A rhetoric of controversy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Efforts to explore the concept of controversy have presumed a relationship between the public sphere and the controversial. The normalizing spatial metaphor of the public sphere, however, provides a limited perspective on the fluidity, multiplicity, and mobility of controversies. This essay suggests an alternative perspective based on the intersection of moments of opportunity and specific sites of discourse. The new perspective is applied to the controversy surrounding the African Burial Ground in New York City.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-510
Number of pages23
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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