Essay - From Oral Tradition to Electronic: Accessing & Disseminating Information Introduction...

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From Oral Tradition to Electronic: Accessing & Disseminating Information


In Forms of Media as Ways of Knowing, Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi (1995) identifies three specific his*****rical eras or periods in communication (43). The first and earliest period was one in which orality or the "oral tradition" was dominant. ***** second period emerged with the development of print, or "written communication." The third major historical ***** in communication ***** the result of the technological *****s creating electronic media, the "information age." Sreberny-Mohammadi (1995) distinguishes between these three ***** as follows: "In orality, speaking and listening are the central activities. Print requires writers ***** readers. Electronic media demand organized production and viewers" (43). In other words, in each historical era of *****, control of communication mechanisms has varied significantly. These ********** moved from the ********** face-to-face encounter to the individual yet distant ***** of print to the ***** more distant, depersonalized, and passive role of ***** recipients in ***** electronic era. This analysis will discuss the evolution of these three ********** of communication in order to provide a greater understanding of the role of ***** in society and people's lives.


According to Richard Campbell (2003), an underst*****ding of the ***** ***** the media in people's lives - both *****day and in the past - required an "underst*****ding of the cultural context" in which the media operate (5). Oral communication is slow, moving ***** ***** person to another in a deliberate and time*****consuming manner. Before the advent of communication technologies such as writing instruments and *****ing, oral tradition remained the primary means of passing knowledge from one generation ***** the next. Oral tradition represents the transmission ***** ***** from ***** individual to ano*****r ***** one generation to another through speaking, listening, and memorization. Originally, culture and customs were transferred ***** one individual to the next and ***** generation to the ***** in the form of stories, myths, rituals and ceremonies. Religion held a prim*****ry place of importance in ***** *****, "Oral tradition is ***** spoken relation and preservation, from one generation to the next, of a people's cultural h*****tory ***** ancestry. It was traditionally used to transmit religious beliefs because it conveys cultural tradition" (***** 2001, 1).

In Ancient Greece and Rome, orators played an important role in disseminating such tradition to o*****rs. Oral ***** encompasses "first person narrative accounts ***** one's memories of an event or time of life" (Dillon 2002, 1). An imp*****tant aspect ***** all three eras of ***** is the transmission or dissemination of knowledge. Native American groups heavily relied on oral tradition to transmit ***** from one generation to the next pertaining to a v*****riety of issues. One Cherokee ***** involves ***** character of a "Trickster," *****ten a figure ***** n*****ture such as a rabbit. Within the Cherokee oral tradition, the story of the Rabbit races with Turtle is one in which the Trickster Rabbit is defeated not by the plodding nature of ***** ***** but by means of guile. In th***** story ********** Rabbit challenges Turtle to


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