Urban Jungle Ferguson Rhetorical Analysis

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Underhill, S. M. (2016). Urban jungle, Ferguson: Rhetorical homology and institutional critique. Quarterly Journal of Speech,102(4), 396-417. doi:10.1080/00335630.2016.1213413 In this paper, Underhill uses rhetorical homology of the phrase “urban jungle” to critique the law enforcement response to the civil unrest and riots that occurred in Ferguson, Mo after the death of Michael Brown. Michael Brown was an African American male who was shot by a Ferguson, Mo police officer in August of 2014. This article relates urban jungle to how it affects law enforcement views of the African American community. The paper discusses how the mentality of looking at Ferguson as an urban jungle conjures the image of a savage land that needs to be conquered…show more content…
The author of this paper, Stephen Underhill, has a PhD in communications from the University of Maryland, and is an associate professor at Marshall University, teaching multiple undergraduate and Master’s level courses (I googled him). As such, this is an articulate and well-structured paper. It does a good job of explaining Rhetorical homology, which is a theory I was not familiar with and how it applies to the incidents in Ferguson, Mo. However, that is where I stop with complimenting this article. As a law enforcement officer, I look at things impartially and do not let my personal feelings get involved. However, Underhill did not do the same thing in this article. It shows obvious bias against law enforcement techniques of which Underhill has no knowledge of. I have been in law enforcement since 2004 and I am quite used to criticism, and can respect that others do not understand what I do and why law enforcement operates in a specific manner. I can also respect that other do not agree with how things are done. What I do not agree with, as a police officer or as a college student, is the sources cited in this…show more content…
It has always been using quality sources, either academic journals (often peer reviewed) or credible and unbiased news sources. While this article does do that, it also cites several poor sources and cherry picks sections to fit his created narrative of law enforcement and white culture actively working to oppress subcultures. Some of these sources include BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Color Lines, Mediaite, Mother Jones, blogs, and/or opinion pieces. These are not articles known to produce accurate and biased free articles. If I were to turn in a paper citing these sources in the manner he did, I would expect to receive an incredible low or possibly failing grade. This is not the quality of work I would expect from a well-educated, college professor in an academic
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