Describing Context in Facebook

Superseded by RhetoricalSituationInFacebook

Any rhetorical message is what is because of context; it is a response to the context. (52)

With Facebook, we need to understand the text "as fragments of a larger chain of messages" (53). That is, we need to understand the rhetorical dynamics of the Facebook exchange. A rhetor might post an image, then change the image in response to a comment on The Wall...

Context: "the relevant and significant social conditions, needs, or symbols, which serve as guidelines for interpreting messages". (54)

The keywords here are relevant and significant. Determining what's relevant and significant takes some close consideration.

Review pp 54 ff for elements that are relevant to describing Facebook messages.

Drawing on your descriptions of the Facebook profiles, describe the context in which Facebook messages operate. Draw, as well, on your knowledge of how rhetors and audiences use Facebook, and the contexts in which they use it. Describe the context until you can soundly characterize it. Balcony view.

You can start a second page off your Facebook Group page (FacebookContext), or include this description on the same page as your profile description.

Here are some aspects and elements to look at (from Stoner and Perkins)

Specific circumstances (p. 54-5)

Similar circumstances and messages

Rhetor and audience

Additional notes
Describe who creates Facebook profiles and to whom they are addressed. The rhetor is not masked but is the agent presented on the profile page. The audience is masked, until they appear on The Wall . You're looking especially at similarites and differences in rhetors and audiences in Facebook rather than print, email, face to face exchange, and so on.

Describe the relationship between rhetor and audience, those agreements (implicit) between rhetor and audience of their roles. Again, you're ooking especially at similarites and differences in the relations in Facebook rather than print, email, face to face exchange, and so on. Describe how rhetor and audience swap roles.

Look to the states of mind of rhetor and audience, and to the circumstances in which a reader encounters the message. keep to what you can infer from the message and from your balcony understanding of how people encounter these messages.
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