Critical Literacy in A Digital Era: Technology, Rhetoric, and the Public interest

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Taylor & Francis, Nov 1, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 160 pages
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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.

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About the author (2001)

Barbara Warnick is Professor and Chair in the Department of Communication, University of Pittsburgh. Her research emphasis is in rhetorical theory and criticism of persuasion in online public discourse, and her work has recently appeared in American Behavioral Scientist and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.

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