Year of Publication

1999

Date of Thesis

05-1999

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Communications (School)

Abstract

A communicational reality is comprised of the beliefs, values and narratives that people share with each other as they make sense of the world. In other words, a communicational reality is a culturally-specific conceptualization of social space constructed and shared by a community through the act of communication. This thesis examines the role of technology in the construction of communicational realities, arguing that technology is neither a neutral tool nor an autonomous force in the process. Furthermore, it argues that the study of how technology mediates our construction of the world is meaningless if limited to a modernist or post-modernist analysis of structures and causalities. The knowledge of how we use technology to engender communicational realities must contribute to the critical awareness of the individual and their relation to the world. This knowledge must ultimately allow us to disassociate communication from those technologizings that lead to the creation of virtual realities and unsocial spaces. The goal of this thesis is to sketch the foundations of a method for assessing the sustainability of our communicational realities. Only by taking a critical look at the assumptions that our communication technologies lead us to make about the world can we begin a process of reclaiming technology from an instrumentalist, decontextualizing role to that of a vehicle for self-knowledge and a tool for the understanding and transformation of the world.

Included in

Communication Commons

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