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ERIC Number: ED546057
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 190
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-8882-1
Scholarly and Public Views: Understanding Narratives around Nanotechnology
Teggatz, Jennifer L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
How people come to conceptualize and understand science topics has implications for how they learn, communicate about, and relate to science. This dissertation conceptualizes and examines "cultural narratives" as cognitive tools used by individuals and shared through culture. Using nanotechnology as a case study I argue that people may use these cultural narratives to structure their understanding of science and draw from these narrative constructs to filter and organize their thinking about nanotechnology. First, I use an interdisciplinary approach to draw similar concepts from Communication's framing literature, Science and Technology Studies research on science images, and Literary analysis of science fiction to inform my conceptualization of "cultural narratives about nano." Next, nanotechnology related conversations and statements of lay people are examined to see if they show evidence of these scholarly cultural narratives, or if they contain alternative cultural narratives not found in the scholarly literature. Cultural narratives are identified in three data sets using multiple inductive and deductive methods. First, one-on-one interviews are qualitatively analyzed for additional cultural narratives. An open-ended survey is then quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated for scholarly and alternative cultural narratives. Finally, an inductive analysis of the consensus conference transcript using Catpac content analysis software is examined for prominent cultural narratives in a transcript of a consensus conference on nanotechnology. Results indicate the presence of some scholarly narratives, as well as additional dimensions, indicating alternative narratives. Deductive Catpac analysis confirms the scholarly, survey, and interview findings. The first four studies reveal the presence of select cultural narratives in people's talk about nanotechnology, the insight that cultural narratives may be used in combination to address a topic, and that participant motivation to locate and apply a cultural narrative may be a factor in the quality of their responses. These conclusions are further explored and confirmed in the final qualitative textual analysis of the consensus conference transcript. The concept of cultural narratives developed and explored in this dissertation provides an additional tool with which to examine the conceptions of science that people hold, and provide a lens through which we can explore the cultural implications of mediated narratives. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A