Ohio Communication Journal
Ohio Communication Association
Self-help, Individualism, Communitarian
Communitarians have criticized liberals for being too focused on individual rights and responsibilities. But not many scholars have raised this criticism in the area of self-help rhetoric. To address this void, this essay formulates a communitarian critique of the rhetorical devices Dr. Phil uses to counsel guests on his television program. Many scholars have published insightful work on the communitarian/liberalism debate. This paper extends that debate by providing a moral critique of the rhetoric espoused in this popular form of self-help entertainment. Dr. Phil's persuasive appeals to his guests reveal how notions of individualism appear during the show's dialogue.
Jones, Eric K., "A Communitarian Critique of Dr. Phil: The Individualistic Ethos of Self-Help Rhetoric" (2008). Communications Faculty Scholarship. Paper 8.
Jones, E. K. (2008). A Communitarian Critique of Dr. Phil: The Individualistic Ethos of Self-Help Rhetoric. Ohio Communication Journal, 46, 73-93.