Exercise 22: “Teen binge drinking” pp. 62-63: Dr Carr Gregg
Key arguments/views: (“construction of argument” strategies)
- Dr Gregg contends that new strategies are needed to cope with the increase in drinking binges among young adults.
- Firstly, he analyses the problem: that binge drinking is escalating and dangerously affects the developing teenage brain. Most alarmingly, there seems to be no effective solution.
- After foregrounding the dangers (the use of the extended metaphor and attacking devices), he prepares his audience to recognise that leadership is required — leadership that boldly implements new strategies.
- (Appeals/values such as health and well-being and leadership/duty of care principles are embedded in the author’s views/key ideas.)
Reasoning/ persuasive strategies that are critical to his views:
- Extended metaphor/analogy: he compares binge drinking to the fatal Ebola virus to emphasise the risks and to build a climate of fear.
- Dr Carr Gregg uses this metaphor (fear) to accentuate/reinforce his criticism of governments and parents, who underestimate (or ignore) the dangers;
- He uses cause-and-effect reasoning strategies (“logic and common sense”): “zero supervision” and ineffective leadership = youth drinking = violence and crime and death.
- The author uses colloquial expressions to shame/isolate public health officials (quotes/word level: “they’ve thrown everything it”) (reason/purpose); public health officials are very ineffective)
- appeals to health and well-being as well as duty of care.
- Purpose: to alarm and shame officials; encourage populace to agitate for greater controls/solutions
Quotes: Word level analysis: figurative language: personification: repetition: “burrow into teenage psyches and then roars into life”.
Metalanguage: tone words (concerning; accusatory; blunt; upstanding) ; pejorative language; attacking language: he discredits; he rebukes; purpose: fear: unsettling; it is disconcerting that … ; logically, self-evidently, he expects / encourages the public to agitate for more effective strategies to deal with the problem.
(Please write two short paragraphs, or one larger, merged paragraph.)
Key arguments/views/supporting reasons:
(Analysis of problem/causes): Dr Gregg attributes this rise in toxic levels of drinking to a social and cultural environment that fosters rather than prevents binge drinking episodes. More specifically, advertising and disconnected families as well as self-indulgent parents are to blame.
Reasoning/persuasive strategies that are critical to his main message:
- Dr Gregg attacks the self-serving, cavalier attitude of parents and the media for irresponsible advertising;
- Word level: figurative analogy between parents and marketing gimmicks;
- using cause-and-effect reasoning strategies he suggests that ineffective parenting, “zero supervision” is one of the factors that contribute to excessive drinking habits.
- Appeals to leadership: “they (the public) want to see strong leadership”; this appeal continues to shame those politicians who are failing to provide adequate solutions.
- Purpose: to stimulate fear and anger against politicians
Metalanguage: to perturb all concerned parents; arouse indignation; tone (indignant) ; direct our frustration towards politicians; analogies; descriptions of parents and politicians as self-serving; ineffectual; irresponsible