Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Cultural Approach to Communication Discussion Questions

Carey's essay heavily focuses on John Dewey's understandings of the contrasting definitions of communication in 19th century Western thought.  What were these two definitions and how are these two definitions/methods used for a society's better organization of comprehension of their world/culture?

Why does Carey say that the United States is traditionally distant from the ritual definition of communication?

With respects to the two practicing definitions of Western communication, how do the two definitions/practices differ in Carey's example of a newspaper as a form of communication?

How does Carey interpret Dewey's logic of communication being "the most wonderful"?

Contemporary sources has lead Carey to define communication as:

"A symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed."
With this definition in mind, would you say that art is a "good" or efficient form of communication?  How and why?

How is our reality "humanly" produced and maintained?  Think of Ernst Cassirer's  take on contemporary forms of communication.

How are symbols/representations able to be both representations "of" and "for" reality.  Consider Carey's blueprint example.

According to Raymond Williams, when do people encounter problems with their forms of communication?

What is the abstract goal of communication according to Carey?

How is a society/civilization a form of communication?

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