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Last updated February 19, 2001


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Feminist Genre

Explanation of Theory:FGT evaluates communication by identifying feminist speakers and reframing their speaking qualities as models for women’s liberation.

Theorists: Karlyn Kohrs Campbell


Primary Article:Campbell, K. K. (1973). The rhetoric of women’s liberation: An oxymoron. Quarterly Journal of 
Speech, 59, 74-86.

Individual Interpretations:The women’s movement cannot be judged by male-gendered, rhetorical standards because women’s rhetoric reflected the unique experience of women.

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

Ontological Assumptions:n/a

Epistemological Assumptions:n/a

Axiological Assumptions:n/a

Critique:FGT is a good theory because it derives from a consistently formulated theoretical position. It contains a long list of research that is reasonable.  Also, implications for other inquiries are made.

Ideas and Implications:FGT is implies that the elimination of the ideology of male dominant rhetoric is necessary. Its idea to replace it with feminist principles of safety, values, and freedom that are available for both men and women.


Example:Women public speakers face double bind of having both to reaffirm femininity and use male-engenders styles of speaking that resulted in criticism that they were speaking like a man.

Relevant Research:Davis, F. (1991). Moving the mountain: The women’s movement in America since 1960. New 
York: Simon & Schuster.
Hochschild, A., with Machung, A. (1989). The second shift. New York: Viking.
Wood, J. T. (1996a). Gendered relationships. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
Wood, J. T. (1996b). She says/he says: Communication, caring and conflict in heterosexual 
relationships. In J. T. Wood (Ed.), Gendered relationships (pp.149-162). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:

     Anderson, R., & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.  n/a

     Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 300-301

     Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. 337-339

     Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. n/a

      Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. n/a

      Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 239-241

      West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. n/a

       Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 312-321