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Speech and Rhetorical Studies Commons

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Theses/Dissertations

Rhetoric and professional communication

Sociology

2001

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A Rhetoric Of Boundaries: Living And Working Along A Technical/Non-Technical Split , David Paul Clark Jan 2001

A Rhetoric Of Boundaries: Living And Working Along A Technical/Non-Technical Split , David Paul Clark

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Historians and social scientists have long studied the construction and operation of conventional categories like "nature/culture." In this dissertation, I take a rhetorical approach to the study of a conventional category I refer to as the "technical/non-technical split," the arbitrary but powerful articulation of what is and is not "technical" that structures contemporary organizations. To accomplish this study, I conducted an ethnographic study of the ways that the organizational and individual belief in the separation of "technical" from "non-technical" structured daily work at an Internet startup company. I analyze the formation of the technical/non-technical structure, a formation ...