Critical Discourse Studies and Technology: A Multimodal Approach to Analysing Technoculture

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Title: Critical Discourse Studies and Technology
Subtitle: A Multimodal Approach to Analysing Technoculture
Series Title: Bloomsbury Advances in Critical Discourse Studies

Publication Year: 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly The Continuum International Publishing Group)

Book URL:

Author: Ian Roderick

Electronic: ISBN:  9781472569516 Pages: 232 Price: U.K. £ 24.99 Comment: EPUB
Electronic: ISBN:  9781472569509 Pages: 232 Price: U.K. £ 24.99 Comment: ePDF
Hardback: ISBN:  9781472569493 Pages: 232 Price: U.K. £ 75.00
Paperback: ISBN:  9781472569486 Pages: 232 Price: U.K. £ 24.99


Making a new contribution to the developing field of multimodal critical
discourse studies, Ian Roderick’s book demonstrates how technologies that tend
to be widely represented as innovative, or as simple pragmatic solutions, are
always anchored in power relations and are therefore deeply ideological.

A series of examples analysing technologies such as robotics, smart phones or
bio-medicine, their functioning and uses, as well as their representations in
the media, show that these are embedded within discourses that tell us about
social and power relations, identities and political values. The book takes a
tour of everyday technologies and how they are represented in different
settings. A Disney theme park attraction showing how technology has improved
family life makes many assumptions about what is natural in terms of
interpersonal relations, pleasure and satisfaction. Advertisements that
represent robot workers inform us about the kinds of worker-management
relations now characterising work places. Roderick looks at the way that
technologies, while often represented as divorced from their production and
maintenance, as objects of wonder, need to be seen within a fabric of social
relations that tends to be suppressed from how we see them as part of a wider
technological fetishism.

Engaging with existing theories of technology, the book argues that we must
take a more interdisciplinary approach to avoid the pitfalls of social
constructivism and technological determinism. Our experiences of technologies
are shaped through the relationship between knowledge, practices and
institutional forms.

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