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This chapter argues that as Networked Knowledge Communities (NKCs) become increasingly the way knowledge is constructed, represented, and circulated, visuality in information-based societies is also being shaped, and shaped by, the interactive and collective ideologies of digital technology environments. Like the written text, which constructs and imposes hegemonic ideals of identity through discursive practices, visual representations of identities also serve as powerful discursive reservoirs of subordinating representations. By focusing on NKCs as an epistemic space that reflects, recirculates, and reacts to bodies of knowledge produced by the institutions of power in the larger social culture, this chapter examines the vulnerability of subjugated identities to normative processes of identity formation in digital networked communities. This inquiry positions visuality not as a subordinate and incomprehensible form of discourse to the written text, but as a symmetrical and understandable discursive practice and democratizing pedagogy imbued with all the possibilities and inadequacies that come with interpreting identity and the difficult differences. Without question, globalization is a key factor in this debate despite the lack of transparency in its meaning and use. However, despite its resistance to a comprehensive definition, globalization will provide an important ideological framing from which to begin this argument given its loosening of sociopolitical, cultural, economic, and technological borders.


Published as: August, Anita. "Visuality and the Difficult Differences in Networked Knowledge Communities." Emerging Pedagogies in the Networked Knowledge Society: Practices Integrating Social Media and Globalization. Ed. Marohang Limbu and Binod Gurung. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2014. ISBN 9781466647572 (print); 9781466647589 (ebook)