Communication, Institutions and Power Spring, 2017 Gary Fields

Communication, Institutions and Power Spring, 2017 Gary Fields What is Communication?

What is Communication? 16th century origins from Latin communicare meaning to share. When we share something, we are engaged in an act of exchange. When we exchange, we are essentially trading.

From the Oxford English Dictionary, trade and communication are inextricably linked. Adam Smith (1776) The division of labor, from which so many advantages are

derived, is not the effect of any human wisdom but instead derives from the propensity in human nature to truck, barter, and otherwise exchange one thing for another.

Book 1, Chapter 2 Means of Conveyance The Body (including voice) Infrastructure

What is Communication? Connection: enabling information and materials to circulate from one point to another. Mobility: Movement of materials or meaning from one point to another. Exchange: Transfer of materials, meanings, men/women

from one point to another. Infrastructure: A system of access enabling materials meanings, and people to move from one point to another. Communication involves Distance

Time Access Connection What Changes When Communication Changes?

Economic Life Technology

Politics / Institutions Work Consumption Boundaries Property Truth

Conflict / Power History must be mobilized if we are to understand the present.

The Border Shenzhen Mango Jeans Shenzhen Foxconn Electronics

Guangdong Workshop of the World What is a Social Movement? What is a Social Movement?

Collectivities acting with organizational coherence outside institutional channels with the aim of challenging, resisting or overturning such systems. Snow / Soule, 2011: 6

an organized effort to change laws, policies, or practices by people without power to make change through conventional channels. Francesca Polleta

an effort by individual / group actors to confront a perceived injustice by mobilizing political, economic, and cultural power collectively in order to remedy the injustice and chanage the values of society. Marshall Ganz

an organized effort to redefine societys cultural values in order to promote change. Touraine, 2002: 90

What is Necessary for Collective Action? What is Necessary for Collective Action? Injustice Trigger that amplifies Injustice.

Claim (Story) that explains why is it necessary to correct Injustice, and seeks to attract people to the cause by projecting a vision of something better. Communications Infrastructure that spreads the story about Injustice, the Trigger, and the Claim. Repertoires (practices) that challenge structures of power

that elicit consent. Order and Consent Society functions on the basis of consent in which individuals / organizations submit to institutionalized rules of power and order.

Social movements challenge institutionalized rules of power and the systems of belief underlying power in presenting an alternative. Hegemony and Theorizing Order Society consists of a political

order which rules through law and force, and a civil society which rules through consent. For Gramsci, such consent was the basis of culture in which a dominant ideology or world view

prevailed. Gramsci use the term cultural hegemony to describe dominant ideologies to which we give our tacit consent. Breaking this cultural hegemony was the key to social change.

Order, Consent and Social Movements Key Questions How do people come to understand their consent to order as somehow intolerable? How do people come to act collectively to change

what they believe to be intolerable? Snow / Soule 5 Questions 1) What is the nature of the injustice or grievance? 2) Why do movements emerge in time and place?

3) Who are the participants and how do they come to take part? 4) How do movements pursue their aims? 5) What are the outcomes of social movements? Communication and Social Movements

How is communication situated in modelling protest and social movements? What is the relationship of media to collective activity? How do we understand communication and the notion of social ties between people?

What are the different arguments about media, social ties and collective action? Gladwell / Strong Ties What makes people participants in activism? [Degree of personal connection between

individuals and movement STRONG TIES. Gladwell / Weak Ties What kinds of connections does social media promote? Social media promotes weak ties between

individuals. Weak Ties promote networks; strong ties promote hierarchies. Repertoires / Ties What does Gladwell argue are the types of

repertoires necessary for social movement? What type of ties are necessary to promote such repertoires

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