The materiality of communication

Jeremy Packer and Stephen B. Crofts Wiley


What could be less material than communication? Signs and symbols, messages and meanings … the rhetorical strategies of logos, pathos, and ethos … the ethereal transmission of signals and the glow of vacuum tubes … the ephemeral quality of thought itself … the superstructural insubstantiality of ideology and culture. These conceptualizations of communication suggest a realm of intangible phenomena that mediate our embodied human experiences of the concrete world. In many ways, the immateriality of communication is the ontological assumption for mainstream theory in the fields of communication, rhetoric, and media studies. Within this familiar ontology, ...

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