MIT 2000 Textbook Notes

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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
David Spencer

RobinsonRADIO Technological NationalismMaurice CharlandOpening of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC production of National Dream history of Canadian Pacific Railway CPRTV image of railroad as the national dreamTechnology as constitutive of Canada as manifestation of Canadas ethosCanada exists by virtue of technologies that bind space and railroad permitted transcontinental economic and political state to emergeCBC nation building and reproduces rhetoric which legitimates Canadian state Rhetoric of technological nationalism ascribes technology capacity to create a nation by enhancing communication CBC legitimated political discourse by CPR Rhetoric and Ideological DiscourseRhetoric what it symbolized and the railway bind the nationMethod of ideological discourseCanada became a nation because it physically bounded us but because of technology itself which was a huge advancement Consider Innis bias of communication technology weakens promises of technologys rhetoricoInnis tragedy of modern culture is tendency of electronic media to reduce space and time for commercialism and expansionismoThe radio helped Canada economically Rhetoric necessary material condition of human social existenceCanada Technology and Technological RhetoricIdea of Canada relies on rhetoric about technologyCanada owes its existence to technologies which bind spaceThrough CPR western Canadian territories became integrated into economic and political systems which developed in Eastern CanadaCivilization based on circulationcommunication of commoditiescapitalCPR physical linkingoExtended commerce and eastern economic interests economic interestsoDid more than enhance tradeoDevelopment of political stateoCreated possibility of nationoPermitted Ottawa to exclude powerful American presenceoEstablished political control over territoryoFostered immigrationoOffered experience of technologically mediated political unity CPR also offered possibility of developing mythic rhetoric of national origin1Construction in face of political economic and geographic obstacles presented epic struggle2CPR was state project and can be represented as manifestation of Canadian will to survive politically3Steam engine offers Canadian opportunity to identify with nationalized icon of power CPR is significant for mode of transportation communication and basis of nationalist discourseMyth of railroad or binding of space technologically to create a nation placed Canadians in special relationship with technologyCanada exists more because of technological transcendence of geographical obstacles than because of any politicians willCPR has two components one physical one discursive1Canada required development of a system of transportation territorial annexation colonization and military presence2Also required development of a rhetoric which ideologically constituted those in Canada as Canadians united in national project and under political authority of national government Canada is a state that needed to seek will a nation in its own image to justify its existenceCPR does this buteconomic communicationCPR inability to create a people or nationanother technological instrument was necessary RADIOTechnological Nationalism in broadcasting eraRadio was necessary for common culture and it helped enforce nationalism by promoting that railway Technological nationalism was major factor in development of broadcasting in Canada as radio and TV were national projectCanadas first national radio network was established by a railwayNational railway saw in radio a means to foster immigration enhance its own image and support project of nationhoodDramatic presentations of Canadian historyCNR sought to bind Canada with information just as rail sought to bind Canada economicallyFirst live broadcast was celebration of Canada Prime Minister Mackenzie Kings voice was heard across the country in 1927 Canada became swayed by a common emotion within sound of a single voiceRadio offers community and also domination Rise of Hitler to power was facilitated by use of loudspeaker and radioBroadcasting as a means of binding space Broadcasting Policy of Technological NationalismExclusive governmental control on broadcasting no commercialism it should be a government public serviceAirways must be protected from American Expansion driven by market forcesMackenzie King radio must become means for developing Canadian hegemony and unified culture Canada as a nation which must come in spite of space Programming was provincially controlled sought to create an extended community which Canadian interest would be articulated and shared national identity could emergeIt was dangerous for us to hear American airwaves because it is a threat to our economy John Aird Programs heard in Canada have a tendency to mould the minds of young people in the home to ideals that are not Canadian page 57Contradictions of Economic and Cultural CommunicationFirst contradiction of technological nationalism Canada had difficulty creating a Canadian unified nation since American signals penetrated Canadas bordersoCanadian broadcasting policy called for state effort to use technology as both a defense and means for establishing Canadian hegemony over territoryoCanada secured western territory through space binding technology but did not secure cultural territoryoRadio like rail is extension of economic system dominated by American capital Canada subject to cultural imperialismDifference between rail and radiooBoth were called upon to create a nation but oRailroad economic oRadios cultural ideological and unlike rail could be either profitable or Canadian not bothSecond contradiction medium based on foreign economic logic for Canadas cultural constructions
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