"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I just finished reading Janks chapter 4. I've always known that there is so much more that we say with what we say, and it was really interesting to see how it has been broken down by Janks. Sometimes I 'read' against the text of a news program, because I feel that there is so little neutrality. I studied marketing many years ago, and remember some of this, although it was not so clearly explained. When I read advertising, I tend to try to figure out who the target reader is after I've read it. I notice that a lot of what I read isn't directed at me, so I'm neither estranged or engaged by some texts. Infantilization is something I'm becoming more aware of in reading texts, because advertising does so much of it (at least it appears that way to me). My writing class has also helped me recognize what I'm saying with my words. Choosing the right word to convey meaning can have a profound effect on the reader. Photoshopping has become a verb, as the Janks indicates. In teaching Photoshop, I show students what they can achieve by taking an image and conveying more with it than the original image indicates. Like Photoshop, analyzing text tends to make you look critically at much more of what we read. The illustrations in the chapter show the effect photoshopping can have on an image. After reading Janks, it becomes harder to take reading at face value.


  1. Hi Cpscat: photoshopping and other manipulation of photography to convey ideals for beauty, fashion, fitness, etc. have bugged me for a long time. These altered pics have such an influence on our culture, especially young people. I think it creates an "imagined community" that many feel they may never be "good enough" to belong to. I think there are people who take these visual "texts" at face value. Why have we become such a visually oriented society, and who set the standards for beauty? Do we photoshop and manipulate images because we can? Another example of industry gone visual is music. A long time ago, we listened to music. Now we watch music (the video). When I step back and look on as an outsider, it's fascinating the way pop culture portrays itself. When I'm just plain insider Susan, I don't like it very much. I think the manipulation of the visual can invalidate the accompanying written text. Am I revealing a generation gap?

  2. My generation gap is even bigger... but to my surprise I have come to realize that those in my grown children's age groups (29 to 37) are more sophisticated about imagery than I frequently give them credit for. They have "seen" about every type of manipulation you can think of and are really quite cynical. As a survey researcher, I really see how this is impacting our ability to get decent response rates - from phone, mail, to internet. Getting the attention of this generation is an ever-changing science!

    So I see this gap - younger people who are still developing can be (and are) influenced, but as they age out to adulthood, something else is happening. One disturbing trend I have noticed with these things is that the advertising is hitting an ever younger demographic as the "aging-out" keeps happening a little earlier. Just as our readings have discussed how each technological advance (printing press onward) has been a game-changer, I really wonder what things will look like in another 20, no make that 10 years.

  3. I agree that younger people are a bit more cynical about advertising, but sometimes when I talk to students on campus (I try to spend Tuesdays at VCU, and I listen to what students at other tables in the dining hall are saying - not eavesdropping, but listening : ) I am heartened by the fact that there is still some naiveté in their conversations. There is still some blank whiteboard space on which to write.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.