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Richard K. Ghere

This chapter lends rhetorical perspective on Frederickson’s argumentation on social equity—particularly as compiled in his book Social Equity in Public Administration—to assess the current prospects for promoting equity-related initiatives within the contentiously polarized public sphere. Rhetoric can be understood as communication intended to elicit particular modes of social interaction. Effort here to lend rhetorical perspective to Frederickson’s arguments on social equity relies principally on selected writings of three scholars—Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman, and Gerald Hauser—who each approach rhetorical study from different intellectual interests. This study projects Burke, Perelman, and Hauser’s thoughts on the social equity ideas that Frederickson conveys in the “first half” of his book. The balance of this chapter divides into subsections devoted to each of the book’s first five chapters.