Critical Literacy in A Digital Era: Technology, Rhetoric, and the Public interest
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Critical Literacy in a Digital Era offers an examination of the persuasive approaches used in discussions on and about the Internet. Its aim is to increase awareness of what is assumed, unquestioned, and naturalized in our media experience. Using a critical literacy framework for her analysis, author Barbara Warnick argues that new media technologies become accepted not only through their use, but also through the rhetorical use of discourse on and about them. She analyzes texts that discuss new media and technology, including articles from a major technology-oriented periodical; women's magazines and Web sites; and Internet-based political parody in the 2000 presidential campaign. These case studies bring to light the persuasive strategies used by writers to influence public discourse about technology.
The book includes analyses of narrative structures, speech genres, intertextuality, argument forms, writing formulae, and patterns of emphasis and neglect used in traditional and new media outlets. As a result, this distinctive work identifies the features of online speech that bring people and ideas together and enable communities to form in new media environments.
As a unique study of the ways in which ideology is embedded in rhetorical texts, this volume will play a significant role in the development of critical literacy about writing and speech concerning new communication technology. It will be of interest to readers concerned about how our talk about communication affects how we think about it, in particular those interested in communication and social change, public persuasion, and rhetorical criticism of new media content.
aspects of each of the two elements, the writer highlights those and neglects other aspects. Comparisons made by figurative analogies are relatively explicit. For example, one of Wired’s writers said: There are some [people] who have not been exposed to the rewards of being an entrepreneur and don’t know what they’re missing. But they’re starting to hear about it, and they’re getting antsy for a taste of it. It is as if they were sitting on the other side of a one-way mirror, watching people make
network structure] will need to be able endlessly to reconfigure itself, to solve unanticipated problems, and address unforeseeable new needs” (Kelly & Reiss, 1998, p. 130). Here the THE “NEW FRONTIER” IN CYBERSPACE 39 global network structure is anthropomorphized through the attribution of the human capacity to adapt, anticipate, improvise, and resolve. Anthropomorphizing computers, computer systems, and other technologies is a regular feature of Wired’s writing. Although it appears more
pictures accompanying articles. I excluded the cover, title pages, advertisements, cartoons, drawings, and simulations.7 My count included five issues over a 5-year span (1995–1999): 3.09, 5.09, 6.08, 7.06, and 7.09. The tally is shown in Table 1.1. A simple count, however, does not reveal the whole picture, and a closer look at the photographs and accompanying commentary shows many of the portrayals of women and minorities to be marginalizing or unflattering. Of the 15 Asian men, 2 were pictured
Nations conference in Beijing. From this list alone, I have been introduced to women from all over North and South America, Europe, and Asia” (Sherman, 1995, p. 28). Working Woman promised its readers that “there’s a whole World Wide Web of information out there that can help you do your job, run your business, and build your career” (J. Schwartz, 1996, p. 49). To prove this point, the article described women such as Kim Polese, member of the Sun Microsystems team that developed Java, “a
[and] creatively extend and apply it…within old communities and in new ones” (p. 87). Such criticism proceeds by observing how writers make use of text-based resources available to them and evident in the design of their messages. It studies symbolic action as carried out through visual images, specialized argots, hypertext patterns, and other means used to form identity and community. Although the focus here is on language use, many of these features are also similarly manifest in visual display