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A wide ranging, interdisciplinary exploration of media time and mediated temporalities. The chapters explore the diverse ways in which time is articulated by media technologies, the way time is constructed, represented and communicated in cultural texts, and how it is experienced in different social contexts and environments.
This wide-ranging and innovative book develops an original theory of the media and their impact on the modern world, from the emergence of printing to the most recent developments in the media industries.
This book adopts a polemical stance. It approaches the problems raised by the media by way of a set of arguments with the two dominant paradigms now current for thinking about the mediaDSpost-modernism and Information Society theory. It argues that the media are important because they raise a set of questions that have been central to social and political theory since the Enlightenment. In a series of probes into different sets of questions raised by the media, the argument of the book focuses on the problem raised by what Kant called the unsocial sociability of human kind. Under what conditions could autonomous, free individuals live in viable social communities. Or to put it another way what are the related scope for, and limits on, human reason and emancipation. In conducting this argument the book first argues for a necessarily historical perspective. It then goes on to examine the implications for emancipation of seeing the media as cultural industries within the wider systems world of the capitalist market economy; of seeing the media as technologies; of the specialisation of intellectual production and of the separation and increasing social distance between the producers and consumers of symbols. It then goes on to argue, against current ethnographic trends in audience research and against the focus on everyday life, for a reinstatement of interest in the statistical reality of audiences and effects, and for a recognition through a return to the Hegelian roots of commodity fetishism, and the symbolic interactionist creation of identities, that an active audience can be actively involved in its own domination. The argument then turns to the problem of how we evaluate the symbolic forms that the media circulate and whether such evaluation can be anything more than a matter of personal taste. It is argued that evaluation is in practice unavoidable and without some standards that are more than just subjective any criticism of the medias performance is impossible. Via an examination of the debate between the sociology of art and aesthetics it argues for the ethical foundations of aesthetic judgement and for the establishment of agreed standards of aesthetic judgement via the discourse ethic that underlies the argument of the entire book. This foregrounding of the discourse ethic then leads on to a discussion of the media and politics. Here the argument is that arguments about the media and politics are at the heart of arguments about politics itself. These arguments focus, it is argued, upon the shifting division between the public and the private. Here the book returns to the roots of public sphere theory in Rousseaus arguments for the centrality of public spectacle and Kants argument for the centrality of public reason in the practice of democratic politics.
Using Delhi’s contemporary history as a site for reflection, Pirate Modernity moves from a detailed discussion of the technocratic design of the city by US planners in the 1950s, to the massive expansions after 1977, culminating in the urban crisis of the 1990s. As a practice, pirate modernity is an illicit form of urban globalization. Poorer urban populations increasingly inhabit non-legal spheres: unauthorized neighborhoods, squatter camps and bypass legal technological infrastructures (media, electricity). This pirate culture produces a significant enabling resource for subaltern populations unable to enter the legal city. Equally, this is an unstable world, bringing subaltern populations into the harsh glare of permanent technological visibility, and attacks by urban elites, courts and visceral media industries. The book examines contemporary Delhi from some of these sites: the unmaking of the citys modernist planning design, new technological urban networks that bypass states and corporations, and the tragic experience of the road accident terrifyingly enhanced by technological culture. Pirate Modernity moves between past and present, along with debates in Asia, Africa and Latin America on urbanism, media culture, and everyday life. This pioneering book suggests cities have to be revisited afresh after proliferating media culture. Pirate Modernity boldly draws from urban and cultural theory to open a new agenda for a world after media urbanism.
Explores whether media content or media exposure cultivates modernity in the Arab Gulf States.
Hartmut Rosa advances an account of the temporal structure of society from the perspective of critical theory. He identifies three categories of change in the tempo of modern social life: technological acceleration, evident in transportation, communication, and production; the acceleration of social change, reflected in cultural knowledge, social institutions, and personal realtionships; and acceleration in the pace of life, which happens despite the expectation that technological change should increase an individual's free time. According to Rosa, both the structural and cultural aspects of our institutions and practices are marked by the "shrinking of the present," a decreasing time period during which expectations based on past experience reliably match the future. When this phenomenon combines with technological acceleration and the increasing pace of life, time seems to flow ever faster, making our relationships to each other and the world fluid and problematic. It is as if we are standing on "slippery slopes," a steep social terrain that is itself in motion and in turn demands faster lives and technology. As Rosa deftly shows, this self-reinforcing feedback loop fundamentally determines the character of modern life.
David Kynaston's history of post-war Britain has so far taken us from the radically reforming Labour governments of the late 1940s in Austerity Britain, through the growing prosperity of Family Britain's more placid 1950s, to the very cusp of the 1960s and the coming of a new Zeitgeist in Modernity Britain. The first part, Opening the Box, 1957–59, plotted the main themes of the new spirit of the age. Now, in part two – A Shake of the Dice, 1959–62 – through a rich haul of diaries, letters, newspapers and many other sources, Kynaston gets up close to a turbulent era as the speed of social change accelerated. By 1959 consumerism was inexorably taking hold (stripes for Signal toothpaste, flavours for potato crisps), relative economic decline was becoming the staple of political discourse (entry into Europe increasingly seen as our salvation), immigration was turning into an ever-hotter issue (the controversial coming of controls), traditional norms of morality were perceived as under serious threat (Lady Chatterley's Lover freely on sale after the famous case), and traditional working-class culture was changing (wakes weeks in decline, the end of the maximum wage for footballers) even as Coronation Street established itself as a national institution. The greatest shake of the dice, though, concerned urban redevelopment: city centres were being yanked into the age of the motor car, slum clearance was intensified, and the skyline became studded with brutalist high-rise boxes. Some of this transformation was necessary, but too much would destroy communities and leave a harsh, fateful legacy. This profoundly important story of the period of transformation from the old to the brink of a new world is now told brilliantly and in full for the first time.