COM 327 January 16 2014 Lineup : 1. Quiz 2. “Communication as culture” 3. Carey & critical media studies 4. Group work. 1. Both models of communication that Carey presents in Section I have their origin in ________. a) politics b) economics c) agriculture d) religion.
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January 16 2014
2. “Communication as culture”
3. Carey & critical media studies
4. Group work
1. Both models of communication that Carey presents in Section I have their origin in ________.a) politicsb) economicsc) agricultured) religion
2. In Section 1, the two models of communication Carey discusses are the “transmission” model, which he sees as dominant in American culture and thought, and the ______ model.
a) exchangeb) communistc) rituald) utopian
3. In Section 1, what media does Carey use to compare these two models of communication?
d) fax machine
4. According to Carey (in Section II), the Chicago School offers the following definition of communication:
"a ______ process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed”
a) boringb) symbolicc) behavioristd) scientific
“Communication as Culture”
Book was published in 1989, but ideas in it were developed much earlier.
Story up to now:
What makes an approach “critical”?
What are “systems of differentiation”?
What are the characteristics of “power”?
How does power operate?
Why are “media effects” theories not great for understanding our relationship to technology?
Looking at Carey’s notion of “communication” and its theoretical foundations.
Communication theory (in America) before Carey (and still to this day):
Mathematical Theory of Communication (Shannon and Weaver, 1948)
“it is a view of communication that derives from one of the most ancient human dreams: the desire to increase the speed and effect of messages as they travel in space”
“operates to provide not information but confirmation, not to alter attitudes or change minds but to represent an underlying order” (p. 19)
“questions arise as to the effects… on audiences; news as enlightening or obscuring reality, as changing or hardening attitudes” (p. 20)
“”news is not information but drama”(p. 21)
“newspapers do not operate as a source of effects or functions but as dramatically satisfying, which is not to say pleasing, presentations of what the world at root is” (p. 21)
“communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed” (p. 23)
“reality is brought into existence, is produced, by communication – by, in short, the construction, apprehension, and utilization of symbolic forms” (p. 25)
“we first produce the world in symbolic work and then take up residence in the world we have produced” (p. 30)
Theorists Carey uses to discuss the “ritual” model of communication
Raymond Williams (1921-1988)
- one of the founders of cultural studies
- “culture is ordinary”
- key work: Culture and Society (1958)
Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)
- Canadian media theorist
- ‘rock star’ academic
- our relationship to communication is like a “fish in water”
- key work: Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1962)
Erving Goffman (1922-1982)
- also born in Canada (pattern..?)
- we are always “performing” our identity
- key work: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959)
NONE of these were “communication” theorists or researchers…
Raymond Williams: “cultural studies”
Previous notions of culture:
Culture as foreign
Culture as breeding
The realm of signification & communication – media
Established the field of “cultural studies” – aka, the role of media in our daily lives
Carey’s connection: culture IS communication.
“One thing about which fish know exactly nothing is water, since they have no anti-environment which would enable them to perceive the element they live in.”
We’re the fish; media is the water.
It’s impossible to separate our understanding of the role of media in society from the effects that media HAS on structuring our thought and communication.
Communication is the act of constructing and maintaining the reality we live in.
“Dramaturgical” view of social relations: we’re constantly performing.
We present different versions of ourselves depending on the situation & audience.
We maintain – ‘co-construct’ – our culture through interactions with each other & with various media forms & practices.
(Also: we re-affirm our own identity/ies through these practices)s
“Ritual” vs “transmission” views
Not just academic theories, but ways of understanding, enacting, and living our relationship with each other & with media.
Communication as transmission:“a process whereby messages are transmitted and distributed in space for the control of distance and people” (p. 15)
Communication as ritual:
“directed not toward the extension of messages in space but toward the maintenance of society in time; not the act of imparting information but the representation of shared beliefs” (p. 19)
After last year’s Newtown shootings:
Game-burning at Southington, Connecticut (30 miles from Newton)
Which model of communication (ritual vs transmission) were they acting on?
Which model of communication (ritual vs transmission) would they have acted out?
In groups of 4, consider how ‘transmission’ vs ‘ritual’ models would frame one of the following technologies… use specific (everyday!) examples.