CMN1160: Lecture #2 Jan 17 2012
Transition from Traditonal to Modern Society
Traditional (Gemeinschaft): Belief in divine Modern (Gesellschaft): Belief in reason
Village , peasants, agriculture City, proletariat, industrialization
Local exchange National and international exchange
Demographic dispersion Mass dispersion
Folklore culture Mass culture technologies of contact
Common culture and community Interest groups
Generality of roles Specialized roles
Binding ties Contractual ties
Group mentality and common knowledge Anonymity and individualism
Denotes all the knowledge, technologies, values, beliefs, customs and behaviors common to people
While simple societies may have only a single integrated culture that is shared by everyone, complex
societies can accommodate many layers and levels of culture and subcultures
Transitions from Traditional to Modern Society
What is traditional society?
Why do we have to refer to it to understand modern society?
Answer: Media and Communication had different functions.
Ferdinand Tonnies: Prefers traditional society Within a particular society, there are characteristics that are held.
Oral Communications: village, villagers, agriculture
Generality of Roles
Traditional Ties that bind
Limited demographic dispersion. Culture was created by norms that trickled down from above from religion
or the metaphysical world. The religious rulers filtered information to the people; when a society is
organized according to a particular power structure, their beliefs dictate how we behave in a personal level
and a public level. Our taste is also dictated by that culture and knowledge. Traditional society; even a
matter of culture is dictated by society status. Example: The colour blue, red, etc were held for the religious
rulers and kings.
Communication was created from a top to bottom method. This is important because our social roles were
fixed in that once we were in a specific spot, we would always be in this spot. If you are born a King, you are
a King because God said so.
French Revolution: Peasants revolted and killed the King. Previously, when individuals needed to contest
the power, people would be killed. However; when the peasants come together and kill the divine, their
killed the power of the divine as well. After all this, how is a new society formed? Society has three choices:
A society with on rules: chaos
A society replaced of power with the same dynamics: the power of the dictator or elite group A society where the people decide which norms they will keep: a consensus reached and position in society
When the power of religion is questions and eliminated, individuals were able to think for themselves.
People moved from the village walls to other places. This created a new modern society
Mediated Communication: city, proletariat, industry
Technologies of Contact
“The Day the Universe Changed: Printing Transforms Knowledge” James Burke
Before 1450, life was local; people lived in their own villages and the world around them was an almanac
People were intimate with nature because they relied on the few square miles they knew for survival
Individuals were illiterate, therefore many court cases and interactions were all oral and were not written
A world where the elderly were looked up to and respected because they were records of history. They had
lived through many things and held memories of objects, experiences and situations. When writing came to be, many mistakes were made as words were looked at as untouchable images and
when copies were made so were the mistakes.
There wasn’t enough material however to organize everything; therefore the people found it difficult to
organize their writings.
An exception of this isolation however was the visits that individuals received by the monetary to record
By the end of the 14th century, there was an economic boom after the black death and individuals travelled
with their selling items to the areas where demands were needed.
People started using “bills” upon making a transaction and sale.
Trade exploded and markets went u