“ Where Are the Women?” Rhetoric and Gender on Weblogs Clancy Ratliff Department of Rhetoric [email_address]
Rhetoric <ul><li>The study of persuasion, of making thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments most appropriate to the rhetorical...
Definition of Weblog <ul><li>A frequently-updated web site with entries in reverse chronological order </li></ul><ul><li>T...
Aim of my project <ul><li>To do a rhetorical study of this key moment in which a writing public is emerging through bloggi...
Working Research Questions <ul><li>To what extent are the problems regarding gender in communication on weblogs similar to...
Where are the women? <ul><li>Series of posts from 2002-early 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Clusters: August 2002, September 2002,...
Methods <ul><li>Rhetorical analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What assumptions are being made about “masculine” and “feminine”...
Where are the women? Joe Gandelman at Dean’s World. Dec. 18, 2004. Available at  http://www.deanesmay.com/posts/1103400048...
Where are the women? Daily KOS. March 9, 2004. Available at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/3/10/22825/7104
Being Sexy Will Get You Readers The Fuzzy Blog. Sept. 3, 2002. Available at  http://radio.weblogs.com/0103807/stories/2002...
Being Sexy Will Get You Readers Lauren at Feministe. 22 Feb. 2005. Available at  http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/200...
Other Recurring Themes <ul><li>“ Women aren’t interested in politics.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Men and women communicate diffe...
How close do weblogs get to being a public sphere? <ul><li>Private individuals meet to form a public body </li></ul><ul><l...
Implications <ul><li>Existing power differentials can’t be bracketed (Fraser, 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>Gender norms are pre...
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Presentation I gave for the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship recipients and committee attendees

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Presentation I gave for the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship recipients and committee attendees

  1. 1. “ Where Are the Women?” Rhetoric and Gender on Weblogs Clancy Ratliff Department of Rhetoric [email_address]
  2. 2. Rhetoric <ul><li>The study of persuasion, of making thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments most appropriate to the rhetorical context and studying the ways those arguments shape knowledge and society </li></ul><ul><li>Political and pedagogical tradition: paideia </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definition of Weblog <ul><li>A frequently-updated web site with entries in reverse chronological order </li></ul><ul><li>Trent Lott </li></ul><ul><li>Dan Rather </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed model of communication </li></ul>
  4. 4. Aim of my project <ul><li>To do a rhetorical study of this key moment in which a writing public is emerging through blogging and explore ways to connect this rhetorical context to teaching </li></ul>
  5. 5. Working Research Questions <ul><li>To what extent are the problems regarding gender in communication on weblogs similar to those noted in previous research on gender and computer-mediated communication? What problems, if any, are unique to blogging? </li></ul><ul><li>How is political discourse defined and understood in the “where are the women?” conversations? </li></ul><ul><li>What can the “where are the women?” case contribute to current theory about the Internet in general and blogosphere in particular as a public sphere? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Where are the women? <ul><li>Series of posts from 2002-early 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Clusters: August 2002, September 2002, Spring/Summer 2004, December 2004, February 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>A male blogger asks, “Where are the women political bloggers?” </li></ul><ul><li>Unproductive discussions: Nothing changes as a result </li></ul>
  7. 7. Methods <ul><li>Rhetorical analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What assumptions are being made about “masculine” and “feminine” rhetorical styles? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What definitions of political are being implied? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How is the rhetorical situation currently envisioned? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Layers of communication: Behind-the-scenes emails, IM conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextualizing the on-blog conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intentions of the speakers in the conversations </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Where are the women? Joe Gandelman at Dean’s World. Dec. 18, 2004. Available at http://www.deanesmay.com/posts/1103400048.shtml
  9. 9. Where are the women? Daily KOS. March 9, 2004. Available at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/3/10/22825/7104
  10. 10. Being Sexy Will Get You Readers The Fuzzy Blog. Sept. 3, 2002. Available at http://radio.weblogs.com/0103807/stories/2002/08/30/gettingStartedWith BloggingForTheAttractiveFemaleBlogger.html
  11. 11. Being Sexy Will Get You Readers Lauren at Feministe. 22 Feb. 2005. Available at http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2005/02/22/on-women-and-blogging/
  12. 12. Other Recurring Themes <ul><li>“ Women aren’t interested in politics.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Men and women communicate differently.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Women don’t do enough self-promotion.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Men are from Movable Type, Women are from LiveJournal.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What counts as political?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Women don’t have time to blog; they’re too busy with the kids.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. How close do weblogs get to being a public sphere? <ul><li>Private individuals meet to form a public body </li></ul><ul><li>Place for public discussion dealing with the activity of the state </li></ul><ul><li>Place where public opinion can be found (formal and informal criticism and control of the state) </li></ul><ul><li>Zone of mediation between society and state </li></ul><ul><li>Habermas, J. (1989). The public sphere: An encyclopedia article. Trans. Sara Lennox and Frank Lennox. In S. E. Bronner and D.M. Kellner, (Eds.). Critical theory and society: A reader. New York: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Habermas, J. (1991). The structural transformation of the public sphere: An inquiry into a category of bourgeois society. Trans. T. Burger. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Original work published 1962. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Implications <ul><li>Existing power differentials can’t be bracketed (Fraser, 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>Gender norms are present even when the gender of the speaker is unknown: masculine and feminine rhetorical styles </li></ul><ul><li>Need for rhetorical intervention: expansive definition of what counts as “political” both in content and in style </li></ul><ul><li>Need for pedagogical engagement with public discourse </li></ul>

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