Poststructuralist Critical Rhetorical Analysis as a Problem Analysis Tool: A Case Study of Information Impact in Denton’s Hydraulic Fracturing Debate
Description: Energy and the natural environment are central concerns among stakeholders across the globe. Decisions on this scale often require interaction among a myriad of institutions and individuals who navigate a complex variety of challenges. In Denton, Texas in 2014, voters were asked to make such a decision when tasked with a referendum to determine whether the city would continue to allow hydraulic fracturing activity within its borders. For social scientists, this situation requires further analysis in an effort to better understand how and why individuals make the decisions they do. One possible approach for exploring this process is a method of poststructuralist critical rhetorical analysis, which is concerned with how individuals’ identities change through interaction with institutions. This study reflects upon the texts themselves through a poststructuralist critical rhetorical analysis of images employed by those in favor of and those against Denton’s ban on hydraulic fracturing in an attempt to identify images that alter the grid of intelligibility for the audience. The paper includes deliberation about the relative merits, subsequent disadvantages, and possible questions for further study as they relate to the theoretical implications of critical rhetorical analysis as information science. Ultimately, the study identifies poststructuralist critical rhetorical analysis as a method for solving information science problems in a way that considers closely the way identity is shaped through engagement with institutions.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Sykes, Jason
Partner: UNT Libraries