What Institutional Logics Can Teach Us About Institutional Rhetorics (And Why We Should Care)

Publication Date

January 2020

Document Type

Contribution to a Book

Publication Title

Re-inventing Rhetoric Scholarship: Fifty Years of the Rhetoric Society of America


Roxanne Mountford, Dave Tell, and David Blakesley

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It is hardly controversial to suggest that institutions play a crucial role in the maintenance, distribution, and intensification of rhetoric. Rhetorical scholars often acknowledge that institutions have an outsized influence on public discourse. But there nevertheless remains significant opportunity for rhetoricians to develop additional theories of institutional rhetorics that help explain how institu­tions get the right to speak, how they exercise that right, how they convey the right to speak to other institutions and individuals, and how institutions shape discourse in powerful and distinct ways. I’m certainly not the first person to suggest that institutional rhetorics constitute an important area of research, but in this chapter, I suggest that the institutional logics perspective offers rhetoricians a valuable avenue for pursuing this work.


rhetoric, institutional rhetorics, institutional logics perspective, new institutionalism