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A Technology of Distance: Circulation of Statistics in U.S. Public Texts

Libertz, Daniel (2020) A Technology of Distance: Circulation of Statistics in U.S. Public Texts. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation explores the circulation of statistics in U.S. public texts to consider the rhetorical nature of statistics. I track statistics through the concept of the “statistical frame,” a way of reading and writing statistics as entangled in the rhetoric that surrounds and composes statistical material that helps to direct the social relevance of that statistical material. Throughout the case studies that I examine, I look to how the choices a rhetor has in composing a statistic are reliant on the context in which the statistic appears and how that context frames a number to signal to audiences how to interpret statistical information—to include the results themselves, what is being measured, how it is being measured, and who is doing the measuring. In the final two chapters, I move toward pedagogy and conclusions about strategies in ethical composing of statistics in public discourse.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Libertz, Danieldal137@pitt.edudal137
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHolding,
Committee MemberCarr,
Committee MemberVee,
Committee MemberWolfe,
Date: 16 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 June 2020
Approval Date: 16 September 2020
Submission Date: 28 May 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 293
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: rhetoric, quantification, circulation
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 14:31
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 14:31


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