Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-5-2023


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Communication and Rhetorical Studies


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Janie Harden Fritz

Committee Member

Richard Thames

Committee Member

Erik Garrett


Rhetorical Privilege, Entitlement, Student Entitlement, Academic Entitlement, Discourse, Control, Emotional Manipulation, Rhetorical Balance


This project seeks to explore a concept that I call rhetorical privilege, an occurrence that develops within a particular population of individuals who exhibit an elevated sense of self, demanding exclusive accommodation or recognition for unearned accomplishment. Commonly known as entitlement, this mentality is often associated with younger generations that have been raised in an environment that engenders an attitude of control. Equipped with the misguided notion that all aspects of their lives may be personally determined, individuals carry this same assumption into communicative encounters. My contention is that the contemporary rhetorical speaker-audience relationship, understood to be built upon “a community of minds” (Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca 1971), falls victim to this phenomenon. Rhetorical privilege becomes another system of control, propagating inequity between participants of a discourse. While instances of entitlement can be witnessed in a variety of settings, from daily interactions to the professional workplace, the most acknowledged illustration rests in the classrooms of colleges and universities across the country. Grounded in the work of Morrow (1994), and Lippman, Bulanda, and Wagenaar (2009), entitlement in an educational setting provides an appropriate example of how attitudes of deservingness disrupt shared discourse between a speaker and audience, leading to instances of rhetorical privilege.



Included in

Rhetoric Commons