October 26, 2012

Public Secrets- Genre, Heterglossia, and Hypertext

Miller says “A classification of discourse upon recurrent situation or, more specifically, upon exigence understood as social motive, is to base it upon the typical joint rhetorical actions available at a given point in history and culture” (158). With that being said the best way to tell that Daniel’s project is a cultural analysis is by simply listening to the content she’s provided. This interactive website with sound clips and textual accounts from female inmates in California State Prisons testifies and criticizes the prison system. By addressing the trouble of secrecy in the midst of the amount of prisoners. This whole project is a genre made up of itself. Daniel is attempting to tell the untold story of female convicts within America, and all of the trials and tribulations, they face daily. For the reason that female convicts tend to be forgotten sometimes in the justice system, and for that reason Daniels wants their testimonials heard.
In one account a female prisoner was convicted for five years for the same crime a male committed, in which he received a lesser sentence by the same acquitting judge.
This project is an example of “heterglossia” for this very reason; the whole project offers a variety of different accounts from different individuals who all want their story heard. Daniels project itself is a plethora of voices all stating their own individual opinions. 

By characterizing these rhetorical situations critics are finding common ground and general similarities within genres. For the reason that genre is not definite by its form but by its reoccurrence of themes and actions, genres are flowing and there is never a clear set out list of what’s what. Miller explains on this by stating with “new members evolving, old ones are decaying”(153). She is setting her focus on the reoccurring themes within new media.

Daniels project is an example of a hypertext site for the reason that it links the new world of the digital media with the field of politics and the debate and criticism of a social transformation. In addition this site breaks down the stereotypes that live between male and female prisoners within the United States prison system.  


Nicola Wood said...

I think it's really interesting how you said Daniel is "setting her focus on the recurring themes within new media." I think that's a very important point because it kind of links the ideas of creating genres with Bolter and Grusin's term of ubiquitous computing. I also think something worth thinking about would be who this new genre Daniel has created appeals to the most. That is, who is her intended audience? In my post I kind of said that it appeals to people in several different spectrums, but I'm not so sure that I actually think that after more consideration. This new genre might really be targeted to a younger generation, which may be good or bad depending on how you look at it. At this point, younger generations do not have much to do with things like the prison system, but if they are continuously exposed to this kind of interpretable information, they may be able to make a difference in the future of many prisoners in California, and across the country in general.

Will said...

I thought that it was really interesting the way that you made the connection between this pieces and the remixing of old genres into new ones. The Public Secrets project was a great example of how new media can be created on the shoulders of old genres that have become commonplace. The remixing of the personal memoir, with the female inmates telling their story in their own words, with the authorial intent of the documentary makes for great reading. Also, the way that you tie in the heteroglossia angle with the story of the the woman who got the harsher sentence from the same judge that was lenient on a male criminal for the same crime was very interesting. In this passage we see 3 different narrative threads all converging and being told through this one inmate's story.

Michelle Macchio said...

I believe Daniel's intended audience to be those persons in a position of ignorance to the truths being revealed, those persons who choose to separate themselves from those in the prison system, who view incarcerated persons as the Other. By othering people, we create an in-group and an out-group where the out-group is perceived in a negative light, we separate ourselves from their struggles and hardships and focus more on what sets them apart. I find this text as an attempt to unite in-group with out-group in order to unite us as human beings striving for justice in society.

Shanae Simon said...

So could we say that Daniel's project has three genres? It could be in the genre of digital media, politics or debate? Can politics, debate and social transformation criticism be put into one genre?

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