A RHETORIC OF TECHNOLOGY: COERCION AND INTERVENTION IN TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION
AuthorMenchaca, David Anthony
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this work I propose that the rhetoric of technology is a kind of machinery of meaning-making that creates symbolic technologies that exist parallel with, but are distinct from, the material technologies they represent. The creation of symbolic technologies is dynamic and influenced by multiple and disparate communicative and ideological operations ranging from the writing and reading of technical manuals to processes of cultural indoctrination. As such, I use Barry Brummett's Rhetorical Dimensions of Popular Culture to demonstrate that technology is a coercive cultural force I call techno-culture. Under the influence of techno-culture, technical manufacture must be viewed as technology production and technical use must be viewed as technology utilization. This reformulation of terms emphasizes the fact that technology is manufactured and used according to the preferred significations of techno-culture. Fortunately, as the rhetoric of technology uncovers the processes by which techno-culture propagates hegemonic structures, the rhetoric of technology also provides users and manufacturers with the means to intervene. Metaphor and metonymy, as modes of meaning-making, are those means.
Degree ProgramRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English