castells reading.docx

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Barry Wellman

Castells: The Culture of real virtuality: the integration of electronic communications the end of the mass audience, and the rise of interactive networks  Emergence of a new electronic communication system characterized by its global reach, its integration of all communication media and its potential interactivity is changing and will change forever our culture From the Gutenberg Galaxy to the McLuhan Galaxy: the rise of mass media culture  Films transformed themselves to fit television audiences  TV dominated system could be easily characterized as mass media  Gutenberg Galaxy: a system of communication essentially dominated by the typographic mind and the phonetic alphabet order  Key issues is that while mass media are a one way communication system, the actual process of communication is not  Depends on the interaction between the sender and the receiver in the interpretation of the messages  Television frames the language of societal communication  Television usually means conceding name recognition in the mass market to those competitors who do advertise  Effects of TV on political choices is highly diverse, politics and politicians who are not on television in advances societies simply do not stand a chance of obtaining people’s support, since people’s minds are informed fundamentally by the media, with television being foremost among such media  Social impact of TV works in the binary mode  Once a message is on TV, it can be changed, transformed or even subverted  In a society organized around mass media, existence of messages outside the media is restricted to interpersonal networks, thus disappearing from the collective mind  Normalization of messages through TV. Context of the viewing is controllable and familiar to the receiver, all messages are absorbed into the reassuring mode of the home The new Media and the Diversification of Mass Audience  1980s, new technologies transformed the world of media  ability to record TV programs and watch them at selected times changed the habits of TV audiences and reinforced their selective viewing  new trends in the media, the new media determine a segmented, differentiated audience that although massive in terms of numbers, is no longer a mass audience in terms of simultaneity and uniformity of the message it receives  evolution of media use in Japan, concluded that there is evolution from a mass society to a ‘segmented society’ as a result of new communication technologies which focus on diversified, specialized information, so that the audience becomes increasingly segmented by ideologies, values, tastes and lifestyles  because of the diversity of media, we can say that in the new media system, the message is the medium  Characteristics of the message will shape the characteristics of the medium  Result of the business competition and concentration is that while the audience has been segmented and diversified, television has become more commercialized than ever, to the global level The internet constellation  Internet is the backbone of global computer-mediated communication, network that links up most computer networks  Spatial inequality in Internet access is one of the most striking paradoxes of the information age  The rate of diffusion of the Internet in 1999 was everywhere that it was clear that widespread access would be the norm in the advanced countries in the early years of the twenty-first century  Key distinction in the analysis of sociability is that between weak ties and strong ties, the net is particularly suited to the development of multiple weak ties  Weak ties are useful in providing information and opening up opportunities at low costs  Advantage of the net is that it allows the forging of weak ties with strangers, in an egalitarian pattern of interaction where social characteristics are less influential in framing  Internet may contribute to expanding social bonds in a society that seems to be in the process of rapid individualization and civic disengagement  Politics is a growing area of utilization of CMC  Emails being used for mass diffusion of targeted political propaganda with the possibility of interaction  How specific is the language of CMC as a new medium?  People shape technology to fit their own needs  CMC does not substitute for other means of communication but reinforces pre- existing social patterns The Grand Fusion: Multimedia as symbolic environment  In second half of the 1990s, new electronic communication system started to be formed out of the merger of globalized, customized mass media and computer mediated communicated (CMC)  Multi media appear to be supporting even in their early stage, a social/cultural pattern characterized by 1. Widespread social and cultural
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