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Section Name

Position articles

Abstract

Most approaches to public speaking are based on the works of Plato, Aristotle and other classical Greek scholars and have not been updated to include the views of women or minority scholars who can make great contributions to our understanding of rhetoric and public speaking (Gregory, 1993; Hanna and Gibson, 1989; Osborn and Osborn, 1994). The few attempts that have been made to include women and minorities in textbooks are generally limited to the inclusion of a speech or two by a woman or minority speaker or hints on how to be sensitive to gender and culture issues in audience analysis. For example, Gronbeck, McKerrow, Ehninger and Monroe (1990) include a section in the language chapter on ''Views of Women's Communication" and in the appendix there is a discussion of "Gender and Communication." Hanna and Gibson (1989) have a short paragraph in their language chapter on stereotypic language. Gregory (1993) has a brief paragraph in his language chapter on sexist language, and Verderber (1988) mentions sexist and racist language. Although this is not a complete content analysis of all public speaking texts, these examples are representative of the way gender and diversity are dealt with in basic public speaking texts.

But since the speeches by women and minorities and methods of adaptation are viewed within the context of a traditional Western, male dominated view of public speaking, this does nothing to help students see beyond the traditional model.