Technological dramas: A meta-discourse heuristic for critical literacy

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This article discusses and illustrates a meta-discourse heuristic that can be used to illuminate the politics of technology in higher education. Although the field tends to focus on developing critically literate students, teachers new to teaching writing with computers need more than primary theoretical sources in order to conceptualize the political nature of academic computing and its administrative and pedagogical contexts. The heuristic comes from the activist work of Bryan Pfaffenberger, who provided an ideal-typical model of the way power circulates in technological settings. I show how computers and writing specialists can apply this heuristic to their daily interactions with technology in the academy. The heuristic could be used in teacher preparation courses or in faculty development programs. It could also be used in advanced undergraduate courses; however, I do not discuss how to employ the heuristic with students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-196
Number of pages26
JournalComputers and Composition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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