Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Rhetoric & Comm Studies


Our technologizing of the world has not only drastically been changing the way we live, work, and play but also the rhetoric that we employ within it to communicate with one another. "Cyberspace" and "virtual reality" have become commonplace descriptors of social forms where people do not have to live, meet, or work face-to-face in order to develop or maintain significant social relationships (Gackenbach, 227). We no longer only meet "in person" for important discussions or send hand written letters to loved-ones for reception weeks later. Instead, today, we talk into cameras attached to telephones to close multi-million dollar business mergers and send instantaneous email messages that may exceed the length of even War and Peace. Televisions bombard our senses with advertisements promoting products that range from food to vacations and the computer screen is such a common, everyday machine that it absolutely must be mastered in order to compete in the contemporary working world. (In fact, one can not even check out a library book without computer knowledge due to the conversion to online database catalogs.) Our rhetoric has obviously been continually changing with time and technology. However, our inquiries into the concurrent changing human consciousness and subconsciousness that results from these new human experiences have not been pursuing advancements in coordination with these changes in rhetorical practice. So, in order to expand our hypotheses and theoretical performances for the ever-changing mass-mediated cyber-age, we must reinvestigate, critique, and deconstruct contemporary rhetoric's roots in the traditional literacy/orality binary of consciousness.