A Look Towards the Future: Fleming’s Commonplace

Rhetorical Analysis #5

By Kwesi Billups

In Chapter 8 of his City of Rhetoric, David Fleming defines the terms by which he believes the reductive societal pictures of suburbia, home, and ghetto can be discarded and replaced by doctrines that seek to erase discrimination, violence, and isolation from the subtext of housing planning and, thus,  public discourse as a whole. Fleming’s assertion of the city as an “anchoring scene” informs the idea that groups of highly concentrated diverse perspectives serve as commonplaces for discussions of social renewal and decreased social stratification (180). Fleming asserts that, above all, education and adherence to practical and ethical standards are key components to the growing body of civics dedicated to leveling the playing field. His proposed social redevelopment stresses the importance of diversity in developing equitable, comprehensive, and dynamic social structures aimed at distributing equal access to resources and opportunity for social participation across presently existing sociopolitical and economic boundaries.


Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.

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