Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)

Degree Level





Elías Domínguez Barajas

Committee Member

Christian Z. Goering

Second Committee Member

Sean P. Connors

Third Committee Member

Adam R. Pope


Critical discourse analysis, Digital literacy, Discourse studies, Educational policy, Educational technology, Literacy studies


This dissertation uses a discourse studies approach to investigate key communicative processes by which digital technology is given situated meanings within the institution of public education, including at the level of official discourse, administrative texts, and the spoken discourse of professional educators. The discursive processes under analysis, referred to here as “institutional media ideologies,” arguably function as discursive frameworks which, akin to tactics of management in organizations, constrain the further production of discourse in a particular professional domain, including through the codification of contextualization practices, participant roles, and the social meanings of practices implicating the use of digital technology. Furthermore, these institutional media ideologies, being the result of powerful social and political agents, arguably have social and political consequences in so far as individuals who do not share the dominant, complex constellation of communicative practices may be precluded from partaking of the social goods provided by that institution. Critical attention to these institutional processes of meaning-making for technology is needed to gauge the political and social stakes of “banal” discourse about technology and the “convenient myths” such discourse can perpetuate about technological change. In the case of public education, institutional media ideologies affect the social and political valence of digital literacies by constructing the ideological backdrop by which these practices are given meaning by educators. Thereby, these institutional media ideologies influence the lived realities of individuals—not only individuals in particular professional circles, but also those that they serve.