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The Digital Nexus: Identity, Agency, and Political Engagement

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Book Series: Cultural Dialectics ISSN: 19158378 ISBN: 9781771991292 9781771991308 9781771991315 9781771991322 Year: Pages: 352 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771991292.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-10 20:36:51
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Over half a century ago, in The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), Marshall McLuhan noted that the overlap of traditional print and new electronic media like radio and television produced widespread upheaval in personal and public life: Even without collision, such co-existence of technologies and awareness brings trauma and tension to every living person. Our most ordinary and conventional attitudes seem suddenly twisted into gargoyles and grotesques. Familiar institutions and associations seem at times menacing and malignant. These multiple transformations, which are the normal consequence of introducing new media into any society whatever, need special study.The trauma and tension in the daily lives of citizens as described here by McLuhan was only intensified by the arrival of digital media and the Web in the following decades. The rapidly evolving digital realm held a powerful promise for creative and constructive good—a promise so alluring that much of the inquiry into this new environment focused on its potential rather than its profound impact on every sphere of civic, commercial, and private life. The totalizing scope of the combined effects of computerization and the worldwide network are the subject of the essays in The Digital Nexus, a volume that responds to McLuhan’s request for a “special study” of the tsunami-like transformation of the communication landscape.These critical excursions provide analysis of and insight into the way new media technologies change the workings of social engagement for personal expression, social interaction, and political engagement. The contributors investigate the terms and conditions under which our digital society is unfolding and provide compelling arguments for the need to develop an accurate grasp of the architecture of the Web and the challenges that ubiquitous connectivity undoubtedly delivers to both public and private life.

How Canadians Communicate V: Sports

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ISBN: 9781771990073 9781771990080 9781771990097 9781771990103 Year: Pages: 395 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771990073.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Media and communication
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-10 22:30:41
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Fewer Canadians than ever are lacing up skates, swimming lengths at the pool, practicing their curve ball, and experiencing the thrill of competition. However, despite a decline in active participation, Canadians spend enormous amounts of time and money on sports, as fans and followers of sporting events and sports culture. Never has media coverage of sports been more exhaustive, and never has it been more driven by commercial interests and the need to fuel consumerism, on which corporate profits depend. The power plays now occurring in the arena of sports are by no means solely a matter of money, however. At issue as well in the media capture of sports are the values that inform our daily lives, the physical and emotional health of the population, and the symbols so long central to a sense of Canadian identity.Writing from a variety of perspectives, the contributors to this collection set out to explore the impact of the media on our reception of, and attitudes toward, sports—to unpack the meanings that sports have for us as citizens and consumers. Well-known hockey writer Roy MacGregor delves into the influence of big media and big sports on the practice of objective journalism; Richard Gruneau examines the worrisome relationship between sports participation and socioeconomic class; blogger Derrick Newman investigates the impact of fantasy leagues on sports coverage; sociologist Harry Hiller looks at the iconic dimensions of the Vancouver Olympics. Other contributors shed light on the way in which the media serve to transform sports—including, of course, hockey—into a vehicle for the expression of identity and nationalism. Still others probe the function of sports as spectacle: the escalation of violence, controversies over drug use, and the media’s coverage of tragic deaths. The goal is not to score points but to prompt critical discussion of why sports matter in Canadian life and culture and how they contribute to the construction of Canadian identity.

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