The objective in this unit is to re-examine what is meant by culture. Since the discussion of intercultural communication is primarily based in re-thinking culture the key concepts are:
Culture as multiple practices and not high-culture alone.
Culture as the process of generating and circulating meaning.
Culture as everyday life activities.
Culture and power; culture and domination.
Culture as the articulation of practices, the multidimensionality of culture; culture, power and hegemony.
Culture in a specific context: India.
Culture as the quality if life and its implications in the study of literature and media.
Culture, cultural studies and television, culture and the struggle over meaning, culture and representation.
Culture and quality of television in the international concept.
This unit focusses on some of the primary received traditions of thinking about intercultural and international communication. The key notions are as follows:
Intercultural communication as interpersonal communication.
Uncertainty reduction theory provides a set of explanations about the process of intercultural interpersonal communication and has been used by Gudykunst and others.
Convergence theory to examine communication networks across cultures, this has been used by Rogers and Kincaid.
Attribution theory has been used widely to understand intercultural communication.
Use of intergroup theory has been used by Gallois and others.
Culture and face negotiation of Ting Toomey.
Subjective communication theories that go beyond the question of communication as social science has been used as in the case of the coordinated management of meaning.
Culture and constructivism as used by Applegate and others.
International communication has been largely influenced by the work on the New World Information and Communication Ordwer (NWICO).
NWICO argues for the inequalities in the flow of communication across specific borders.
McPhail paradox -- the tension between global reach technology and the fragmentation of audiences.
Communication technologies are not bound by "borders".
The question of information as commodity and information as social/cultural product.
The question of the redefinition of nations and the emergence of the post-nation without boundaries and its possible implications on communication (Appadurai) and intercultural communication in the context of inter-ethnic communication -- questions of racial ideology in news coverage about specific issues in this case Black-Latino conflict and its coverage (Shah and Thornton).
It is important to examine the different ways in which international communication occurs. This unit addresses the various modes of communication.
International telegraphy and telephony.
The technologies that make all of this possible.
A set of media formations that would be viewed in class.
The technologies that make international communication possible also lead to the issue of flow of information and its consequences on communication. The key concepts covered in this unit address the following issues:
the technologies of flow: satellites, wire services, newspapers, television news, Voice of America
return to the NWICO debate
return to the question of culture imperialism and sovreignty
international flow of cultural materials: film, international television
the question of information flow in terms of its directionality, quality vs. quantity, policies at the international and national levels, and the imbalance in communication research
the primary argument has been for media imperialism and the Americanization of cultures
the history of the Americanization in Europe the role of the war and the forties
voices of warning were heard both from the left and the right
the tension between popular acceptance of American culture and the authority resistance to it
consequences of Americanisation in Britain in terms of the development of a new form of design and thinking about culture
cultural imperialism can be thought about from different perspectives and Salween provides a review of some of the key possibilities
media imperialism can also be considered and questioned from the point of view the audience and provide an audience centered view (Straubhaar)
a new form of cultural imperialism is discussed by Schiller who argues for a cultural package that is delivered across cultures.
however, there is now some argument that the media imperialism is being questioned in the face of indigenous media as in the case of Brazil where the telenovela is producing an new indigenous culture (Oliviera)
this same process is also seen in the case of news exchange with the emergence of new models (Boyd-Barrett)
One form of communication that plays a key part in the flow of information is news. This section looks at different ways of thinking of the news text and how it produced images of nations and cultures.
it is first necessary to think of the process in which the news text is produced by a careful selection process that is ideologically implicated (Hall's articles)
Larson then exposes how the American television media produces views of the entire world and the processes of selection and representation that goes into such production
Larsen examines the way different kinds of news are available to a particular set of European audiences and the differences between the local news and international services such as CNN
Plaumbo-Liu examines the question of print news in America and how specific ethnic groups are produced and represented in the news to bring them close to the dominant while retaining their specific ethnicity
The unit explores the various ways in which the question of imaging people can be explored in the context of media both within the United States and outside.
Gandy provides an overview of the various points of views including the political economy of media, the question of content and its analysis, the issue and impact of minority portrayals, and some of the theories that can be brought to bear on this analysis.
Gray explores the question of representation of blacks on media and the specific ways in which the images are produced and circulated to provide intertexuality produced images of the social group.
Winkour examines the question of ethnicity in terms of blacks and their representation in the film comedy narrative. The series of analysis provide examples of the specific textual strategy of "passing" which becomes a metaphor for "crossover."
Nakayma provides another instance of the way in which media implicates and produces images. In this case, the questions of gender and race are examined within the auspices of cultural constructs and critical impulses.
Springer provides another angle on the issue of images of people by examining the ways in which films about reporters placed in new surroundings produces images of themselves and the Other in the specific surroundings and how these images ultimately become representations of a variety of cross-cultural tensions.
Finally, based on these it is possible to argue that specific education in needed to understand the ways in which the American media images other cultures and peoples both within its shores and outside it and Richardson argues for that education.
Just as media in America produces images of other people, this unit explores the ways in which America is viewed in some other cultures.
Ang specifically examines the question of Dallas to explore the ways in which the particular American show produces images of American women and the specific "pleasures" that a show like Dallas represents, particularly in terms of gender and representation.
On a related note Katz and others explore the ways in which Dallas is read by people outside the US and the images of the nations that are produced in the minds of these people as they attempt to make sense of the show.
Since the media produces images that travel across boundaries, it is useful to examine the ways in which these images of America have an impact on the immigration experience and this is examined by Massaris and others as they explore the pre-immigration constructs of Koreans and how the immigrants deal with the discrepancies between the images and the reality of America.
Finally, these images of America have an effect in producing and re-shaping national identities through a process of imperialism. This is examined by Morley and Skovmand.
The question of media influence, however, travels beyond the issues of images and media imperialism by the presence of "foreign" films and programs. In the case of developing nations, the nations with a longer history of media have had implications in shaping the local media industry and genres. This unit (Mar 31-Apr 5) examines these influences in terms of the Indian television industry and the film industry of the Third World.
Based on these discussions it is now possible to argue that specific identities and cultural images are produced by the process of international and intercultural communications. This unit explores some facets of these interrelated issues.
The first day we explore the identity of three developed nations. Newcomb provides an analysis of American television produces a particular sense of America where Texas becomes a metaphor for the USA. The article titled "Tooth and Claw" examines the national cinema of Australia in terms of the images of the nation that emerges and the identity of Australia, and De Lima provides an analysis of what the Brazilian system of television is all about.
The second day we explore the question of the Third World and explore the various ways in which international communication can be thought about with respect to the Third Worlds. Lent provides a retrospective view of the four conundrums of Third World communications while Sen argues for the influences of American popular culture in the Third World and the ways in which new images and identities are being produced.
We then tackle the issue of national cinema and examine the ways in which the new global culture is reshaping the notion of national cinema and producing new identities through cinema.
Finally the question shifts to issues beyond media as we explore
the questions of tourism as a cultural practice and look at the
way in which tourism documents produce national identities and on
the other hand we explore the question of modern immigration and
explore a specific example of the Chines immigrant experience in
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