Week 12

The reading this week was quite interesting. In chapter 9 Moeller explore Feminist Disabilities Studies with technical communication, which challenges the “norm” that we have been discussing for several weeks. Moeller states that FDS calls attention to bodies that comprise the margins, to the disempowerment and disfranchisement of various populations of individuals often found outside of or bastardized by the cultural “norm.” (Moeller, 304). Moeller’s also goes in depth how FDS can assist technical communicators and teachers of technical communication in highlighting the potential to both employ and resist harmful normative narratives about health and wellness (Moeller, 304).

One statement that stood out in this chapter was Moeller stating, “I argue that FDS can also include attention to how language shapes and influences the status of the lived body, the politics of appearance, the medicalization of the body, and our understandings of normalcy” (Moeller, 307) As I was reading I noticed Figure 1 on page 339 and instantly thought of Kenneth Burke’s Terministic Screens (only to find out that Burke’s work was analyzed for this chapter). Burke’s work examines how language and our perception of the world create our reality. I believe this has an impact on how we view certain situations and compare them to the “norm.” Because are previous experiences will effect how we determine what is considered normal or not.

“In relation to social justice, central characters often are symbolic representations of a cause. Stewart, Smith, and Denton (2007) noted that who is telling the story matters tremendously: “The narrator’s image and audience appeal are so important to the narrative that personal identification overpowers logical rigor” (204). The authors asserted that “storytelling engages people in a communicative relationship defined by the narrator-audience relationship. The narrator and listener create a ‘we’ through their identification; ‘my story’ becomes ‘our story’ through co-creation” (204)” (Jones, and Walton, 341).

From my experience I think the quote above is really important to consider when we think of social justice and narratives. My expectation of narratives were only to serve as a story that speaks on issues in a certain context. But as Stewart, Smith , and Dneton explain, characters in narratives are a direct reflextion of a specific audience or reader. “Narrative reasoning highlights connections between the actor and the range of people potentially affected by his or her actions” (Jones, and Walton, 346).

In Moore’s chapter was also intriguing. In the footnotes of this chapter she states, “The origin, of course, is not so neat as I’ve told it. I draw on a wide range of Black feminist and womanist authors in cobbling together the origins of Black feminism, but I want to be careful not to assert a Truthiness to the story that exceeds my own expertise or experience. (Moore, 269). Speaking on a history of black feminist, and clarifying that she isn’t as knowledgeable on the history makes the reading enjoyable, it brings a certain level of awareness to the situation that African-American women experience.


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