Writing for a Living Literacy and the Knowledge Economy

Published on Apr 1, 2005in Written Communication1.219
· DOI :10.1177/0741088305275218
Deborah Brandt13
Estimated H-index: 13
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)
This article seeks to explore the influence of the knowledge economy on the status of writing and literacy. It inquires into what happens to writers and their writing when texts serve as the chief commercial products of an organization—when such high-stakes factors as corporate reputation, client base, licensing, competitive advantage, growth, and profit rely on what and how people write. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 12 individuals employed in writing-intensive positions, it examines the organization of workplaces for the production of texts, the work of writers as mediational means within the workplace, the growing presence of regulatory controls on the production of writing, and the ways that demands for innovation and change affect writers and their writing. This is an exploratory installment in a larger project that seeks to situate the rise of mass writing in the United States, since about 1960, not only as an economic phenomenon but as a new development in the history of literacy with serious...
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