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Leslie Lindballe

Last updated March 31, 2013 - 12:50pm by Mark A. McCutcheon

Leslie Lindballe, MA-IS student, Athabasca U

“Critical Discourse Analysis and the Question of a Digital Bubble” 

Abstract: Critical discourse analysis (CDA) seeks to examine the ways in which exploitative power structures are (re)produced at the basic level of language within a particular utterance or text. Historically this analysis has been limited by the propensity for avenues of publication to be controlled by the very power structures CDA seeks to analyze. In the digital age, in particular thanks to the world of Web 2.0, it is now possible to access a surfeit of content from the every-person. While the breadth of material helps CDA answer criticisms of agenda-driven selection of data, the detailed analysis of even the smallest bit of text has made engagement with the digital world a daunting task. Further, the borderless nature of hypertext pushes researchers to freeze dynamic digital content in order to fix meaning for the sake of analysis. In this way, the CDA text demonstrates how language selection itself (re)produces structures of authority. Finally, CDA shines a light on the ways in which search engines, news providers, and social media sites use data frames common to CDA researchers to customize results to almost any query. Largely invisible digital systems regulate our access to information, begging the question: “Who is tailoring my access to the largest repository of human knowledge in history?”

Leslie Lindballe is an emerging scholar examining the multiple points of intersection between the digital and analogue worlds. Founded on her own transformative experience on a small, Liberal Arts campus, Ms. Lindballe seeks to determine the ways in which meaningful educational relationships develop in the open Web. This research will illuminate opportunities for digital scholarship within small, community-based institutions, especially those found in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

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