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Barton and Barton's chapter from 1993 feels like ancient history to me in its refusal to admit the novice reader and its eagerness to name-drop Derrida and his ilk. They're not trying very hard to be readable. If you get stuck, "the visual is ideological" is not that hard a concept if you remember that ideological = political = rhetorical, and the choice to represent something in a certain way is an act of selecting some things over others that is central and necessary to communication. I think that broader view undercuts some of their argument.

Harrison's is even farther back (1987). Note how it uses Bitzer (p. 257) and also something of a greatest hits of rhetorical theory on pages 258-259 to form what may seem now a very commonsensical argument about tech comm research to you, given we've been reading social constructivist stuff for awhile.

Byler is more recent (1998). Consider the alternative goal for research she suggests on p. 272 - to "free individuals from sources of domination" and to effect social action - is that what tech comm should be doing? Should the ultimate goal of Harrison's organizational research based on social context and Barton & Barton emphasis on ideological visuals be political ends?

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