For this week, I wanted to kinda free write my thoughts. I spoke to Matt about some of his expectations and ways to get better at posting. So, I am taking his advice and just letting y’all know what I’ve jotted down, what I’ve taken from it, and what I hope someone will explain at some point.
So, I started with the introduction, obviously, and I started to understand that I was getting myself into another cultural studies text. However,I was already questioning at what extent is technical communications not a piece of cultural studies? I guess I am trying to figure out if there is a line drawn somewhere that would distinguish ” regular tech comm” , from cultural studies tech comm. Also, I would like for someone to better elaborate on what a imperialist tendency is . I may have missed it from one of the other readings, but I’m still a bit confused on what it may mean. I loved how Raymond Williams’ idea of what culture meant. But it still brought me back to my initial thought of when is tech comm not apart of culture, or cultural studies.
I found it interesting the mentioning of early tech comm courses were designed to be anti rhetorical, which I believe is darn near impossible. I’m still trying to get a complete grip on what it means for something to be rhetorical, but I believe it is when all aspects are taken to account when completing a document or task. Aspects such as audience, agency, and logical reasoning ( You know that good ol triangle). Even though initially technical communicators served along side with engineers, I still think it is important that approach be rhetorical, even if it is recognized or not. However, I’m kinda thinking is that possible if we remove the authorship as further in the book explains. Because, at that point, do we lose our credibility sense we lose our authorship.
For our readings I really focused on the Transmission and Translation portion of our reading, because I wanted to tie it in to my discourse analysis class. Which brings me to my next question; Is the position of a technical writer essential a discourse analysis? This section also mentions that technical communications are not simply a telephone line between a sender and receiver, but also they are “engaged in a relation of power within cultural contexts”. based on my understanding of that statement, I believe it is implying that technical communicators have agency and the ability to possibly engage in these theories or disrupt them. Side note; I wonder is it possible to queer some of these theories discussed in chapter one. I have to agree that technical communication is a branch of participatory communication, but I wonder what would happen if we were no longer participants, if we would still have a space within communication. Most specifically if we are to remain “neutral ” during transmission of communication (28).