Friday, March 25, 2016

Student Permission and Public Writing

What Role Does Student Permission Play in Making Their Own Work Public? 

A presentation for UConn First-Year Writing's 11th Annual Conference on the Teaching of Writing

Some sources:

Agre, Phil, & Rotenber, Marc, eds. Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape. MIT Press, 1997.
From Phil Agre:
". . . control over personal information is control over an aspect of the identity one projects to the world, and the right to privacy is the freedom from unreasonable constraints on the construction of one's own identity" (7).  
Watters, Audry, "Student Data, Privacy, Ideology, and Context-less-ness," Hack Education. 31 July 2014.
In her book Privacy in Context, Nissenbaum offers a different frame: 
“What people care most about is not simply restricting the flow of information but ensuring that it flows appropriately, and an account of appropriate flow is given here through the framework of contextual integrity.” 
Privacy, she argues, is the right to the appropriate flow of information, and we should debate the appropriateness of the creation, collection, and consumption of data based on the context of each. We can debate this, ideally, through transparent, democratic processes, recognizing that we have to work through the knotty challenges of protecting public and individual needs. That is, with integrity.

Nissenbaum, Helen. Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life.  Stanford University Press, 2009.
A central tenet of  contextual  integrity  is  that  there  are  no arenas of life not governed  by  norms  of  information  flow ,  no  information  or  spheres  of life  for  which  “anything  goes.”  Almost  everything—things  that  we  do, events  that  occur,  transactions  that  take  place—happens  in  a  context  not only  of  place  but  of  politics,  convention,  and  cultural  expectation.  These contexts  can  be  as  sweepingly  defined  as,  say,  spheres  of  life  such  as education,  politics,  and  the  marketplace  or  as  finely  drawn  as  the conventional  routines  of  visiting  the  dentist,  attending  a  family  wedding, or  interviewing  for  a  job.  For  some  purposes,  broad  sweeps  are sufficient.  As  mentioned  before,  public  and  private  define  a  dichotomy of  spheres  that  have  proven  useful  in  legal  and  political  inquiry.  Robust intuitions  about  privacy  norms,  however,  seem  to  be  rooted  in  the  details of rather more limited contexts, spheres, or stereotypic situations. 
Observing  the  texture  of  people’s  lives,  we  find  them  not  only crossing  dichotomies,  but  moving  about,  into,  and  out  of  a  plurality  of distinct  realms.  They  are  at  home  with  families,  they  go  to  work,  they seek  medical  care,  visit  friends,  consult  with  psychiatrists,  talk  with lawyers,  go  to  the  bank,  attend  religious  services,  vote,  shop,  and  more. Each  of  these  spheres,  realms,  or  contexts  involves,  indeed  may  even  be defined  by,  a  distinct  set  of  norms,  which  governs  its  various  aspects such  as  roles,  expectations,  actions,  and  practices.  For  certain  contexts, such  as  the  highly  ritualized  settings  of  many  church  services,  these norms  are  explicit  and  quite  specific.  For  others,  the  norms  may  be implicit,  variable,  and  incomplete  (or  partial).  There  is  no  need  here  to construct  a  theory  of  these  contexts.  It  is  enough  for  our  purposes  that the  social  phenomenon  of  distinct  types  of  contexts,  domains,  spheres, institutions,  or  fields  is  firmly  rooted  in  common  experience . . .

Carbone, Nick; Lowe, Charlie; Jerz, Dennis; and Williams, Terra.  Review Discussion for "Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom." Into the Blogosphere. 2004.

Nick, I'm curious about your reasons for thinking that required public writing should be an elective only? Is is an ethcial issue? After all, there are other course tracks in many universities where students are required as part of their degree work to do things outside of the safety of the classroom. K-12 student teaching and engineering internships are two that come to mind. Posted by: charlie at July 3, 2004 11:22 PM 3 
I can't speak for Nick, but the cases that come to my mind revolve around the confessional, personal stories that one often finds in a freshman comp course. I can also imagine problems from some students who have restraining orders against individuals to whom they'd rather not publicize their whereabouts. I personally try to address this by showing students multiple examples of times somebody blogged (or uploaded e-mailed or IMed) something they later regretted. Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at July 4, 2004 04:45 PM

Isaacs, Emily & Jackson, Phoebe, eds. Public Works: Student Writing as Public Text. Heinemann. 2001
 "[t]here has not been enough attention to the ethics of assuming that students will necessarily benefit from such practice; there has been little discussion about the problems teachers face trying to institute such a practice; and finally, sometimes these practices have unintended, even negative, effects on students and their writing or the audience for whom they are writing." (Introduction)