Posted: August 12th, 2013

Communications & Work Stratification




Communications & Work Stratification

Part 1

Human interaction has been enabled using non-natural channels known as communication media. Communication media are a factor comprising the method of communication between people in pre historic societies. Representations such as antique cave paintings, maps and writings, were the various communication media used in historical context. Moreover, each age of civilization has been characterized by dominant communication media that have continued to change with every age. An example of a communication media is that has defined modern communication is the newspaper.

A newspaper is a programmed publication that is comprised of news regarding current events, educational and enlightening articles, different features, editorials and advertisements. The significance of newspapers is documented throughout global historic societies. The production of newspapers commenced in the early 17th century. However, before that time, authorized government periodicals were circulated occasionally in various centralized empires. In the 17th century, printed bulletins began replacing the hand written newssheets in Europe. The materialization of the novel media in Europe is presently connected to the synchronized extension of the printing press globally. Additionally, the publishing press is believed to draw its name from the printing press.

The change in newspapers has also been attributed to the events that characterized various global societies. For instance, a key historical event in the United States, the Battle of Gettysburg, influenced various newspapers in the society specifically the British based newspaper, Times of London. This is because the battle highlighted one of the highest numbers of casualties during the American Civil War (Nord, 2001). At that time, prompt and wide coverage was not present. Other historical events such as the Industrial Revolution also influence the use of newspapers since they availed improved technology that would be used to modernize the status of newspapers at the time. Before the end of the 19th century, paper was often created from fibers such as linen and cotton. However, the industrial revolution led to the ascent of the paper industry, which enabled mass production of inexpensive and quality paper.

Another historical event that influenced newspapers was the Second World War in the 20th century. Coverage of such a historical and non-local event was made possible through the reliance of the newspapers on the utilization of the wire services. Wire services such as Reuters and Agence-France Presse positioned reporters in every part of the world. These agencies, through their reporters, enabled newspapers that could not employ foreign correspondents cover remote events promptly and in complete detail. This made it possible to circulate news regarding the war in various countries. For instance, news reports regarding the Second World War were spread over countries such as the Philippines and spreading further to Nova Scotia. Furthermore, the wire services, through the example of the Second World War, were able to regulate newspaper content by providing similar news content in different countries.

Cultural events also influenced the production and ascent of newspapers. At one point, newspapers were viewed as works of art. This is because they comprised various literature techniques that were not only exemplified by scholars, but also by other professionals seeking to disseminate information in the society. The Renaissance Period was the one of the crucial events that influenced newspapers throughout Europe. The period was marked by the peak of vernacular literatures as well as educational improvement (Matthews & Ravaglia, 2000). At that time, the newspapers comprised information regarding various aspects that comprised the society such as economic conditions, as well as social customs and practices. Merchants were responsible for the circulation of the publications at that time. The writing and circulation of the newspapers was meant to denote the intellectual age of the Europeans during the period.

Political events also influenced newspapers on a broad scope. The climax of the 17th century saw the production of newspapers among various global societies. Because of the stratification of countries based on colonial regimes, most societies required knowledge and information based on the decisions made by the colonial regimes. Moreover, newspapers were circulated in order to inform the society in achieving democracy and abolishing repressive rule. In the American society, political news was hardly circulated until the end of the 18th century, which resulted into the rise of public opinion in the society. One of the crucial events arising from the repression of public opinion was the Ratification of the bill of Rights in 1791 (Labunski, 2006). The bill, indirectly influenced by the trial of the satirical newspaper writer, John Peter Zenger, allowed for the freedom of the press in circulation of news (Nord, 2001).

Another political event that facilitated the spread of newspapers in the American society was the affirmation of the slavery acts in 1841. The slavery acts passed at the time sought to discriminate and subject minorities in the United States to slavery and other inhumane acts. These acts prompted the creation of The New York Tribune by Horace Greeley. Despite focusing on slavery, the publication focused on other social issues at the time such as the equality and rights of women. At the time of its release, the newspaper reached a spread of 10000. By 1850, the newspaper had surpassed a distribution of 250000. The publication was broadly popular in the north and the west since these were the areas affected by slavery. The paper also attacked the Fugitive Slave Act, the Kansas-Nebraska Act as well as the Dred Scott decision, which were slavery and discrimination matters (Nord, 2001).


Part 2

a) Labor in British Columbia in the early 20th century was characterized by periods of extreme anti-Asian confrontation. Even though the labor movement is commonly viewed as a sign of emergent working perception, the consciousness of the white workers possessing a general class interest in the province did not reach the Asian workers. However, racial solidarity in the working environment became established during periods of sharp labor extremism and Asian employment militancy, especially during the Great Depression, despite intense job competition. Thus, they were viewed as associates of the working class with similar interests. Between the First World War and the Second World War, numerous structured white workers followed superior practices of solidarity with the Asian workers. The labor movements began identifying Asian workers as part of the working class. At the conclusion of World War I and through the Great Depression, some white worker organizations pursued organization with Asian workers. Despite the Asians being viewed as vulnerable during labor protests, they took part in strikes together with other white workers. Many of the strikes organized by the Asians and the whites occurred mostly at the conclusion of the First World War and the period of the Great Depression. Apparently, the overall condition of the economy influenced labor activism. This is because the poor state affected the wage of both racially different workers and hence brought them together since they shared common work interests. Consequently, the shortage of labor augmented the status of every worker whereas the profundity of the economic crisis enhanced the effect of labor radicalism among the Asian and white workers. The factors of Asian militancy, economic circumstances and the development of extremist labor politics led to racial solidarity between the Asian and white workers at the termination of the First World War and throughout the Great Depression (Creese, 1969).

b) Towards the end of the 19th century, Montreal was a city known to possess contrasts. The contrasts characterizing the city were based on the social class categories of the people: the middle class and the working class. The differences between the two classes are illustrated by a single tavern, which in the eyes of working class citizens such as dock laborers was a safe haven while for middle class citizens, the location proved a hazard. The difference in behaviors between the working class dock laborers and the middle class was attributed to the ignorance portrayed by industrialists regarding the plight of the laborers who expressed themselves through labor strikes. The tavern, Joe Beef’s Canteen, was a waterfront dilapidated spot that catered for the dock laborers who comprised the working class in the society. The tavern was viewed negatively by the middle class due to the social habits that the laborers exuded. The middle class viewed the tavern as an unkempt place that housed robbers and people who admired engaging in deviant behavior. The tavern, associated with the working class was also a place frequented by criminals, which further made the middle class view the social habits of the working class as uncultured. The working class citizens also viewed occasional drunkenness and acts of hooliganism as insufficient to put a person in prison. However, the middle class differed since they viewed such acts as unregulated and a disturbance of the public order and thus required correctional punishment. The working class citizens were also characterized by economic hardships, which was different among the middle class who never experienced harsh economic conditions. Additionally, the middle class and working class viewed the law enforcers (the police) differently. On one hand, the working class citizens solved their problems without the use of police intervention. On the other hand, the middle class citizens due to their social norms regarded the involvement of the police in the settlement of disputes (DeLoittenville, 1976).


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