found-and far from settled. However, in each of these bodies of scholarship-
One danger in keeping this vital aspect of literacy (i.e., technology) latent in our discussions and in our research is that this latency allows or even invites an instrumental view of technology. Such an instrumentalist view sees technology as merely a tool-a neutral and transparent means to produce written language, which is somehow imagined to exist independent of that means. The last decade of work in cultural studies of scientific and other discourses suggests that writing-also a technology-is not transparent, that it carries beliefs and value systems within it, and that to treat written language as if it were neutral or transparent has severe political, theoretical, and practical consequences. (Examination of the "myth" of autonomous text is beyond the scope of this discussion, but see Cazden, 1989; Farr, 1993; Geisler, 1994; Haas, 1994; Haas & Flower, 1988; Nystrand, 1987.) An instrumental view of technology carries with it all the dangers of an autonomous theory of language. When text is seen as autonomous, it is viewed either as nonproblematic and neutral, a view that tends to exclude it from scrutiny and so leave the ideologies and value systems inherent in it unexamined. Or, it is viewed as powerful, above reproach, and beyond questioning, a view that ignores that written language is the product of human motive and serves human purposes; this view creates a situation in which the language "consumer" can be duped, manipulated, or misled.