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Introduction to Communication Comn1000 A.docx

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York University
Communication Studies
COMN 1000
Rob Heynen

1. Introduction, lecture 2, September 24 th  “Longue Duree” history: oral culture, literate, and electronic.  Walter Ong and oral cultures(grossberg) -Time; psychology and memory; performance -Oral cultures and homogeneous, participatory, conservative, and hierarchical  Literate culture: writing -time and space; loss of memory; changing social structures individuality and privacy. -Innis and the bias of communication: time biased and space biased media. -Mcluhan: “the medium is the message” - ideographic vs phonetic alphabets. Notes.... -Longue duree= long duration. The time scale is very grand. Not helpful for specific changes. - when you change the fundamental communication method you change the social environment and interactions. -Walter ong argues that there are different characteristics of society. In oral societies there is a very different perspective of time. Something like the past is received through speech making the sense of time more fluid, as opposed to the frozen versions of written history. Oral cultures also have certain psychological characteristics. Communication is based on performance, for example when you speak to people it requires a certain skill. Oral cultures are more homogeneous, and conservative in the sense that they cling to traditions and rarely change things. It’s often also a hierarchal society having class based on the access to information. - once writing is brought into a society everything changes. It allows for record keeping and unchanging knowledge. Media and knowledge is also more easily transported. There is a stronger sense of linearity regarding time in written culture. There is a tendency to lose memory since things aren’t required to be remembered. Privacy and individuality increases in this society. It allows for a larger society. The ability to read and write made you powerful. Writing brings the possibility of bureaucracy. -the medium or oral culture is speaking or ones voice. ( duh) - The more information is transportable the more it allows space to open up. the form in which information determines how powerful it is in the face of time. Ex. Information chiseled into a rock will last a long time but it is next to impossible transport it. Both of these biases affect each type of communication. Innis says that without a medium to spread information empires would not be able to function. Therefore the medium is the message. 2. Europe and the rise of print  The catholic church, manuscripts and religious control  The renaissance and the enlightenment. -Influences on Europe: global communication and the problem of “eurocentrism” {Ibn Sina} [980-1037] and Ibn Rushd [1126-1198]  Martin Luther, the protestant reformation, and the printing press - Communication and resistance to church control - Vernacular literatures: printing and the language  Print Culture - Space and time binding; privacy and individuality; abstraction and rationality; secularization; accessibility of knowledge. - Key developments: copyright and the idea of the author; popular literature; censorship and free speech.  DEBATE: Technological Determinism. Do technological changes lead to changes in society? OR how do we understand the relationship between technology and society?  Benedict Anderson and ‘ imagined communities’ - print and ‘print capitalism’ - print as a commodity: luther as a best seller. - Vernaculars, standardized languages and the ‘fatality of human linguistic diversity’ - ‘Print Capitalism’, print-languages and the nation: the imagined community. Notes.... -1517 Martin Luther nails the 95 theses to the church doors in Germany. After he does
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