For this Blogpost, I want you to consider the ways in which the language we use shapes the way we think and, in turn, I’d like you to ponder the deeper “truths” of an image of your choosing. So, to practice both types of applied critical thinking, I want you to write a thoughtful Blogpost that is at least two paragraphs long. Your first paragraph(s) should tackle the issue of language and reality, and the second paragraph(s) should address the “reality” of a particular image. More specifically, here is what you should do for both parts:
Part One: For this section, I want you to demonstrate that language does indeed serve to limit and/or shape our understanding of the world. To do so, you may well have to get a little bit creative to come up with a suitable subject, and then make sense out of it. To choose your topic, you might take a cue from our recent readings. Thus, your discussion might do such things as: examine “the use of metaphor” in a specific cultural discourse; explore “the invention” of a new term for a particular social phenomenon; assess the impact of the PC “word police” on modern language; consider the controversial “meaning of a word” in a particular usage or context; comment upon the distortion of “reality” in the language of politicians; address the ways in which vagaries of legal language might impact criminal trial proceedings; compare the impact of a translation or discuss the challenges of “code-switching” for a second-language speaker. Once you have chosen your topic, your job is to illustrate the linguistic phenomenon in question and draw some logical conclusions about it. A nice way to imagine this investigation, perhaps, is to see it as “uncovering the iceberg” – going deeper to illustrate ways in which the “reality” of the world as seen in various linguistic circumstances is merely just “the tip of the iceberg” and a more complex story remains somehow “beneath the surface.”
Part Two: In the second section of your discussion, I want you to find and examine a visual image that somehow makes an argument, and that you deem to be interesting. By “interesting,” I mean that the image/video in question should have a degree of sophistication – it should be intriguing somehow and potentially effective at (persuasively) reaching its audience. The visual “text” you choose to examine is entirely up to you. But, here are some general ideas of the kinds of visual resources you might choose to explore: a poster, photograph, political flyer, a piece of art, public graffiti, an Instagram image or Facebook post, or a comic strip. Once you’ve chosen your visual image, your task is to explore and explain how the image works to persuade its audience. In other words, your brief account will “interpret” the meaning of the image and explain how that idea is conveyed. To do so, you might consider: what is the image arguing, and how is the image making that argument through rhetorical appeals and the careful positioning and selection of different parts and details.