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POSTMODERN FEMINISM, HYPERTEXT, AND THE RHETORIC OF COOKING WEBSITES

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Date Issued:
2007
Abstract/Description:
This study explores the ways cookbooks and their rhetorical dimensions have been re-imagined using hypertext and Web technology. Using the tenets of postmodern feminist rhetoric and Web design theory, the study considers how commercial cooking hypertexts construct users' identities. Although hypertext is a potentially empowering technology, democratizing rhetoric and knowledge making practices, commercial hypertext often circumscribes agency formation and prohibits participation. Participatory, constructive hypertexts are difficult to design and costly to maintain. Of the three sites studied, Epicurious.com, BettyCrocker.com, and FoodNetwork.com, only Epicurious.com encourages meaningful communication between users and between users and designers. In many ways, Epicurious.com conceives of its users as active agents. Most of its content celebrates many knowledge making practices traditionally considered feminine and embodied. In contrast, BettyCrocker.com and FoodNetwork.com rely on closed, proprietary systems designs to maintain their authority. Users have little opportunity to participate as active agents. In small ways, however, users can begin to deconstruct the hypertexts, to resist the standards and strictures of expertly created recipes by reporting variations and opinions. The features that most reflect the tenets of a constructive feminist hypertext make possible some small movements toward agency.
Title: POSTMODERN FEMINISM, HYPERTEXT, AND THE RHETORIC OF COOKING WEBSITES.
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Name(s): McGrane, Heather, Author
Applen, J.D., Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2007
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study explores the ways cookbooks and their rhetorical dimensions have been re-imagined using hypertext and Web technology. Using the tenets of postmodern feminist rhetoric and Web design theory, the study considers how commercial cooking hypertexts construct users' identities. Although hypertext is a potentially empowering technology, democratizing rhetoric and knowledge making practices, commercial hypertext often circumscribes agency formation and prohibits participation. Participatory, constructive hypertexts are difficult to design and costly to maintain. Of the three sites studied, Epicurious.com, BettyCrocker.com, and FoodNetwork.com, only Epicurious.com encourages meaningful communication between users and between users and designers. In many ways, Epicurious.com conceives of its users as active agents. Most of its content celebrates many knowledge making practices traditionally considered feminine and embodied. In contrast, BettyCrocker.com and FoodNetwork.com rely on closed, proprietary systems designs to maintain their authority. Users have little opportunity to participate as active agents. In small ways, however, users can begin to deconstruct the hypertexts, to resist the standards and strictures of expertly created recipes by reporting variations and opinions. The features that most reflect the tenets of a constructive feminist hypertext make possible some small movements toward agency.
Identifier: CFE0001855 (IID), ucf:47369 (fedora)
Note(s): 2007-12-01
Ph.D.
Arts and Humanities, Department of English
Doctorate
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): postmodernism
feminism
hypertext
rhetoric
cooking
recipes
Web sites
user-centered
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0001855
Restrictions on Access: campus 2008-12-04
Host Institution: UCF

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