The Argumentative Burdens of Audience Conjectures: Audience Research in Popular Culture Criticism (Reprint)

  • Jennifer Stromer-Galley
  • Edward Schiappa
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


This chapter is a reprint with a new introduction of a classic 1998 text on claims about specific effects on audiences or claims describing the determinate meaning of a text for audiences. The chapter notes that these ‘audience conjectures’ are being advanced by rhetorical critics of popular culture texts without adequate evidence. The thesis is that if critics make claims concerning the determinate meanings of the text or the effects those texts have on audiences, then the critic should support such claims with audience research. The chapter concludes with three theoretical notions: that wording in scholarly writing matters, that the lines between social scientific and humanistic research should be blurred, and that audience research enhances the connections between rhetorical and cultural studies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Stromer-Galley
    • 1
  • Edward Schiappa
    • 2
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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