Fleming’s Parting Words

In Chapter 9 of City of Rhetoric Fleming argues that we must stop wasting time and make changes to benefit the future of our communities. He beings the conclusion of this book by stating that it is a “tall order” to combat the biases that our society has bred and processes such as language don’t make it any easier. Fleming states that we must find a way to interact with all, including the “others” which people do not make enough of an effort to understand. However, the author claims that the solution to this glaring problem is an education which understands the city and the people who define it (202).

Fleming calls for a “civic” education in which we can give students a comprehensive understanding of the communities they live in and an ability to understand rhetorical situations (205). Additionally, we must seek to instill the idea that our actions are what define the places we reside rather than being purely reactionary. We control our own homes.

The way in which civic education to breed change is reached comes in the form of four points focusing on necessary facets of knowledge (208). Memory, to learn a community as well as its members. Mapping, because we often do not know the path of that which we are arguing about and need to first and foremost be educated on the subjects we are passing decision. Judgement, to reinforce the prosperity that comes with deliberation among free equals. And Design: to understand the historical context beyond our immediate interactions. All of these in contingency are what can be used to develop a more cohesive and beneficial living space for citizens of Chicago and the United States.

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