In this classic text, James W. Carey maintains that communication is not merely the transmission of information; reminding the reader of the link between the words "communication" and "community," he broadens his definition to include the drawing-together of a people that is culture. In this context, Carey questions the American tradition of focusing only on mass communication's function as a means of social and political control, and makes a case for examining the content of a communication--the meaning of symbols, not only the motives that originate them or the purposes they serve. He seeks to recast the goal of communication studies, replacing the search for deterministic laws of behavior with a simpler, yet far more challenging mission: "to enlarge the human conversation by comprehending what others are saying."
This volume encompasses a compendium of diverse perspectives on media effects. All the contributions are original pieces which attempt to represent thought, research and ethics in the massive endeavour of understanding cross-cultural media effects. A list of variables which ought to be considered in future research is suggested and the contributors emphasize that there is no one methodology for the study of these processes.
Challenging the popular myth of a present-day 'information revolution', Media Technology and Society is essential reading for anyone interested in the social impact of technological change. Winston argues that the development of new media forms, from the telegraph and the telephone to computers, satellite and virtual reality, is the product of a constant play-off between social necessity and suppression: the unwritten law by which new technologies are introduced into society only insofar as their disruptive potential is limited.
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