Category: 08) New Media Across Cultures

In this chapter, Barry Thatcher examines the differences in how cultures are first defined by the media, and then how those cultures reject those definitions in their own forms of rhetorical communication. He goes on to define the contrasts between certain forms of cultural communication, such as ascriptive and achievement-based cultures, where the community assesses an individual?s worth in varying degrees. He then relates these ideas to new media design, thereby analyzing patterns of specific website design in a way which fits the diagram of the culture which possesses it. In this way, he sees new media not as an isolated event, but an unconscious evolution created by the specific type of culture whereby it produced the media for a specific rhetorical purpose.


Barry Thatcher is an associate professor at New Mexico State University. He received his BA and MA in English from North Carolina State University, and he received his PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication from Purdue University. His research and consulting focuses on instructional materials designed for Mexican and Latin American audiences, especially in areas of manufacturing, health, and environment. He works with a variety of instructional media, including print media, online media, DVD, and CD-ROM. He also enjoys researching the history of rhetoric in Mexico and Latin America, empirical research methods for intercultural inquiry, and the rhetoric of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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