Handbook of American Public Administration
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Handbook of American Public Administration

Edited by Edmund C. Stazyk and H. G. Frederickson

The Handbook of American Public Administration draws on the expertise of established and emerging scholars to provide national and international audiences a comprehensive review of the current state and future direction of theory and practice in US public administration. The authors provide a cross-disciplinary, holistic review of the field and pave an agenda for future research.
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Chapter 14: Social equity and public administration in rhetorical perspective(s)

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.

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