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ERIC Number: ED451538
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Taking Care of Business: The Repercussions of Commodified Electronic Literacy.
Dickinson, Sandra C.
The corporate takeover of the Internet has moved literacy into uncharted territory. Couched in capitalist metaphors of liberation, choice, utility, and desirability, an expanded communications network that provides quick and easy access to vast amounts of information appeals to the national psyche. The commodification of literacy as a result of the current explosion in electronic consumerism is a "topos" that has received little attention in rhetoric/composition, even though computer technology has been a boon for the field in creating opportunities for theorizing and for enhancing the status of writing programs in the eyes of school administrators. Computer technology is the latest revolution in the history of writing, and never before has the implementation of a new technology depended so heavily on the integration of commercialism and education. The mixture of ads and information on the screen is confusing and distracting, especially for impressionable and easily distracted students. If K-12 students are conditioned to obtain information for research projects from commercially sponsored Web sites at home and school, this practice will continue in college. If students are to be confronted and distracted by ads in the course of learning, then the persuasion inherent in the rhetoric of advertising needs to be addressed. What is needed is a visual literacy based on Paulo Freire's critical literacy to understand and counter this commercial intrusion. This new literacy must incorporate visual rhetoric in its repertoire, for the combination of glitzy graphics promoting an array of consumer products is a compelling and entertaining combination, especially compared to the concentration and commitment required from text-bound reading and writing. (Contains 13 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A