Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Multimedia computing offers a way of producing and integrating a variety of media in a variety of electronic forms. Creating multimedia requires a new repertoire of compositional skills and hence requires a reconstituted creative process. Currently, the most significant and fastest growing multimedia application is the Internet.
The prevailing critical approach to hypertexts centres on theories of discursive communities based on the works of Bakhtin, Foucault and others. Thus, David Mayer, of the Brown University Storyspace Cluster refers to cyberspace as "a pile of dead letters which awaits your perusal. Each letter contains its own distinct voice, while together, they create the whole of your reading." Similar analogies include "a library with all the books thrown on the floor". While the discursive community models appear to work, just what exactly comprises each community, "the community," or McLuhan's "Global Village"?
Recent work in Cultural Studies stresses the importance of developmental psychology as it pertains to theorizing the production and consumption of popular culture. Since the production and consumption of Internet communication is inherently and predominantly language based, the intent of this work is to examine Internet communication through the theories of L.S. Vygotsky and Jean Piaget. Piaget and Vygotsky attempt to describe the way in which people, especially children, accompany a multiplicity of tasks with self-directed speech: i.e., thinking out loud. The theorists differ primarily in regard to the use of such speech by adults. Piaget contends that this behaviour disappears before adolescence while Vygotsky maintains that adults continue to think out loud given the appropriate setting. Piaget's phrase, collective monologue, refers to the effect on a listener of a group of people thinking out loud simultaneously.
Ouellette, Marc A., "The Collective Monologues of Cyberspace: Egocentric Speech & The Internet" (1998). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5942.
McMaster University Library