By James W. Carey
During this vintage textual content, James W. Carey keeps that conversation isn't really purely the transmission of knowledge; reminding the reader of the hyperlink among the phrases "communication" and "community," he broadens his definition to incorporate the drawing-together of a people who is tradition. during this context, Carey questions the yankee culture of focusing merely on mass communication's functionality as a way of social and political regulate, and makes a case for analyzing the content material of a communication—the that means of symbols, not just the causes that originate them or the needs they serve. He seeks to recast the target of communique reviews, changing the quest for deterministic legislation of habit with an easier, but way more hard undertaking: "to magnify the human dialog through comprehending what others are saying." This new version contains a new severe foreword through G. Stuart Adam that explains Carey's basic position in remodeling the examine of mass conversation to incorporate a cultural standpoint and connects his vintage essays with modern media concerns and traits. This version additionally provides a brand new, whole bibliography of all of Carey's writings.
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Extra info for Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society, Revised Edition
Stories about technology, as I have already suggested, play a distinctive role in our understanding of ourselves and our common history. Technology, the hardest of material artifacts, is thoroughly cultural from the outset: an expression and creation of the very outlooks and aspirations we pretend it merely demonstrates. Finally, then, these essays aim collectively to demonstrate how media of communication are not merely instruments of will and purpose but definite forms of life: organisms, so to say, that reproduce in miniature the contradictions in our thought, action, and social relations.
Moreover, many of our communication models become, in themselves, social institutions. Certain attitudes to others, certain forms of address, certain tones and styles become embodied in institutions which are then very powerful in social effect. . These arguable assumptions are often embodied in solid, practical institutions which then teach the models from which they start (1966: 19–20). This relation between science and society described by Williams has not been altogether missed by the public and accounts for some of the widespread interest in communication.
There were dissenters, of course, and I have already quoted Thoreau’s disenchanted remark on the telegraph. More pessimistically, John C. Calhoun saw the “subjugation of electricity to the mechanical necessities of man . . (as) the last era in human civilization” (quoted in Miller, 1965: 307). But the dissenters were few, and the transmission view of communication, albeit in increasingly secularized and scientific form, has dominated our thought and culture since that time. Moreover, as can be seen in contemporary popular commentary and even in technical discussions of new communications technology, the historic religious undercurrent has never been eliminated from our thought.
Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society, Revised Edition by James W. Carey