Week 7 Reading

In the introduction, Hass and Eble argue that Globalization influences the technological, scientific and cultural spheres of technical communication. I understood this part as the fact that Globalization means that communication is broaden to include more diverse audiences, and a technical communicator will have to be more careful considering their audience, and particularly the divers backgrounds. However, at the point where Hass and Eble discuss the thought that science and technology are not really objective and neutral, but subjective and ideological means that serve certain ideological agendas, I had to stop to think how technology and science would serve an agenda of oppression for instance. The later discussion of social justice helped me shape an answer for my question as I started to understand that technology and science can be used in biased representation that does not achieve social justice for a cultural group for instance. The Frost chapter and the discussion of the documentation available on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill shows this bias and unjust representation of the disaster, with a focus more on economy than health, which I find controlled by the society itself. That is, in a capitalist society where economy and money is an essence of life, it is ordinary (from a capitalist perspective) to find more emphasis on money than anything else.

Herein, lies the importance of social, feminist, critical and other theories in the construction of the curricular and pedagogical approaches of technical communication. Evoking students to take these stands in their consideration of a context of technical communication can help them apply a more socially just practices. In designing her pedagogy, Frost helped students take a stance, and construct their own identities. At the point where she discusses how two of the students made it clear that they were not feminists, I found her pedagogy was empowering as they could explicitly express their own ideology, not putting themselves in the feminist position as the pedagogy was based on apparent feminism. I was wondering whether the student’s culture affected the student’s decision to not discuss in the public website. If so, I would argue that the flexibility of Frost’s pedagogy in this case was a form of using technology with a culturally informed agenda that served to provide a social justice for that particular student.

Overall, I found the reading for this week interesting, but still wish to grasp a little more about it in the class discussion. So far, I got to understand that technical and professional communication is a too broad discipline that I would never be able to confine in one definition.


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