– Kenneth Burke

Notes on Kenneth Burke’s Identification theory.

– Identification theory suggest that persuasion only functions when the speaker and the hearer have similarities.

– The speaker uses linguistic tools which gives signs to the listeners that they are similar or identical to their own this in turn achieves persuasion

– Four sources of identification: material, idealistic, formal and identification through mystification

– Materialistic identification: through things that are capable of being touched. For example phone, cars, clothes etc

– Idealistic identification: when people share the same attitudes, feelings and ideas. For example religion, government parties etc

– Formal identification: is based on the arrangement, form or organisation that both parties participate. For example classes or parties people attend

– Identification through mystification: when people in a lower strata of a hierarchy identify themselves with people at the top of the hierarchy

– Stages of identification. Observe, associate or disassociate and this the result of identification


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