research on the Use of Nonviolence as a Persuasive Device

Much has been written on the use of nonviolence as a

strategy to change society. In fact, journals such as

Conflict Resolution and the Journal of Peace Research

including articles on the use of nonviolence are published

quarterly. Numerous books including the works of King and

Gandhi have been written on the subject, and almost all

works by other authors refer to Gandhi and/or King as

philosophers of and practices of nonviolent action.

Gene Sharp has probably produced the greatest amount of

literature dealing with the nature and efficacy of non-

violence and ways in which this strategy for changing

society might be analyzed, categorized, and improved upon.

In Social Power and Political Freedom, Sharp (1980) recog-

nizes the importance of effective communication channels

within the movement to that movement's strength and

stamina. He also theorizes about the reasons that non-

violent persuasion works against very powerful opponents,

describing an effect of the strategy which he terms "politi-

cal jiu-jitsu." Jiu-jitsu is a martial art in which the

strength of the opponent is used against that opponent. The

practitioner of nonviolent action increases his or her

ability to evoke sympathy when the opposition intensifies

its repression. If the resisters can demonstrate courage

and the willingness to persist when the opposing power is at

its most unjust, most brutally violent, then they can turn

the power of the opposition to their advantage. Such

willingness on the part of resisters to endure hardships,

financial and physical, sometimes to the point of martyrdom,

has the potential to inspire others to resist the opposition

as well. As a movement gains momentum, the sheer numbers of

the noncooperative will be enough to immobilize a society.

Sharp continues by stating that the means and the ends

of a successful nonviolent organization are to strengthen

the oppressed within the society. He argues that a violent

oppressor depends upon centralized governing and strong

leaders to carry out orders and violent tactics in a

military-like, unquestioning fashion. The nonviolent

organization, on the other hand, although leaders will

emerge, must depend on the individual resolve and strength

of each member to resist and sacrifice in the face of ter-

rible forces. The oppressor depends on its ability to

coerce cooperation from the oppressed. If the oppressed can

steel itself to noncooperation, it relieves the oppressor of

much of its power. Sharp, like Gandhi and, later, King,

sees the primary aim of nonviolent action as not to attack

the oppressor but rather to strengthen the oppressed and

cites ways in which the philosophy and action of nonviolence

strengthens a people. It gives a people self-respect,

strengthens their institutions and gives them the ability to

act with solidarity.

Often--though not always--as people begin to
act, the qualities of courage, willingness to
serve others, and concern about the social and
political evils around them grow within them-
selves. Further, their example often helps others
to gain these qualities. This, along with other
results of nonviolent action, helps to improve
that society's capacity for freedom. (Sharp,
1980, p. 174)

Sharp also cites examples of intergroup communication

which may strengthen a nonviolent movement. It is important

to disseminate knowledge on the philosophy and practical

application of nonviolent action, how to organize for group

action, and how to respond to violent opposition. Also, it

is helpful for the group to be aware of what others have

done elsewhere in difficult situations and to witness the

example of some people among themselves resisting the

opposition. The group needs to be given a list of small

things that are within their capabilities to do in daily


From this, one can see that interpersonal communication

effectiveness within the nonviolent oppressed organization is

more important than it is within the violent oppressing

organization. The latter is based on one-way communication

of orders from higher levels to lower levels while the

former depends on cooperation derived from multichanneled

expressions of beliefs, philosophies, and personal


In his book on nonviolence and how it works, Bruyn and

Rayman (1979) highlights the importance of analyzing communi-

cation channels and messages to understand how nonviolent

methods work. He makes several important points about com-

munication in nonviolent movements. First of all, he

stresses that nonverbal communication is just as important as

verbal in expressing nonviolent arguments. He hypothesizes

that a good intergroup communication system is a prerequisite

for committed widespread resistance and that the more clearly

actionists communicate in a nonthreatening manner, the more

likely it is that opponents will respond in like fashion.

In the same article, Bruyn outlines a symbolic inter-

action theory of nonviolent action. Simply stated the

theory is that people generally believe that the daily

widely-accepted subjective view of "reality" is reality

until a new definition of the situation is introduced and

explained to them. The causes of violence can be mitigated

by the introduction of new symbols of power in nonviolent


Another essay by Sharp (1959b) deals specifically with

the efficacy of the nonviolent strategy as used by Gandhi.

In it Sharp concludes that nonviolence is not an always

workable strategy and that it was effective in India only

because the conditions were conducive to its use there in

the years between 1918 and 1948. The two major conditions

which facilitated the effectiveness of nonviolent action

were that the British were heavily armed oppressors few in

number against the unarmed but burgeoning Indian popula-

tion. Working together, the sheer number of noncooperative

resisters was enough to overwhelm the social order, to

paralyze the workings of British rule, and to make measures

of punishment unfeasible. Also, the British represented an

audience to whom the moral symbolism behind nonviolence

would be appealing. Their Christian sympathies and national

pride in "fair play" and democratic principles were stronger

than their racial prejudices and hunger for wealth and

power. Sharp projects that a Nazi colonial rule in India

would not have facilitated a nonviolent movement since it

would not have permitted a group of intellectuals to grow

and become visible and vocal enough to organize themselves

in a movement against the regime.

Enholm in his 1975 dissertation on critical moments in

the German Resistance Movement notes the distinctions

between movements taking place in democratic and totali-

tarian social orders. He implies that a democracy allows an

amount of overt conflict between groups and even opposition

to the group in power. In a totalitarian government con-

flict must remain covert, for the system does not allow it.

Action and communication by and between would-be movement

followers is restricted if possible at all, and resistance

to change in the established order is greater.

For in a totalitarian state, established orders do
not crumble at the sound of the rhetorician's
voice. Instead--but in no way less rhetorical--
violence must be employed. (Enholm, 1975, p. xix)

Like Sharp, he views the effectiveness of nonviolent

rhetoric as a function of the situation and the nature of

the opposition.

A series of articles by Bowen (1963a, 1963b, 1967)

results in similar conclusions about the Civil Rights Move-

ment in the U.S.A. Written in the 60s in the midst of this

movement, Bowen's articles reflect his concern about the

realistic measure of the efficacy of nonviolent persuasion.

In his first article, Bowen states that nonviolent per-

suasion is effective only if other "powerful social,

economic, and political forces admire and aid the cause and

its people." Although he recognizes the moral force of

nonviolence as it reflects basic religious and national

values of U.S.A. citizens, he again concludes in his second

article that its effectiveness is not inherent but dependent

on other forces.

Nonviolence is no panacea, despite theoretical
claims made for it. The technique cannot compel
Southern whites to surrender their own beliefs if
they do not recognize the humanity of either the
resisters or their cause. (Bowen, 1963b, p. 3)

In his final essay (1967) he identifies four assump-

tions of nonviolent protesters which he argues are not

necessarily valid. They assume that dramatizing a common

bond between themselves and their opponents will reform

those opponents; resisters love and sympathize with enemies

who attack them; willing suffering will bond fellow-

sufferers, appeal to third parties, and persuade the opposi-

tion; nonviolence attaches a moral aura to any cause. Bowen

seems to imply throughout his articles that many proponents

of nonviolence are idealistic and believe the strategy works

because of some "holy" aspect which it bestows on a cause

making it difficult to oppose. It automatically causes its

users to be in the right. He states that it is possible to

use nonviolent resistance to institute changes which are

not necessarily good or ethical changes. He, like Sharp and

Enholm, argues that some cultures do not respect a display

of love as much as a display of force.

Responding to King's assassination, Shepherd (1968)

wrote in a commentary for Africa Today that the means of

nonviolence are not for this world at all and that it

appeals only to a very limited audience. In the Journal of

the History of Ideas Steinkraus (1973) in a study of King's

philosophy stated that the philosophy and enactment of

nonviolent resistance is ethical but not expedient. He

admits that suffering is more powerful than violence in

converting an opponent, but if change and motivation to act

are the primary goals of the movement, then nonviolence is

not a practical method and not the best strategy to use.

Each of these studies sheds light on the inquiry at

hand and also raises a further question to be answered at

this point. If one is to evaluate the effectiveness of a

strategy, one must know what the primary goal of the

strategy truly was. Gandhi and King both defended non-

violent tactics as the best rhetorical method primarily on

moral grounds. Not only did nonviolence not inflict

spiritual or bodily injury on an opponent, but these two

proponents believed that it purified, enriched, changed

the resister and the opposition to better people. Yet, they

were also concerned with the more "practical" results in the

forms of legislated changes in societal practices. The

concern of this study is with the efficacy of nonviolence in

terms of these more practical results.

Movement Studies

The study presented here is one in which the rhetoric

of two movements is being analyzed. The concern is not

primarily a single speech given by a single speaker to a

single audience defined by one time and location. The lens

of the movement critic's "camera" is set at a wider angle

for the most part than that of the critic of single speeches

and speakers. Therefore, the methodology chosen for a

movement study must reflect these differences and adapt to

this multiplicity of speakers, listeners, channels, mes-

sages, and situations over time.

Rhetorical studies of social movements represent a

relatively recent development in rhetorical criticism.

Griffin's (1952) seminal article, "The Rhetoric of Histori-

cal Movements," was first to set forth the purpose for, the

theory behind, and a methodology for investigations of

historical movements. Griffin theorized that each movement

involves a two-sided conflict in which aggressor rhetori-

cians and defendant rhetoricians must be identified. Also,

three vital stages in movements may be isolated for analy-

sis: the period of inception, the period of rhetorical

crisis, and the period of consummation. This perspective

was a departure from the traditional speaker-centered

approach to rhetorical criticism. However, Brock and Scott,

quoting from Griffin, state that Griffin's innovation in

critical investigation

was not radical because he maintained an histori-
cal orientation; he recommended isolating the
rhetorical movement within the matrix of the
historical movement. Yet this shift in emphasis
to conceive histories "in terms of movements
rather than individuals" is significant and led to
what has become a major effort of rhetorical
criticism in the 1960's and 1970's. (Brock &
Scott, 1982, p. 397)

Griffin defended this focus on the movement as a whole

rather than on the individual representative by stating that

in looking at a broader rhetorical event than that of the

individual giving a single speech

we may come closer to discovering the degree of
validity in our fundamental assumption: that
rhetoric has had and does have a vital function as

a shaping agent in human affairs. (Griffin,
1952, p. 188)

It is easy to understand that a series of rhetorical events

would have a greater impact than a single event on the

society in which it transpires.

Griffin suggests that the student of a movement study

should begin by reading secondary sources of the movement.

Once this is completed and the student has a working

knowledge of the historical, political, sociological,

religious, and cultural factors in which the movement

originated and grew, then the student should begin readings

of movement rhetoric from primary sources. Such reading

should be done in chronological order so that the student

can become acquainted with movement discourse as it

developed. In this way, there is a better chance that one

can determine the origin of fundamental issues, the develop-

ment of appeals and counter-appeals surrounding these

issues, and the modification of these issues and appeals as

they are found to be successful or unsuccessful.

The critic will also become familiar with the major

spokespersons within the movement and opposition to the

movement and will be able to identify favorite styles and

arguments of each as well as ways in which they are modified

and adjusted according to the perceived effectiveness they

have in persuading the opposing forces. The critic should

also identify and study as many available communication

channels as possible, not just speeches, but pamphlets,

banners, buttons, radio, t.v., magazines, periodicals, as

well as the way in which the movement is reflected through

art, clothing, etc.

Finally, Griffin states that the movement should be

evaluated for its effectiveness. Griffin has already

suggested that a situational awareness is important to

the critic when he states the first step the critic takes is

to have an understanding of the various societal forces at

work before and during the movement. He more clearly states

this need for the critic to step outside or beyond his or

her own values when he explains how the critic should assess

the rhetorical effectiveness of a movement.

The critic will operate within the climate of
theory of rhetoric and public opinion in which the
speakers and writers he judges were reared, and in
which they practiced. In other words, that he
will measure practice in terms of the theories
available, not to himself, but to the speakers and
writers whom he judges. (Griffin, 1952, p. 187)

It may be supposed that Griffin is still speaking in terms

of Aristotelian rhetorical principles and their differences

according to place and time. Yet, this guideline can be

expanded to include the evaluation of rhetorical effective-

ness within other cultures. Again, the first step for the

critic is to study that culture until a working knowledge is

developed of situational variables and culturally-based

rhetorical values which are functioning throughout a com-

munication event.

Most of the movement studies appearing in communication

journals and as theses and dissertations utilized Griffin's

classical historical approach. However, in 1969, Griffin

suggested yet another approach to the study of social move-

ments. He wrote that Kenneth Burke's dramatistic method

used in literary criticism is useful to the rhetorical

critic as well because it allows a clearer understanding of

the motivations behind the operation of identifiable

rhetorical strategies within movements. Hochmuth-Nichols

(1952) had already adapted Burke's pentad and critical

theory to the purposes of the rhetorical critic. Griffin

took this adaptation a step further, applying it to the

analysis of a series of rhetorical events. In viewing a

movement in terms of the Act (what was done), Agent (who did

it), Agency (how done), Scene (where and when), and Purpose

(why), the critic concentrates on the psychological environ-

ment in which the speaker and audience are functioning,

their attitudes concerning the major elements of the inter-

action as revealed by their communication behavior: their


One method for identifying speaker and audience atti-

tudes is through a content analysis of verbal rhetoric as

conducted in a dramatistic analysis. In this analysis, the

critic focuses on language as the starting point. He or she

argues a direct relationship between speaker discourse and

speaker attitudes and motives. Therefore, an analysis of

movement discourse should reveal the motives and attitudes

of leaders as well as followers. Such an analysis is based

primarily on two Burkean concepts. One is the earlier-

described pentad and the other is the concept of "identifi-


Through discourse, the speaker constructs his or her

view of reality. In using the dramatistic method, the

critic reconstructs that view by isolating and labeling the

pentadic elements as they occur and are emphasized through

the words of the speaker. For instance, a speaker may

believe that the Scene is the most salient aspect of the

situation at hand. In a social movement, a speaker's

rhetoric may reflect that speaker's belief that components

of the Scene (place, time, etc.) are the most significant

causes of the present conditions and are, therefore, the

component which needs the most change as a causal factor in

the present social reality. Through the understanding

gained by this reconstruction of the speaker's view of the

world, events, people, etc., the critic can more clearly

understand the speaker's attitudes and motives which guide

communication behavior.

The second concept, that of identification, concerns

the audience's view of social reality. The speaker, through

discourse, not only presents a personal view of reality but

attempts to persuade the audience that this view is accurate

and should be shared by that audience. "To the extent that


the audience accepts and rejects the same ideas, people, and

institutions that the speaker does, identification occurs"

(Brock & Scott, 1982, p. 352), and the discourse is likely

to be effective.

Burke suggests that the critic can isolate the language

which reveals the pentadic elements of a speaker's reality

and the common ground elements with which the speaker seeks

audience identification. To do so, the critic must list

recurring words, phrases, and themes in a chronological

schema until a sense of a pattern and predominant strategies

of persuasion can be recognized and labeled.

Another methodology which focuses on words as repre-

sentatives of attitudes and motives is Bormann's Fantasy

Theme Analysis (Borman, 1972). The critic is concerned

equally with social reality revealed through discourse from

audience members, as well as from primary speakers to

audience members. As in the Burkean analysis, the critic

gleans from discourse recurring words, phrases, and themes.

Moreover, the critic traces the transformation of social

reality as revealed in the transformation of these words,

phrases, and themes as they occur, are rebutted, modified, or

enlarged upon through consequent listener and speaker inter-

actions. The critic also takes special notice of the manner

in which various sources and channels of discourse represent-

ing divergent views of social reality influence one another's

views and finally shape what becomes the most widely-shared

and powerful view. This view is the one that will most

highly influence the outcome of the movement.

A final methodology which is also concerned with the

construction of social reality through communication inter-

action, is appropriately named the Social Reality Approach

(Brock & Scott, 1982). Unlike the dramatistic critic who

analyzes discourse to reconstruct the reality as viewed by

speaker and listener, the critic using the Social Reality

methodology focuses instead on the artifacts of popular

culture (frequently the mass media) in order to reconstruct

a culturally-shared reality based on culturally-shared

values. Primarily, the objective of this approach is to

gain insight into the two-way relationship between society

and cultural artifacts as channels of communication in the

belief that values expressed throughout popular culture

shape and are shaped by societal values. The critic

observes the attitudes and motives governing changes in

society through the representations of social reality and

the attitudes and motives governing it.

A more recent methodology is presented in a 1980 essay

"Coming to Terms with Movement Studies." In this writing,

Lucas looks at the "intrinsically kinetic nature of movement

rhetoric" but states that such rhetoric should be studied in

a chronological order since it is not a static entity but a

changing phenomenon influenced by many factors over time.

These factors are what he refers to when he states that

rhetoric is not the only thing that moves in a movement.

"Charting the temporal permutations" of rhetoric is only the

first step in an analysis of social movements; the critic

must go one step further and chart the temporal permutations

of situational variables surrounding that rhetoric such as

institutional arrangements, socioeconomic structures, tech-

nological developments, demographic patterns, environmental

conditions, and channels of communication as well as changes

in opinions, beliefs, and values. He divides these other

changing elements which influence and are influenced by

movement rhetoric into three broad categories:

Social movements arise out of and are shaped by
the dynamic interaction of multifarious and
effervescent forces. . .I shall focus on
three: objective material conditions, rhetorical
discourse, and the perceptions, attitudes, and
values--the "consciousness" held by the members.
(Lucas, 1980, p. 263)

This categorization helps the critic to organize

thoughts and analyze an overwhelming number of interacting

elements through grouping them into clusters under these

primary headings. Lucas posits that the clearest under-

standing of movement rhetoric is gained in this manner by

assaying how the metamorphosis of movement discourse

functions in response to emerging exigencies from within and

without the movement as well as how situational variables

and social attitudes change in response to movement


Each of the methodologies for the study of movements

described above is instructive in formulating a means by

which to answer the questions posed by this study. Griffin

offers first a rationale for the study of movements in order

to understand the process of societal change. He also

recognizes the importance of understanding primarily the

situational variables, the background information, surround-

ing the movement before an understanding of the movement can

be gained.

One of the main questions asked in the present study

concerns the view of social reality of movement leaders,

movement followers, and of the opposition. How did these

social realities conflict? How did they interact,

influence, modify one another? The dramatistic methodology,

using the elements of the pentad and of identification,

suggests a manner in which one might analyze the speeches of

major representatives of the movement and the opposition.

Fantasy Theme Analysis suggests a means to reconstruct the

social reality of movement followers and to trace the manner

in which it alters. Social Reality approach to movement

studies offers a manner by which to reconstruct the

rhetorical vision communicated through the artifacts of the


Finally, Lucas offers a categorization of the many

influential variables which influence the communication

within a movement and its effectiveness. Utilizing his

framework, the critic can more easily organize and cope

with a great number of significant communication channels

within and between the movement and opposition groups.

Methodology for the Present Study

All the questions dealt with in this study revolve

around the persuasiveness of nonviolent communication and

the condition under which nonviolent symbolic action is an

effective tool. The rhetorical perspectives and critical

methodologies described in the preceding section are pri-

marily designed to use in the study of Aristotelian-based

rhetorical systems and within historical movements. As

such, any would be a valid choice of method by which to

analyze the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.A. Yet, a

study of the Indian Independence Movement involves a con-

sideration of nonoccidental rhetoric, values, philosophy,

and thought processes. Also, the primary objective of this

study is to find a valid methodology by which to analyze

contemporary movements in any culture in order to predict

the effectiveness of nonviolent direct action as a

persuasive strategy in that given situation rather than

explicating effectiveness in historical studies.

To address the first problem, the analysis of the

Indian Independence Movement under the leadership of Mahatma

Gandhi, the author argues that the critic, by taking

Carlson's (1969) and Griffin's (1952) advice, must study the


culture in question until a working knowledge exists in the

mind of the critic of that culture's value system and the

ways in which it is manifested in communication behavior.

Study of political, economic, social, technological,

religious, philosophical, and historical conditions sur-

rounding and influencing culturally-shared values must be

conducted. Proceeding from this base of knowledge, the

critic may then adapt U.S.A.-based methodologies to

compensate for cultural diversity. The most important

guideline is as Oliver (1962) stated, "Our logic may not be

theirs," or in fact logic may not play a large part in

another culture's rhetoric at all. Therefore, one of the

first steps in the methodology for this study is to examine

all of Lucas's "multifarious and effervescent forces" for

the U.S.A. black and white cultures and for the Indian and

British cultures in the time periods of these two


In Chapter Two, a theory developed by the author will

be described and discussed. It will be argued that the

Nonviolent Efficacy Theory identifies most of the signifi-

cant variables present in a society achieving intergroup

conflict and that the theory also presents explanations for

the ways in which these variables affect and interact with

one another and to what extent. Key terms will be defined,

basic theoretical premises, hypotheses, a path model, and

theoretical definitions will be discussed. Operational


definitions and linkages offer a means by which a researcher

may predict the feasibility of using nonviolent persuasion

in a given conflict situation and also estimate the appro-

priateness of its use with a social setting of the past.

In Chapter Three the Nonviolent Efficacy Theory will be

used to analyze the Indian Independence Movement and the

U.S.A. Civil Rights Movement as two conflict situations in

which nonviolence was used successfully. A description and

discussion of culturally based rhetorical values functioning

in India and the U.S.A. will be the first step in this

analysis. Dramatistic, Fantasy Theme, and Social Reality

analyses will be utilized in reconstruction of the

rhetorical visions of movement leaders, movement followers,

and movement opposition. In this way, an understanding of

how nonviolent symbolic action and verbal rhetoric were

effective in these two situations may be reached by tracing

the changing rhetorical visions of each group as they con-

flict, interact, and modify each other.

Chapter Four will contain content analyses of five

selected speeches of King and Gandhi. The focus of the

study will shift from the movement rhetoric to the rhetoric

of the movement leaders as the communicator styles and

personality traits of the two primary spokesmen of the

movements in question are compared and contrasted. Such a

shift is justifiable in movements in which the leader plays

so large a role in shaping the goals and the strategies of


so large a group. Identifying the similarities and signifi-

cant differences of leaders' personalities and rhetoric in

two successful movements using nonviolence may reveal

elements in leadership variables necessary to such

success. Analyses to describe communicator style will

be word and sentence counts, Type-Token ratio, Adjective-

Verb Quotients, and Flesch Human Interest Scores. Analyses

to determine leadership personality traits as revealed

through speech will include Discomfort-Relief Quotient,

Gottschalk-Gleser Anxiety Scales, and Markel's (1986) Inter-

personal and Intrapersonal Relations Scale adapted from

Gottschalk's Social Orientation Scale. In the concluding

chapter the major findings of the study will be reviewed,

problems with the study will be discussed, and suggestions

for future research will be presented.


The theory of nonviolent rhetoric and symbolic action

presented in this section is derived from a mingling of

several diverse communication as well as sociological

theories. The impetus for developing this theory was a

desire to be able to project whether the many circumstances

surrounding a given social movement are conducive to an

effective utilization of nonviolent symbolic action and

rhetoric to achieve the ends sought by movement leaders and

followers. Such projections could be useful in historical

studies of past movements as well as useful in predicting

the efficacy of nonviolent strategies in contemporary move-

ments. Nonviolent Efficacy Theory (NVET) draws from

Korzybski's theory of General Semantics (1958), the rhetori-

cal theories of social reality, dramatism, and fantasy theme

analysis, Gordon's theory of minority-majority group rela-

tions (1964), and from general theories of persuasion.

In his work in General Semantics, Korzybski explained

that much confusion, or "un-sanity", is caused by the fact

that people do not realize that their "maps"--their per-

ceived subjective ideas about the world around them--are


simply that: maps. The "territory" is the objective

reality set apart from these maps. While maps are helpful

and even necessary guides, they should not be clutched

doggedly when obviously in direct conflict with "life facts"

or the "territory."

For example, a person planning to travel from Town A to

Town B may look at a map and determine that traveling a

state road may be 45 miles shorter than taking an interstate

and, therefore, is the most efficient route to take in terms

of time. A traveling companion may argue that even though

the difference in actual mileage is greater, the interstate

is most time-efficient. However, the driver is not per-

suaded, so the two start out along the state road. Two-lane

traffic, many slow local drivers, many small towns with

lower speed zones, and general bad road conditions impede

the travelers' progress so that time of arrival in Town B is

later than planned by an hour. The passenger expects the

driver, through having experienced the life facts of

traveling on a state road, to adjust his or her ideas, his

or her map, about which route is faster. However, much to

the passenger's aggravation, the driver argues that the

circumstances were unusual; the road is usually not that

crowded; a bit of rain had slowed the travelers down; and at

any rate the highway would not have been faster even if it

had not been slower. The driver through language is chang-

ing the perception of the life facts so that they continue

to fit his or her map, the map that clearly shows that the

state road is the most time-efficient route. The two

travelers end up traveling back by the same route and again

end up being later to arrive than expected. It is easy to

imagine the passenger relating the story to a third party

and saying something such as "John (or Mary) made me so

mad--just insisted that old state road was faster than the

interstate! Just so hard-headed and won't admit to being

wrong!" Even in unimportant cases such as this hypothetical

one, people often find it easier to alter their perceptions

of life facts to fit their map of what they expect life

facts to be than to alter the map in their heads to fit

their encounters with those life facts.

In his book Symbol, Status, and Personality, Hayakawa

(1963) discusses this human tendency to trust one's mental

verbal maps of the world rather than to trust the actual

experienced, nonverbal encounter with it. He defines

Korzybski's term intensionall orientation" by saying that it

is "the habit of orienting oneself by means of words to the

more or less complete exclusion of a consideration for what

the words stand for" (p. 113).

Johnson (1972), another interpreter of Korzybski,

continues along these lines by stating that not only is the

mind-set of intensional orientation a pervasive human

tendency, but that it is one with far-reaching effects. It

causes changes to be slow, even when they are for the

better, and problems to go unresolved. It engenders a

reluctance to change maps, beliefs, theories, and policies,

even when they are in direct contradiction with reality.

In contrast, Hayakawa then goes on to explain the

opposite mindset or what Korzybski refers to as extensionall

orientation." This is the "habit of orienting oneself in

terms of the nonverbal realities . to which words are

often an imperfect guide and from which we are too often

shielded by verbal smoke screens" (p. 113). It is easy to

understand, therefore, that in rhetorical confrontation,

verbal messages which do not meet an audience's map are much

less disturbing than nonverbal messages that do not meet the

map. Although it is possible for words to be very powerful

and alone to cause changes in maps, they are still more

easily adjusted and scoffed at than nonverbal messages since

words are symbolic representations of the speaker's maps.

(Words alone are usually effective when an audience may be

considered moderate or to have a predisposition, religious or

social awareness or sensitivity, or economic or political

needs, to side with the speaker.) Referring once more to

Johnson (1946), he speaks of extensionalism as a state of

being attuned to nonverbal levels of information sources. He

writes that these nonverbal levels are from what our verbal

abstractions are derived and against which we may test and

evaluate our maps of reality. Adequate evaluation depends

upon constant gathering of data through nonverbal "having of

experiences" which allow a person to test the accuracy of

verbal mental beliefs and assumptions, what Johnson calls

"continuous testing of one's knowledge against nonverbal

experience or 'hard facts'" (1946, p. 203).

Yet most people will avoid gathering data or having

experiences if the information thus received contradicts

already formed beliefs. According to Hayakawa, we all

suppress to some degree that information which we do not

choose to face. Therefore, even though nonverbal messages

designed to persuade a listener that a given map is inaccur-

ate will be less easy to ignore or rationalize than similar

verbal messages, the rhetorician is still faced with the

problem of message avoidance on the part of the listener.

Symbolic action, then, in order to be effective must be

so designed that it will thrust an unsuspecting audience

into direct contact with the territory, to experience the

hard facts, before they can be altered or interpreted by

others' rhetorical "maps" of that territory. The purpose of

symbolic action is to confront the audience with the terri-

tory in such a way that it is simply too difficult to modify

in order to fit the audience's current maps; the purpose is

to place the listeners in actual touch with reality without

the chance for modification of that experience through

filter of language.

Modification is the mental process of interpreting

messages (received through all the senses, not simply

through the oral/aural channel) so that they support one's

social reality (i.e., one's map of what reality is). This

is the modification process most often used by the inten-

sional thinker, the person who places more faith in mental

maps than nonverbal experiences. Modification may also

refer to the reverse process by which one alters his or her

map of reality to coincide with messages which contradict

it. This is the process that Johnson uses to define the

extensional thinker, the person who continually tests his or

her map against real life experiences. In terms of the

preceding discussion, it is held that it is easier and less

threatening for a person to change his or her closely-held

beliefs about the subject of that message. It follows,

then, that modification will usually occur in interpreted

messages rather than in maps.

In order to persuade an audience to change behaviors,

beliefs, and attitudes, a speaker must somehow generate

changes in the audience's maps. In order to do so, the

message must be delivered in such a way that makes the

speaker's social reality conveyed thereby too difficult for

the audience to change, more difficult to change than the


A basic rule in persuasion found in contemporary speech

textbooks by authors such as DeVito (1984) and Ehninger et

al. (1978), states that when presenting a persuasive mes-

sage, particularly to a hostile audience, it is strategic to


establish a common ground with that audience. Such areas of

common ground may include such fundamental characteristics

as beliefs in the goodness of people or beliefs in basic

human rights. It is important to evoke from the audience

empathy and identification with oneself and one's message

early in the sender/receiver interchange. In Burkean terms,

identification is an emotional state in which the listener

feels a personal involvement in the rhetorical vision as an

actor alluded to in either "god" terms or in "devil" terms.

Rhetorical vision refers to "an intersubjective world of

common expectations and meaning created in speaker-audience

transaction" according to Bormann (1972). It is the view of

social reality constructed within the rhetoric expressed by

the source of a message and perceived by the receiver.

"God" terms, then, are words or phrases which evoke goodwill

through allusion to culturally held values and their


General Semanticists also acknowledge the usefulness of

"god" and "devil" terms in persuasion. Hayakawa writes of

American school children being taught the "proper" automatic

responses to terms such as "'Christianity' ('a fine thing'),

'the constitution' ('a fine thing'), 'Shakespeare' ('a great

poet'), 'Benedict Arnold' ('a traitor'), and so on" (1963,

p. 24).

If a communicator is of low credibility to an audience,

he or she may acquire a credibility-by-association through

quoting or mentioning a higher respected authority to which

the audience will respond with an automatic and positive

response. Higher authorities are culture-bound but most

often include national or religious figures or doctrines

such as Jesus of Nazareth, Mohammed, Moses, the Declaration

of Independence, the Bhagavad Gita, George Washington, etc.

Just as source and speaker credibility give weight

to verbal rhetoric, they give weight to nonverbal rhetoric

as well. For nonviolent tactics to be effective, then, the

source of the message must be able to cite a culturally

respected doctrine or person which supports the use of

nonviolence over violence. In societies where violence is

not sanctioned, where peace and civility are dear, it is

most important that symbolic action be nonviolent. This

is so that in no way can the territory be compatible with

the opposition's maps concerning the movement and its fol-

lowers and allow the opposition to change, filter, ignore,

or rationalize a nonresponse to the movement's message. The

opposition can look at violent action of movement followers

and feel that the followers are not "worthy" and so their

demands need not be met: "See how they act? We knew they

were like that! They only get what they deserve; it's their

own fault."

Ironically, nonviolent direct action in societies, such

as those described above, is most effective when it is

calculated to evoke and is successful in evoking violent

responses from the opposition forces. In such cases, the

opposition's map must almost always be altered. In con-

fronting the life facts, the opposition itself has acted in

conflict with the mandates of a higher authority, be it

religious doctrine, laws, or societal mores and, therefore,

has acted in conflict with its map about itself. The fact

that the opposition did act violently without having been

provoked by acts of violence and acted violently against

people who did not return that violence leaves the opposi-

tion "naked" without defense for its own violent deeds

before the judgment of the group's closely held social or

religious values against violence or against unprovoked

violence. In these circumstances it takes a great bit of

logical acrobatics in order for the territory (i.e., we

acted violently against those who did us no violence) to be

adjusted by rhetoric to the map (i.e., we are good peaceful

people; we are better people than the movement's

followers). At this point verbal arguments excusing the

opposition's behavior are weak before the actual physical

experience of the circumstances surrounding the act and

the actual occurrence of that behavior. Left with no

choice, the opposition's maps must be altered in order for

the opposition to maintain what Korzybski refers to as

"sane-ness", or to maintain equilibrium. Sane-ness or

equilibrium is a psychological state in which any informa-

tion which will not coincide with a person's or culture's

social reality can be either discredited, ignored, or

filtered in order to support and retain that present social

reality. If such information cannot be modified to support

a person's maps, then the person is in a state of disequi-

librium, an uncomfortable, un-sane state which can only be

resolved through modification of the person's map of social


Another way of looking at this is through the Psycho-

logical Balance theory discussed by DeVito (1984). Based on

general theories of human motivation, Balance theory states

that humans expect a positive link between a source and

a belief that they like, or a source and a belief that they

do not like. People also expect a negative link between a

source they respect and a belief with which they disagree.

For instance, we want the people we like to believe as we

do; we want our best friend to like a political candidate

for whom we have chosen to vote. If our expectations are

not met, if this best friend believes our chosen candidate

to be a huckster, we experience psychological imbalance. To

regain balance, we must either reform opinions about our

best friend, our chosen politician, or both. This need to

regain balance causes us to be more persuasible.

Applying this balance theory to nonviolent direct

action as well as to verbal appeals to higher authority, it

becomes clear how these two rhetorical strategies can cause

an audience to be more easily persuaded. One does not


expect a spokesperson for a cause one is against to be able

to utilize highly revered sources in support of that cause.

To do so provides a positive link between a negatively-

valued speaker and a positively-valued belief or authority.

This link causes an imbalance that the listener may correct

only through altering values placed on the speaker, the

belief, or both. Similarly, if a culture, as in the case

mentioned earlier, is peace-loving and its people have

responded to nonviolence with violence, then it finds itself

in a state of imbalance. On one hand, the audience has

observed a positive link with a negatively-valued population

and a positively-valued behavior. On the other hand, it has

observed a positive link between a positively-valued popula-

tion (itself) and a negatively valued behavior. In Burke's

dramatistic terminology, it has acted in the role of "devil"

according to its values and the mandates of a higher

authority. At this point, the opposition must either accept

the role of "devil" or "repent" in some manner. Successful

repentence occurs when the opposition changes the territory

itself in order to build a new map or salvage an old map,

one in which it once again is acting the role in which it is

content. Such changes in maps will the be revealed through

verbal rhetoric and in the territory through nonverbal


According to sociologist Gordon (1964) in his work

on intergroup conflict and racism, prejudice is the


attribution of characteristics to an individual for no other

reason that that he or she is a member of a specific group.

In other words, prejudice can be seen to result from inten-

sional thinking. The prejudiced individual will evaluate a

group member in terms of a mental map rather than utilizing

information gained through actual interaction with that

individual. Discrimination, according to Gordon, is a

result of prejudice and is the translation of prejudice into

institutionalized racism such as unfair laws, policies, and

procedures which allow inferior treatment of individuals

because they are members of a "second-class" group. Again,

such discriminatory practices are the result of intensional

thinking, using maps of how a group of people behave to form

policies governing their behavior, rather than evaluating

the policies against interaction with individuals in that

group. The objective of rhetoric for the elimination of

prejudice and discrimination, then, is to change the maps of

the audience concerning the disfavored group.

Map changes in an opponent's social reality which

eliminate prejudice are most often revealed through verbal

rhetoric. Changes in nonverbal rhetoric (hiring practices,

desegregation) more clearly indicate map changes which

lessen discrimination, according to Gordon. Therefore, fair

hiring practices and integration may lead to, but do not

indicate, unbiased attitudes.


A useful theory must not only provide explanation but a

means for prediction as well. The next section provides a

method by which the rhetorical critic or the movement

planner may predict the level of efficacy of nonviolent

direct action in a given movement. This is followed by the

presentation and discussion of the many significant vari-

ables in and surrounding a given social movement and how

they and their relationships to one another may be measured

in order to determine whether or not movement planners may

use nonviolent direct action to a successful end.

Major Propositions of NVET

NVET is based on four basic propositions gleaned from

the preceding discussion. These propositions are

1. Nonviolence is only successful when it can force
the powers it targets to identify with "devil"
terms and characters in the constructed rhetorical
vision. This identification will be revealed in
the words and actions of the opposition as they
attempt to rationalize, refute, or apologize for
their role as "devil."

2. Nonviolent symbolic action is only persuasive
when it appeals to a commonly held higher
authority. This authority provides standards by
which to compare the competing "maps" and by which
to judge the territory when it is confronted. The
rhetoric of a successful movement will contain
appeals to a commonly held authority.

3. Those who hold the prevailing vision of social
reality will go through four basic stages toward
agreement with the competing vision. These stages
are (a) awareness of a competing vision, (b)
empathy with those holding the vision, (c) identi-
fication with those holding the vision, and
(d) modification of their own prevailing vision.


4. The four stages of the opposition's social reality
will be revealed in words and actions. In the
inception stages of the movement the opposition
will describe itself in "god" terms. As the
movement progresses, the opposition's rhetoric
will change in an effort to reconcile inconsis-
tencies between the map of the opposition and the
territory as revealed through the movement's
symbolic action. The movement is successful when
in the final stage the opposition finds the incon-
sistencies between perceived social reality and
"real life facts" irreconcilable through rhetori-
cal justifications. In this case, equilibrium,
disidentification with the "devil," can only be
accomplished through alterations in the territory.
Such alterations are produced by changes in atti-
tudes, words, actions, and policies.

For nonviolent symbolic action to be effective it must

be combined with verbal appeals, both of which should be

directed at practical material authorities as well as higher

spiritual authorities. Figure 2.1 suggests the manner in

which each of these appeals work to change the opposition's

vision, their maps that dictate their attitudes and actions

toward the movement. The changing vision of the opposition

represents the four predicted stages through which it moves

toward coinciding with the movement's rhetorical vision.

The attitudes of the opposition are placed on the right side

of the competing vision to indicate that these, according to

Gordon, are more deep-seated and therefore more difficult to

reach and change.

In stage 4, nonviolent direct action thrusts the

audience into direct sensual contact with the territory. In

the example given on the model, the Birmingham march ended

with "police dogs lunging at young marchers, of firemen


1. verbal appeals to material
issues; financial; worker
concerns (Ex: Gandhi's
letter to Viceroy refusing
to pay salt tax.)

/ /

little or no impression; no
change in policy

2. verbal appeals to common
higher authority (Ex: in
letter Gandhi mentions
British charity, dignity,
sense of fairness.)

3. nonverbal appeals to
material issues (Ex:
Montgomery bus boycott
directly hurting city

4. nonverbal appeals to common
higher authority (Ex: March
where children were attacked
by policemen and dogs; appeal-
ing to doctrines of "love
they enemy," etc.)

//////// ////
/// ///// //
evokes sympathy but little or
no change in policy and atti-

y y ////r///
XXXX / / /

forces change of policy, atti-
tudes somewhat altered; inter-
dependence of groups

forces change of ideas and be-
liefs about the relationships
between the groups and the
desirability of the present

Figure 2.1. Four stages of change in the opposition's vision
of social reality.



raking them with jet streams, of club-wielding cops pinning

a Negro woman to the ground" (Oates, 1982, p. 235). With

the media bringing these images into the homes of millions,

citizens of the U.S.A. were faced with these acts committed

by the opposition against the movement. In no way could

such behavior be aligned with prevailing Judeo-Christian

doctrines or the American belief in punishment fitting

crimes. Certainly the fact that armed men were fighting

off unarmed women and children went against the nation's

sense of justice. Those audience members who felt them-

selves to be members of the opposition had to at this point

see themselves or at least their representatives in the role

of the "devil" in this particular drama. In order to

correct this, change in policy was necessary. In most

cases, it is probable, too, that a change in attitude toward

the movement followers, if nothing more than a grudging

respect, resulted from the march as well.

Note that even in the fourth stage the two visions

of social reality are not identical. Until two groups

become culturally indistinguishable, they will maintain

somewhat differing maps of reality as filtered through

differing value systems revealed in language. Complete

cultural assimilation usually occurs only through inter-

marriage according to sociologist, Gordon. The end result

of intermarriage is an elimination of two distinct cultural

groups, which in turn eliminates both differing cultural

values and social realities, and the possibility of

prejudice as a reaction to those who are different.

The path model in Figure 2.2 is designed to represent

the dynamic interaction of a few major forces of those

"multifarious and effervescent" forces present in a social

movement which Lucas (1980) talks about. The model incor-

porates elements within the three major forces of which

Lucas speaks: the objective material conditions, the

rhetorical discourse, and the ideologies of those persons

involved. It also contains Griffin's (1952) three stages of

social movements: the period of inception, the period of

rhetorical crisis, and the period of consummation. The

model does not illustrate a linear path of action but rather

a three-dimensional process. The left side of the model

includes the major factors which determine the basic psycho-

logical, financial, political, and physical strength of the

movement and its followers as well as of the opposition.

The culture's respect or disrespect for violence and non-

violence is also included. All of these factors play a part

in determining the rhetorical strategy of the movement,

verbal and nonverbal rhetoric, and how effective that

strategy is.

After rhetorical confrontation begins (Griffin's period

of rhetorical crisis), feedback from the audience affects

the movement's strategy and its effectiveness. The four

major interacting factors of this feedback include how






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strongly the verbal rhetoric embodies commonly held cultural

myths of right and wrong and how well the symbolic action

is able to catch the audience's attention and do so in a

manner which causes the opposition to play the "devil" in

the action. Verbal rhetoric containing many commonly held

and respected higher authorities and mandates of such will

be more difficult for an audience to discredit or ignore.

Symbolic action which causes the opposition to respond not

in accordance with these mandates such as acting obviously

unjustly or violently will cause the opposition to have

greater difficulty in justifying its actions and itself.

All these forces continue to interact, changing the

rhetoric and thereby the social realities of one or both

groups until a level of disequilibrium is reached that

forces the opposition to make changes in policies and atti-

tudes in order to regain its equilibrium.

Another outcome, of course, is possible. Through

the dynamic interaction of all elements, the case may be

that the opposition is able to reject or ignore the move-

ment's rhetoric and to justify its actions in response to

the movement. This feedback will normally tend to change

the rhetoric and thereby the social reality of the movement

more than the opposition. If indeed the strength of the

opposition's social reality and the rhetoric which reveals

it proves more forceful than the social reality and rhetoric

of the movement, then movement followers may be the ones to

reach a level of disequilibrium. At some point, frustration

may become so great, futility so obvious, that they believe

themselves to be wrong and foolish in their cause and their

attempt to change people, themselves, the world, society,

and "the way things are." With a new social reality tinged

with defeat and cynicism, they may give up and accept their

lot with a sense of fatalism. If neither side can succeed

in changing the rhetoric and social reality of the other

group, it may be projected that after some time violence

will erupt to decide the matter by coercion rather than


Operational Linkages

This section contains an explanation of the preceding

path model identifying a few significant variables in and

surrounding a social movement and projecting the ways in

which these variables influence one another. Graphs are

provided to give a clearer understanding of the predicted

relationships between variables. Each operational linkage

is a description of a relationship existing between two

variables in the path model (Figure 2.2). The linkage to

which each description corresponds is found in parentheses

at the end of the definition for that linkage under the

graph which depicts it. The variables are grouped into

Lucas' three major forces: material conditions, rhetorical

discourse, and ideologies.

Objective Material Conditions

The variables included in this section are those which

constitute the situation in which the movement forms.

Obviously people cannot be persuaded by rhetoric without

exposure to that rhetoric. Two important factors which

would greatly influence the amount of exposure are functions

of the cultural and political setting. These are the level

of freedom to question the status quo allowed to the general

populace and the channels of mass communication which are

open and accessible to speakers and listeners and exist

uncensored by the government. Limited freedom to

disseminate movement rhetoric or lack of technology or

access to efficient channels will limit that rhetoric's

effectiveness from the outset of the movement. Also,

obviously, an audience cannot identify with a vision to

which it has not been exposed. Too much exposure, on the

other hand, can cause movement rhetoric to meet a point of

diminishing returns. A "media blitz" or a "channel blitz"

of movement rhetoric may cause the rhetoric to be overwhelm-

ing. At a point of saturation the rhetoric may become

boring, irritating, evoking responses such as "Oh no, not

again" or "Who cares?" At this point, the perceptive

rhetorician will change tactics, or the saturation will

cause a loss of interest. (This may be a good point at

which to utilize symbolic action.) It may be expected that

movement followers are more likely to have an immediate

increase in response to the rhetoric, whereas the opposition

will be slower to begin a response which will most likely be

completely negative to rhetoric so out of line with their

world view. Also, the opposition should lose interest at

the point of saturation more rapidly and to a greater degree

than followers. The following statements and graphs

(Figures 2.3 and 2.4) represent the predicted relationship

between the Degree of Exposure to the movement's rhetoric

and the Level of Identification of movement followers as

well as the Level of Persuasibility of the opposition.

A theoretical definition for Degree of Exposure (to

movement rhetoric) would be the extent to which the audience

is in contact with movement's ideas and demands as well as

the extent to which followers and potential followers are in

contact with movement ideas. The operational definition for

determining the Degree of Exposure is as follows:

Degree of Exposure = [g(ae+be+cf+df)+hi+2ji+ki]l

The variables in this equation are replaced by numbers

determined by the following indices:

a. number of television stories on movement
b. number of radio stories on movement
c. number of newspaper stories on movement
d. number of magazine articles on movement
e. average number of minutes of aired stories
f. average number of words per written stories
g. average number of viewers/readers of news stories
among population

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