Information technology: A Critical Discourse Analysis perspective
Le, T and Le, Q, Information technology: A Critical Discourse Analysis perspective, Technoliteracy, Discourse and Social Practice: Frameworks and Applications in the Digital Age, IGI Global, D.L. Pullen, C. Gitsaki, M. Baguley (ed), Hershey, PA, USA, pp. 80-87. ISBN 978-1-60566-842-0 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]
Information technology (IT) has permeated many fields and aspects of - modern society such as education, business, health and entertainment. It provides users with innovative and powerful products which were unimagined decades ago. The Internet is one of the most wonderful and powerful IT developments. The introduction of the Internet has brought new areas such as e-commerce, e-health and e-learning. Thus the instrumental role of IT is unquestionable in this digital age. However, from a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) perspective, IT is socially situated and its role and impacts cannot be divorced from its socio-cultural context. CDA is an interdisciplinary approach which studies linguistic and social issues in relation to social discourse with a main aim to examine how social power permeates and controls discourses and consequently creates social inequality and injustice. As IT is closely linked to its social discourse, its use and value are embedded in social structures and processes which are organized through institutions and practices such as political system, business, education and the media, each of which is located in and structured by a particular discussive field. There are different social groups with competing discourses and they can exert power to use IT to their advantage. The challenge to IT experts, educators and IT users is not about the instrumental power that IT has brought to them. The real challenge is how to use it wisely to enhance humanity.