A Caring Rebellion: Literacy, Power, and the Problem of Marginalized Self-Actualization in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age

  • Author / Creator
    Cote, Krista
  • Grounded in the methods of media ecology and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, this thesis examines the relationships between power, literacy, technology, and society. It poses the problem as to why some individuals can attain critical literacy and self-actualization through literacy skills and tools, while others are denied the same liberation. The thesis suggests that science fiction provides productive insight on this predicament because it is a genre focused on relationships between individuals, society, and technology; because science fiction organizes the perspective around a single naive protagonist it also enables structural questions about the relation of the individual to the group. The answer is found, in part, through a reading of Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age. The resulting case study determines that access to literacy (or access to information) is not enough, and both the ability to partake in engaged participation and the support and formation of community networks are essential.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.