Monday, September 7, 2009

Communication IS culture

The article by Carey intrigued me, and I zeroed in on maintaining "mental notes" of the comparison between transmission and ritual communication. According to Carey, transmission communication focuses on using communication as a means of transmitting messages over distances to people for the purpose of control. The ritual view of communication is directed toward community and commonalities; it is used to maintain society over time. At first I attritbuted the ritual view of communication to religious practices, thereby, associating this communication view with the early found of the New World and the arrival of the Puritans to what is now the U.S. However, Carey caused my thinking to shift because he stated that America has more often than not resorted and basically adopted the transmission view. Then he gives his reasoning which was even more interesting.

We as Americans use the transmission view because our idea of culture is weak and lacking! Very interesting...we are an individualistic society, that separates culture and science (many times applauding our advancements and contributing it to "our culture) and use the word to simply describe various economic classes. However, I would like to just simply look at the transmission view of communication as American culture, or is that not possible? I like how Carey ends the article by stating that a more ritualistic use of communication by enforcing the significance of education and exchanging ideas and experiences.

I also attempted to draw a parallel between the biases of communication with transmission communication. Space-biased communication is associated with territorial societies. Carey used the example of distributing newspapers, which according to Innis in "The Bias of Communication & Monopolies of Power" is space-biased. Within transmission societies, newspapers would be used to transport information very quickly and over a vast area. I also feel that ritual communication views agree with time-biased media more simply because it is durable and encourages media with sacred and moral associations. The ritual view would distribute newspapers in order to maintain and confirm its views.

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