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- Volume 32, Issue 1, 2006
Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Volume 32, Issue 1, 2006
Volume 32, Issue 1, 2006
Public communication in the national interest : a South African debate : communication, cultural and media studiesAuthor Murej Mak'OchiengSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 1 –15 (2006)More Less
The purpose of this article is to make a contribution to the general debate about the role of public communication media in South Africa. The focus will be on whether or not the South African media should serve the national interest. This question was debated in the national media between 2001 and 2003, and during two meetings that were held to discuss the controversy. The article focuses on this debate and starts by reviewing the different positions taken by government and the media on this controversial but important question. In essence, the government called on the media to serve the national interest and argued that this is a legitimate and necessary responsibility. Some in the media rejected this call out of hand while others accepted the call, though not as prescribed or expected by government. The review of these different positions is followed by a theoretical discussion of the pertinent concepts and issues: nation, national interest, public, public interest and the media's role in relation to them. Based on this discussion and the review of the public debates, the article concludes that the media should indeed serve the national interest but do so critically.
Popular art, the image, the subject and subverting hegemony : communication, cultural and media studiesAuthor Bert OlivierSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 16 –37 (2006)More Less
How should one address the present hegemony of capitalism with a view to subverting it? Or is even this question hopelessly optimistic, given the fact that late capitalism, in its union with liberal democracy and neoliberal economics, is ostensibly all powerful in the extant, early twenty-firstcentury world? While not underestimating capitalism's pervasive power, this article is predicated on the belief that it is indeed possible to delineate a strategy for its subversion, although - given that this belief presupposes the critical-intellectual receptivity of a sufficiently large number of individuals to make a decisive difference to the status quo, albeit gradually, incrementally - there is no reason for optimism. Building further on previous work on the critical differences between (especially written) language and images regarding the subject, and drawing on the work of several thinkers - including Freud, Lacan, Lyotard, Hardt and Negri, Kovel, Silverman, Copjec, and Deleuze and Guattari - it attempts to show that, in the age of the ubiquity of images as sites of identification and libidinal investment on the part of consumers, especially in popular art ranging from television soaps to mainstream cinema and advertising, a critical strategy made possible by recognising the structural relations involved in acts of identification via images is required. This strategy has to operate at all levels of cultural activity crucially focusing on and producing images (e.g., in the form of cinematic works) representing alternative subject positions, subverting those promoted by and underpinning capitalism - to dislodge the hegemony of capital and its agencies. Attention is given to various cinematic works that provide such alternative sites of identification by means of iconic configurations inscribed with values resistant to, and subversive of, capitalism.
Author Jeanne Van EedenSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 38 –64 (2006)More Less
This article investigates the historical alignment between women and shopping that dates from about the middle of the nineteenth century. During this time the masculine, modernist world of urban life was separated from the feminine, domestic sphere; this led to gendered perceptions about space and place. The split between male and female worlds led to representations of space that characterised certain spaces as male and others as female. This article shows how the nineteenth century department store became a key location of middle-class female activity and identity formation, and demonstrates how this social spatialisation has been sustained by the contemporary shopping mall. Because malls are products of consumer capitalism, they embody ideologies and myths that support this dominant ideology; notions concerning gender, class, race, and space are hence grounded in the manner in which malls conceptualise and represent space. This article sites a gendered reading of South African shopping within the discourses of gender politics, (feminist) cultural geography and (visual) cultural studies, which attempt to unveil the spatial practices of contemporary society. The findings suggest that the social perception that shopping is women's work is upheld by current social practices.
'Ryk, ryker, Rykie' : a first exploration of the journalisticcontribution of a journalist extraordinaire : communication, cultural and media studiesAuthor Lizette RabeSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 65 –87 (2006)More Less
Hierdie artikel sal, as 'n eerste verkenning, daarna streef om sommige aspekte van die Afrikaanse joernalis Rykie van Reenen in perspektief te plaas met die doel om haar bydrae tot Suid-Afrikaanse joernalistiek en die omvang van haar werk te verstaan. Na Van Reenen is verwys as 'undoubtedly the most outstanding Afrikaans journalist of the [twentieth] century' (Giliomee 2003, 564). In die herskryfde Afrikaanse weergawe van dié werk word dit egter gekwalifiseer met 'waarskynlik' (Giliomee 2004, 470). Hoewel sy, volgens bronne, geen geringe joernalistieke bydrae gemaak het tot die uiteindelike politieke verandering in Suid-Afrika van 'n Afrikaner-Nasionalistiese regering tot 'n demokrasie nie, is min oor dié joernalis bekend. Hierdie eerste beskrywing van Van Reenen se werk is deel van 'n meer omvattende studie oor diê joernalis wat 'n standaard gestel het in Suid-Afrikaanse Afrikaanse joernalistiek. Hierdie artikel sal dus ook 'n klein bydrae maak tot 'n meer omvattende Suid-Afrikaanse mediahistoriografie, wat, jammerlik, nie genoeg navorsingsaandag geniet nie.
This article will, as a first exploration, attempt to put some aspects of the Afrikaans journalist Rykie van Reenen into perspective with the aim of understanding her contribution to South African journalism and the extent of her oeuvre. Van Reenen was referred to as 'undoubtedly the most outstanding Afrikaans journalist of the [twentieth] century' (Giliomee 2003, 564). In the Afrikaans rewritten version of this book, it is qualified with the word 'waarskynlik' - (probably) (Giliomee 2004, 470). Although her journalism, according to sources, contributed in a significant way to the eventual political change from an Afrikaner Nationalist-governed country to a democracy, very little is known about the journalist. This initial recording of van Reenen's oeuvre is part of a more extensive study of this journalist who has set a standard in South African Afrikaans journalism in terms of subject matter and writing style. This article can thus also be regarded as a contribution in a small way to a more complete South African media historiography, which, in general, lacks significant scholarly attention.
'Ek sê, Heita!' : kwaito and the construction of community : communication, cultural and media studiesAuthor T.E. BoschSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 88 –100 (2006)More Less
Kwaito can be described as the new music of the new South Africa. Since its emergence over a decade ago, kwaito still blasts from minibus taxis, on the new urban commercial stations formed after media liberalisation, and on street corners from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Kwaito is young, vibrant and decidedly black. This is hardly surprising in a context where music, like everything else, is a highly racialised terrain. This article describes the emergence of kwaito, and explores community radio station, Bush Radio's, broadcasts of kwaito music, looking at how these broadcasts create a sense of community. First, kwaito's emergence within the context of South Africa's mainstream cultural industries is articulated. Then kwaito music is explored as a signifier of black identity. This article is located within a cultural studies framework, which approaches musical genres as cultural texts capable of generating multiple meanings (Grossberg, 1993).
The ontic interconnectedness and interdependence of language and communicative actions : communication, cultural and media studiesAuthor Danie StraussSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 101 –118 (2006)More Less
'n Ontleding van die samehang van verskillende funksionele domeine in die werklikheid ontsluit die moontlikheid om rekenskap te gee van die meersinnigheid van terme en maak dit moontlik om die alsydige sin van taal en kommunikatiewe handelinge te ontleed - soos wat dit ingebed is in die integrale sin-samehang van die werklikheid. Daarom is die sentrale fokus van hierdie opvolg-artikel gerig op die interafhanklike aard van kommunikatiewe (d.i. sosiaal-ontslote) taalgebruik. Nadenke oor die problem van eenheid en verskeidenheid begelei die blootlegging van die dualisme in Habermas se seining en die beoordeling van die definisie van kommunikasie in terme van die idee van 'n oordrag of (mede)deling van betekenis. Kern-idees van Saussure, Derrida en Habermas word in verband gebring met die veranderlikheid en onveranderlikheid van die teken alvorens die onderskeiding tussen entiteit en funksie toegepas word op die kondisies vir en inter-funksionele verbindings waarin taal en kommunikatiewe handelinge ingebed is. Hierdie benadering maak 'n bespreking van die veelsydige samehang waarin kommunikatiewe handelinge gevoeg is moontlik. Aan die einde word dar in die lig van die onderskeid tussen beginsels en die toepassing (positivering) daarvan oorgegaan tot 'n vlugtige beoordeling van konvensie, konstruksie en die indee van autonomie.
An analysis of the interconnectedness of different functional domains within reality opens up the possibility to account for the multivocality of terms and for an analysis of the multifaceted meaning of language and communicative actions - their intertwinement with the integral meaningcoherence of reality. Therefore, the focus of this follow-up article is directed at the interdependent nature of communicative (i.e., socially disclosed) language use. Reflection on the problem of unity and diversity guides the discernment of the dualism present in Habermas's view and the assessment of the definition of communication in terms of the idea of a transition and/or sharing of meaning. Crucial ideas of Saussure, Derrida and Habermas are related to the mutability and immutability of the sign before the significance of the distinction between entity and function is applied to the conditions for and inter-functional connections of language and communicative actions. A discussion of the multifaceted coherence in which communicative actions are embedded subsequently receives attention. Finally, in view of the distinction between principles and their application (form-giving, positivisation) conventions, construction and the idea of autonomy are briefly assessed.
Communication, choice and freedom with reference to risk in aspects of communication on HIV / AIDS : health communicationSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 119 –136 (2006)More Less
Where analysis concludes that a context is characterised by high risk, as in the case given HIV / AIDS in South Africa, individual choice and freedom are often negated, for instance, by social scientists when they resort to the statistical logic of large numbers. Ironically, given that knowledge and rationality are arguably related, the choice and freedom of the individual deemed not to have knowledge about a given issue, is questioned and soon negated. By focusing on the black people in South africa, as a key example, it is argued that such analyses and solutions deny the existential possibilities of the people. The aim of this article is to affirm an individual's possibilities. The situation of the individual who communicates is recalled to argue against approaches that variously seek to blame the individual. In the time of HIV/AIDS, ideas such as those of Soren Kiekegaard should be engaged to advance understanding of the limitations and possibilities of the individual who communicates. In the trasition from understanding to acting on information on HIV / AIDS, the individual has the freedom to choose. This is humbling for communication scientists and practioners who seek to prevent the further spread of HIV/AIDS.
In die lig daarvan dat die bespreking tot die slotsom kom dat die konteks van MIV / Vigs in Suid-Afrika 'n hoë risiko omgewing vir mense is, word die individuele reg tot keuses dikwels genegeer, byvoorbeeld deur sosiale wetenskaplikes, wat bloot op die statistieke van situasies konsentreer ten einde bepaalde verklarings weer te gee. Ironies genoeg, gegewe dat kennis en rasionaliteit verwant kan wees, impliseer die situasie dat die individu, met die reg tot vrye keuses, min of geen kennis dra van die risiko's verbonde aan MIV / Vigs situasies nie. Deur in sulke situasies op swart mense te konsentreer, wat in die fokus is van die MIV / Vigs konteks, kan so 'n argument die eksistensiële vermoëns om keuses uit te oefen van diesulke mense ontken. Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die eie vermoëns van die individu om besluite te neem te herbevestig. Die vermoë om te kommunikeer oor asook in sulke situasies staan sentraal, veral waar die blaamklem heel dikwels op die individu geplaas word. Die idees van Soren Kierkegaard word aangespreek ten einde die beperkinge en tekortkominge van die kommunikerende individu te verstaan. In die proses om oor te gaan van verstaan tot die neem van bepaalde aksies ten opsigte van MIV / Vigs staan die individu se vrye keuse tot besluitneming en kommunikasie. Die feit behoort kommunikasie wetenskaplikes en praktisyns tot nadenke te stem.
A meta-theoretical glimpse into the future of South African corporate communication management : organisational and management communicationSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 137 –151 (2006)More Less
This article provides a concise discussion of meta-theoretical (critical-rhetorical, feminist and postmodernistic) approaches towards corporate communication management utilising metaethical points of departure with the aim of providing a glimpse into the meta-theoretical future of corporate communication management. The discussion is supplemented by an analysis of the challenges that face organisations in the fast-changing environment of the twenty-first century and corporate communication management as a critical/strategic management function that has the potential to assist organisations in adapting and remaining relevant to their environment, and by implication to the needs of their key internal and external stakeholders. The article is concluded by an explication of corporate communication management as being inextricably linked to ethical conduct and a product of the amalgamation of different meta-theoretical approaches, which interprets and advances the values of both stakeholders and the organisation in a manner that socially and ethically responsible, dialogical mutually adaptive, and contributes to democratising the organisation's decision-making and management processes. This poses challenges to, and insight into, the meta-theoretical approach held while engaging in discourse on the comprehensive nature of corporate communication management.
A critical evaluation of the Downs-Hazen instrument (CSQ) by measuring employee communication satisfaction at a private higher education institution in South Africa : organisational and management communicationSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 32, pp 152 –188 (2006)More Less
Die doel van hierdie artikel is 'n kritiese evaluasie van die Downs-Hazen instrument (CSQ) deur die meting van werknemer kommunikasietevredenheid by 'n privaat hoër onderwysinstansie in Suid- Afrika. Drie kommunikasietevredenheid dimensies, bestaande uit agt konstrukte, is gemeet. Die resultate dui aan dat, alhoewel werknemers tevrede is met die verhouding met hul hoofde, daar 'n behoefte aan beter kommunikasie oor die sielkundige atmosfeer in die organisasie; die inligting wat werknemers ontvang oor hul onmiddellike werkomgewings, vergaderings en geskrewe voorskrifte; horisontale en informele kommunikasie wat akkuraat is en vry vloei; inligting oor die organisasie in geheel; asook die wyse waarop werknemers beoordeel en ge-evalueer word. <br>'n Finale gevolgtrekking is dat die Downs-Hazen CSQ steeds toepasbaar is ten spyte van die feit dat dit amper 30 jaar gelede vir die eerste keer ontwikkel is. Verder het die aanpassings van die items in hierdie studie nie die betroubaarheid van die aangepaste meetinstrument beïnvloed nie.
The aim of this article is to provide a critical evaluation of the Downs-Hazen instrument (Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire) (CSQ) by applying it to the measurement of employee communication satisfaction at a private higher education institution in South Africa. Three communication satisfaction dimensions, consisting of eight constructs, were measured. The results indicated that although employees are satisfied with their relationship with superiors, a need exists for improved communication on the psychological atmosphere in the organisation; the information employees receive about their immediate work environments, meetings and written directives; horizontal and informal communication that is accurate and free flowing; information about the organisation as a whole; as well as the way in which employees are being judged and appraised. <br>A final conclusion is that the Downs-Hazen CSQ is still applicable even though it was first developed almost 30 years ago. Furthermore, the adjustments to items in this study did not affect the reliability of the adapted questionnaire.