Chapter 9

What is communication? 

  • Medium - Sender (Encodes) > Message (Noise) > Receiver (Decodes) > Feedback 
  • In/Decodes information by language
  • The level of understanding is not uniformed
  • Feedback is murmur, putting hands up, looking
  • Noise is anything that could interfere with the class
  • In/Decodes + Transmission 

What is Technology? 

  • The tool shouldn’t make life harder, but life is getting harder
  • Progression, more efficiency, some sort of value relating the word technology
  • Throwing a trash can at students due to aggression is not efficient
  • Old day: Fire or wheel 
  • Taking something from the natural environment transforming it through human labour with certain set of goals or aims 
  • Progressivism: Civilization is getting better and better late 19’ 20’ 
  • Centuries, but not getting better 

When is it true and when is it not? (Tech)

  • A given technology make us think people 200 yrs ago didn’t think, we are not pre- dominant
  • Some aspects might be better
  • The relationship of technology 

Analog Text - Experience of life, speaker, mouse, laptop, must have to sense in brain

Digital Text - Binary 1 and 0 (Matrix) 

  • Won’t see, programming in computer science, scantron 

Early purchased for coding (Punchcard) 

a. Tech and people are co-constituted b. Media expertise = power 

Areas of Communication Theory

1. Critical Theory

  1. Society
  2. Content
  3. Audience

3 core themes

  1. Indeterminacy
  2. Structure
  3. Agency

Medium - Happen communicative environment, influence of non-human factors on transmission 

  • Eg. Furniture, Interior decorating, Lighting, Colours 

Verbal Communication: Arbitrary Coding

  • Sound that attach to an object 

Non-Verbal Communication: Iconic and Intrinsic Coding

  • Iconic - Drew a picture of an object (icon)
  • Intrinsic - Actual does the action

Primary Functions of non-verbal comm.

  1. Expressing emotion
  2. Conveying interpersonal attitudes
  3. Presenting one's personality to others
  4. Accompanying speech of the purpose of managing turn taking. feedback, attention. etc.
  • Most of the time the information we receive at our sensory receptors is incomplete or ambiguous (In-determine) - Unconscious 

2. Social Theory

  1. Agency - The question of free-will, invisible
  2. Structure - The weird force holding in place. Hidden

Representation - Is the re-presentation from what you want to present 


A family picture (Stick figures)  Recognize it is a family, dis-regard the facts of different culture, gender, religion, race 

  • Semiotics
  • Signifier: Something let you notice what is the image is trying to represent
  • Signified
  • Polysemy 

Rhetorical Force 

  • Can see it as not a family
  • Patriarchy
  • Oppositional readings to go critical of the picture

What makes comm. important is to understand the truth is independent from the rhetorical force 


Relations of production: Who you are in society Frameworks of knowledge: The way of understanding the world, we are all drawing on the same icons, there’s something shared/unified 

1. Technological Determinism  The person who reads a book is different from a person reads from a laptop Produce a certain type of subjectivity, society produced by a machine 

Eg. Concern people less social

  • Elevator 
  • Online banking 

2. Social Construction of Technology  Experience different things 

Eg. Old Bikes - late 19 century 

Agency and Structure is dependent on each other The rules we come up with, so we know what to do, constrains and creativity 

Mass Society

  • Isolated, apartment don't know neighbours
  • Interdependent, bus, someone needs to drive it, put fuel, extract fuel


  • Limited narratives stories that shows up over and over again
  • Not looking at sender/receiver


  • Can have all of the structure, but all happens in the decoding
  • Sometimes it doesn't matter what the structure but is bringing own perspectives in decoding

Preferred Reading (Decode), Designed to do, the purpose VS Oppositional Reading (Encode), Related to other things 

Political Economy (Past Economy all called)

  • Allocation
  • Politics
  • Relationship with Market and Ownership

How to allocate resources in society

  • Need copies of scarce of property, put a price on it and supply/demand
  • E.g. Movies 


  1. Media Effects
  2. Agenda Setting - The media doesn't tell you what to think, but it tells you what to think about. Determine what's important at the level of national identity.
  3. Uses and Gratifications - Reasons individual usage, not how media use you
  4. The Culture Industry - Capital Society, mass goods, how to consume the same things
  5. Audience Commodity - Media not produce sounds, making you as a commodity sell to advertisers
  6. British Cultural Studies - Feminists, oppositional usage of mass forms

  1. Primary Oral Culture
  2. Pictographic
  3. Chirographic
  4. Typographic

Core Themes

  1. Co-constitution
  2. Suppression of Radical Potential


  • Unifying structure
  • Shared
  • Establishing a norm of society (Regulating behaviours)
  • Theoretical perspective
  • A coherent set of social values, beliefs and meanings: the values, beliefs and meanings of the dominant class - just a division
  • Social hierarchy/structure
  • Economic terms

1. Primary Oral Culture

Sacred, immediate, highly skilled, mnemonic devices, dialogic, conservative, situational, homeostatic 

  • Writing was very small part or no writing 
  • Highly Skilled - Telling a story
  • Mnemonic Devices - Help remember stuff, News was delivered through a dance and song to a village(ABC Song)
  • Situational - Local
  • *Homeostatic - Biological sciences, your body internally itself regulating == Society running 


A coded system of visible marks whereby a writer could determine the exact words that the reader would generate from the text 

2. Pictographic - Picture 3. Chirographic - Handwriting 4. Typographic - Write 5. Literacy - Read and Write 6. Hieroglyph - pictographic communication 7. Phonetic Alphabet - Saying the sound cat instead of drawing it like the Egyptians 


  • Writing gives the false appearance of wisdom
  • Destroys memory
  • Unresponsive, the author out of the myth
  • Alienates the speaker, isolate in your own world
  • To Plato, writing is a way of cheating

Words are?

  • Not knowledge
  • Not complete representations of knowledge
  • Are analogous to pictures
  • Selective of something
  • Ambiguous
  • Paying attention is not the meaning or content of words, but is the presentation of it

Literate Mind

  • Temporality, past/present/future
  • Interiority
  • Solitary, read to people who can't read >> right not reading by yourself
  • Accumulation of culture, increasingly complex, new practices ++ beliefs develop

  1. Clay Tokens (Fire baked)
  2. Cuneiform (Accounting inventory, urban areas)
  3. Papyrus (Nile River, Egypt - Monopoly of, pictographic, didn’t last long/durable, only write on side, very mobile send, *control in a distance)
  4. Parchment (Skin of goats cows, Europe, leather, write on both side, much more durable, re-write, expensive to produce, the development of codex and books) 

Medieval Literacy - Mostly religious people, Church, Europe Printing Press - Due to this, medieval time comes to an end Paper - Rags, need clear water not downstream water, front of the river, before printing press occurred 

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