Cultural diversity, globalization, and political correctness

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Culture is defined by the norms, values, and beliefs a community adheres to. Arguments that in their premises, warrants, or patterns affect such values may be called culture-sensitive. Attentiveness to the audience’s background and implicitness of premises are hallmarks of rhetorical argumentation. In a globalized world, cultural communities may clash in various fields, and in cross-cultural discourse insensitivity to cultural diversity can spoil an argument. Political correctness calls for respect for otherness, yet if no cultural group must be impaired, this may stifle all argumentation. The chapter asks how rhetorical argumentation will be possible on a global scale under the impact of political correctness. By analyzing typical cases it demonstrates that pragmatic solutions are called for, which rhetoric can provide.


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