Matching Items (7)

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“We’re Still Writing That Story”: How Successful Women Engineers Use Narrative Rhetoric to Open Possibilities for Change

Description

Women are under-represented in engineering, in school and in the workplace. Reasons for this include the socio-historical masculinization of technology, which has been established by feminist technology researchers such as

Women are under-represented in engineering, in school and in the workplace. Reasons for this include the socio-historical masculinization of technology, which has been established by feminist technology researchers such as Faulkner, Lohan and Cockburn, and makes developing role models of women engineers difficult. The under-representation of women in engineering is a social problem that typically lies outside the area of interest of rhetoricians. However, my dissertation considers storytelling by women engineers as a powerful rhetorical tool, one that is well-suited for the particular structural inequalities endemic to engineering. I analyze stories told by participants in an oral history project conducted by the Society of Women Engineers, with women engineers who worked between the 1940’s and the early 2000’s. I use a textual coding research method to reveal the claims participants make through stories, themes that are evident across those claims, and how women engineers effectively use stories to advance those claims. My study extends the scholarly understanding of the rhetoric of engineering work. I find that in their stories participants argue for a complex relationship between social and technical work; they describe how technical thinking helps them work through social problems, how technical work is socially situated, that an interest in technical work impacts family and interpersonal relationships, and how making career decisions is facilitated by social relationships. They also demonstrate considerable rhetorical expertise in their use of narrative. As a collection these stories meet a pressing need: the need for an understanding of engineering and women engineers that creates possibilities for change. They meet this need first by helping the audience understand both significant systemic oppressions and the problem-solving individual actions that can be taken in response (in ways that highlight possibilities without placing the full responsibility for change on women engineers), and second by illustrating a heterogenous understanding of engineering and women engineers (in order to avoid essentializing women and essentializing technology). As a result of these qualities, the stories are a way to get to ‘know’ engineers and engineering from a distance, which is exactly the pressing lack felt by so many potential women engineers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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From home to public homeplace: creating a space for working-class rhetoric in composition studies

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The topos of home is fraught with ideological baggage. This piece works alongside others that labor to rework home as a space for rhetorical topos. I spend the majority of

The topos of home is fraught with ideological baggage. This piece works alongside others that labor to rework home as a space for rhetorical topos. I spend the majority of my text analyzing three books from which I explicate the topos of "home." These books are Mike Rose's 1989 work Lives on the Boundary: A Moving Account of the Struggles and Achievements of American's Educational Underclass, Victor Villanueva's 1993 Bootstraps: From and American Academic of Color, and Ellen Cushman's 1998 The Struggle and the Tools: Oral and Literate Strategies in an Inner City Community. I've chosen these books for two interrelated reasons. First, these texts aided in establishing working-class rhetoric as a field of study within the paradigm of rhetoric and composition. And second, in their individual ways, each of these books is anchored in a profound sense of "home." Each of the texts also experiments and resists scholarly conventions to include some autobiographical passages. Central to these passages is the topos of home, a theme that both enriches the author's autobiographical account and informs his or her theory forwarded in that work. These features add fruitful theory building to both the authors' individual texts and the paradigm as a whole. I ground my work in working-class theory, analyzing the work of Steve Parks, Nick Pollard and Nancy Welch, alongside scholarship that analyzes those labeled as "other" in higher-level academia. The stories that Parks, Pollard and Welch quote, the works of Rose, Villanueva, Cushman and even myself, all work toward discussing and creating not only a "home" for working-class academics but also room for more working-class research and theory-building. As I argue in this project, through these very acts of rhetorical/scholarly experimentation, Rose, Villanueva, and Cushman defied conventional standards for what counts as "good scholarship" in order to initiate a scholarly trajectory for working-class rhetoric in the academy. These authors' discussions of the "home" -specifically personal and political references to working-class homes--were instrumental tools in creating a public homeplace and space for further working-class theory building for rhetoricians in our field.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The rhetoric of surveillance in post-Snowden background investigation policy reform

Description

In June 2013, United States (US) government contractor Edward Snowden arranged for journalists at The Guardian to release classified information detailing US government surveillance programs. While this release caused the

In June 2013, United States (US) government contractor Edward Snowden arranged for journalists at The Guardian to release classified information detailing US government surveillance programs. While this release caused the public to decry the scope and privacy concerns of these surveillance systems, Snowden's actions also caused the US Congress to critique how Snowden got a security clearance allowing him access to sensitive information in the first place. Using Snowden's actions as a kairotic moment, this study examined congressional policy documents through a qualitative content analysis to identify what Congress suggested could “fix” in the background investigation (BI) process. The study then looked at the same documents to problematize these “solutions” through the terministic screen of surveillance studies.

By doing this interdisciplinary rhetorical analysis, the study showed that while Congress encouraged more oversight, standardization, and monitoring for selected steps of the BI process, these suggestions are not neutral solutions without larger implications; they are value-laden choices which have consequences for matters of both national security and social justice. Further, this study illustrates the value of incorporating surveillance as framework in rhetoric, composition, and professional/technical communication research.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Second Language Writing in Intensive English Programs and First Year Composition

Description

The study develops a better understanding of what is valued in L2 academic writing in IEP and FYC programs through a comparative case study approach, identifying the assumptions and underlying

The study develops a better understanding of what is valued in L2 academic writing in IEP and FYC programs through a comparative case study approach, identifying the assumptions and underlying values of program directors and instructors in both types of instructional settings. The goal of the study is to understand more about second language writing pedagogy for international students in these programs, as well as to provide university administrators with a better understanding of how to improve writing instruction for multilingual students, who have become a key part of the U.S. higher education mission. Data include program-level mission statements, course descriptions and objectives, curricular materials, as well as interviews with teachers and program directors. Major findings show that there is a tension between language-focused vs. rhetoric-focused approaches to second language writing instruction in the two contexts. IEP instruction sought to build on students' language proficiency, and writing instruction was rooted in a conception of writing as language organized by structural principles, while the FYC program emphasized writing as a tool for communication and personal growth. Based on these findings, I provide recommendations for improving graduate education for all writing teachers, developing more comprehensive needs analysis procedures, and establishing administrative structures to support international multilingual students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Teachers, texts, and transactions: towards a pedagogy for teaching literature

Description

A simple passion for reading compels many to enter the university literature classroom. What happens once they arrive may fuel that passion, or possibly destroy it. A romanticized relationship with

A simple passion for reading compels many to enter the university literature classroom. What happens once they arrive may fuel that passion, or possibly destroy it. A romanticized relationship with literature proves to be an obstacle that hinders a deeper and richer engagement with texts. Primary research consisting of personal interviews, observations, and surveys, form the source of data for this dissertation project which was designed to examine how literature teachers engage their students with texts, discussion, and assignments in the university setting. Traditionally text centered and resolute, literature courses will need refashioning if they are to advance beyond erstwhile conventions. The goal of this study is to create space for a dialogue about the need for a pedagogy of literature.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Investigating agency in multilingual writers' placement decisions: a case study of the writing programs at Arizona State University

Description

This yearlong project examines how multilingual undergraduate writers--including international visa students and U.S. permanent residents or citizens who are non-native English speakers--exercise agency in their first-year composition placement decisions. Agency

This yearlong project examines how multilingual undergraduate writers--including international visa students and U.S. permanent residents or citizens who are non-native English speakers--exercise agency in their first-year composition placement decisions. Agency is defined as the capacity to act or not to act contingent upon various conditions. The goal of the project is to demonstrate how student agency can inform the overall programmatic placement decisions, which can lead to more effective placement practices for multilingual writers. To explore the role of agency in students' placement decisions, I conducted a series of four in-depth interviews with eleven multilingual writers between Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 in the Writing Programs at Arizona State University. To triangulate these placement decisions, I interviewed some of the multilingual student participants' academic advisors and writing teachers as well as writing program administrators. Findings showed that when conditions for agency were appropriate, the multilingual student participants were able to negotiate placement, choose to accept or deny their original placement, self-assess their proficiency level as deciding to choose a writing course, plan on their placement, question about placement, and finally make decisions about a writing course they wanted to take. In the context of this study, conditions for agency include the freedom to choose writing courses and information about placement that is distributed by the following sources: advisors' recommendations, other students' past experience in taking first-year composition, the new student orientation, and other sources that provide placement related information such as an online freshman orientation and a major map. Other findings suggested that the academic advisor participants did not provide the multilingual students with complete placement information; and this affected the way the multilingual students chose which section of first-year composition to enroll in. Meanwhile, there was no formal communication about placement options and placement procedures between the Writing Programs and writing teachers. Building on these findings, I argue for improving conditions for agency by providing placement options, making placement information more readily available, and communicating placement information and options with academic advisors, writing teachers, and multilingual students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Writing together: a study of secondary ELA preservice teachers participating in peer writing communities

Description

This mixed methods study explores the work of five small writing communities formed within a university-based preservice English language arts writing methods course. Fifteen preservice English language arts teachers took

This mixed methods study explores the work of five small writing communities formed within a university-based preservice English language arts writing methods course. Fifteen preservice English language arts teachers took part in the study and participated across five peer writing groups. The study shares the instructional design of the course as well as the writing activities and practices that took place within the groups over the course of one 15-week semester. The study draws on Wenger’s (1998, 2009) theory of communities of practice as well as activity theory (Engeström,1999, 2001; Russell, 1997) to understand the social supports, practices, and learning activities that assisted these preservice teachers as writers and as teachers of writing. The qualitative data included writing surveys, writing samples, and participant interviews as well as pre and post writing self-efficacy surveys as quantitative data. This study documents the affordances and constraints of peer writing groups in methods courses for preservice English language arts teachers and how these groups may influence their identities and practices as writers and as teachers of writing. These findings provide insight into ways we might strengthen the preparation of English language arts preservice teachers as teachers of writing and build communities of practice within preservice training courses and programs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019