Much of the theory underlying technical communication, rhetoric, composition, and college English in general comes from a decidedly socialist/Marxist perspective, ones that espouses strong anti-Capitalist, anti-competitive statements. While members of the academy have learned much about cultural artifacts and practices from these methodologies and critiques, they are also disenfranchised from the larger world-view - free-market, competitive, and capitalistic. This volume, a collection of 11 scholarly essays, begins to fill this gap by asserting a theoretical and practical stance based on free-market mechanisms and behaviors. Through a variety of approaches - from broad argument to specific examples of market behaviors, from historical criticism to case studies - this collection makes the case that, despite fears expressed by numerous critics of capitalism, technical communication and rhetoric and composition retain all their force, rationale, and value when expressed in free-market terms. Specifically, the collection argues that writing disciplines have market value and that Marxist approaches to the fields are t capable of promoting this value. It follows, then, that participants in these fields need to begin viewing themselves as market-players instead of reactionaries. A second general argument is that markets are inherently rhetorical, meaning that they create information, are subject to socially constructed trends, persuade and communicate values and ideas. In other words, the market is a natural and logical domain for rhetorical study and participation. Finally, a third argument is that certain activities, distance education foremost among them, create value for these academic fields. If we see our fields as having market value, we do t need to view distance education as a threat to writing disciplines, but rather an opportunity for growth and development. Locke Carter, the editor and lead essayist, holds t only a PhD in Rhetoric from the University of Texas at Austin, but also an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Date of Publication
Adult & Further Education
Research in the Teaching of Rhetoric and Composition