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David Coogan. Service Learning and Social Change: The Case for Materialist Rhetoric.

Coogan, David. "Service Learning and Social Change: The Case for Materialist Rhetoric." CCC 57.4 (2006): 667-693.


A materialist rhetoric in service learning is needed to teach students how to discover the arguments that already exist in the communities they wish to serve; analyze the effectiveness of those arguments; collaboratively produce viable alternatives with community partners; and assess the impact of their interventions. Through a discussion of a project that attempted but failed to increase parent involvement in Chicago's public schools, this article shows why rhetorical production needs to be supported by the kind of rhetorical analysis that reveals how institutions exercise power. Materialist rhetoric challenges students, teachers, and community partners to write for social change and define change concretely, in terms of institutional practices or policies that they wish to influence.

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