RhetNet logoFebruary 1995

Adrift on the Validity Index, part 2

Beth Baldwin

I've finally located in my stacks of chaos the Patti Lather article on validity that I was looking for: "Fertile Obsession: Validity After Poststructuralism." _The Sociological Quarterly_ 34:4 1993.

In this article, she identifies four different kinds of what she calls transgressive validty: ironic validity, paralogical validity, rhizomatic validity, and voluptuous validity -- all attempt to reinvent legitimacy in an antifoundational era. I suppose that what she's doing is struggling, just like we are, to find ways to feel okay about what we're doing.

In general, she lists characteristics for 4 general categories of "trans- gressive validity" and I notice in all 4 many that seem to describe cowriting, publishing, editing in cyberspace:

From Ironic validity:

From paralogical validity:

From rhizomatic validity:

From voluptuous validity:

How's all that for an attempt to validate chaos? I don't mean to over- simplifiy the issues here for this cyberjournal, or any other. But I do think there's a middle ground between the utter madness experience of being "lost in space" and the comfort and security of business as usual (linear, rational, goal-oriented, closed, authorized texts). I see in these lists descriptions of situations that many would experience as chaotic (pejoratively meant). That's fine. For those people, a traditional joural, even if published electronically, would be the way to go. But, there are also plenty of us who feel perfectly comfortable (and validated by) this "transgression" of the status quo.

Are we worried about subsciptions? Circulation? Money? I don't know, but I don't think so. Are we worried about participation? Probably. Can we give it some time to work itself out, to see who participates, for how long, to what degree?

Date:         Tue, 7 Feb 1995 08:52:36 -0400
Sender: CyberJournal for Rhetoric and Writing 
From: Beth Baldwin 
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro
Subject:      Re: Cowrite: Validity

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morphing editors richard's reply fred's reply