Writing and Rhetoric
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

2012 Theses

Lauren DeLaCruz

Multimodal Analysis as a Framework for Studying Social Movement Rhetoric: A Comparison of Theoretical Perspectives on the Counterpublic Discourse of Occupy Wall Street and Wikileaks

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This thesis argues that we should adopt a theory of social movement that is based in rhetorical principles—one that accepts social movement as changes to a set of meanings, or ideology. Instead of focusing primarily or exclusively on the resources and leadership of organizations, this thesis argues that we should study the discourse of counterpublics—the entities involved in social movement activities. By critiquing and expanding upon DeLuca's work on image events, this thesis argues that we should examine the entire process that counterpublic discourse goes throughfrom a multimodal perspective. This thesis identifies Occupy Wall Street and WikiLeaks as counterpublics and examines each discourse from three perspectives—traditional, image event, and multimodal—in order to demonstrate the strengths of a multimodal theoretical framework.

Gregory Greer

A Case Study for American English Editors: Japanese Forward-Back Translation of the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) Job Satisfaction Measures

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This thesis describes the process of conducting the forward-back translation of the Job Descriptive Index (JDI) job satisfaction measures to/from Japanese. Data for this study was drawn from a focus group case study in Japan among the four Industrial-Organizational Psychology (I/OP)-competent Japanese university professors recruited to do the forward-back translation. A comparison between Human Translation (HT) and Machine Translation (MT) was also conducted. The single largest finding of this thesis for the benefit of technical editors was learning the full depth of what kind of translation is being conducted. The role of the technical editor (i.e., the researcher) for the translation project of this thesis was that of an organizer: assembling the translation team, overseeing their work, amassing the draft material, securing the final product. The goal of this thesis was to expose the relationship between technical editors and translation teams.

Ben Lucas

Debugging Democracy: A Critical Analysis of the Rhetoric of Gov 2.0 at the USPTO

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In its first year, the Obama administration established the Open Government Initiative, a program requiring all executive agencies to use digital media to advance transparency, collaboration, and participation. In this thesis, I consider the consequences of the initiative for democratic communication by examining an open government program administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO is using an online platform called IdeaScale to allow the public to suggest revisions to the written policies in the office's Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. First, I situate the program within the discourse of key proponents of the Open Government Initiative. Second, drawing on public contributions on the IdeaScale website and interviews with officials in the USPTO, I analyze IdeaScale as a site of generic communication. Third, I consider the way that the computer process implemented by IdeaScale functions as an expression of open government rhetoric. My analysis shows that the Open Government Initiative represents a shift away from the deliberative public-sphere model of communication and toward a competitive information-exchange model, drawing on a tradition of neoliberalism that is modulated by open-source development methods.

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