A New Communication Order

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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A New Communication Order Kress (1997) points to the way in which written texts and language have been privileged in communication studies in an almost invisible way, and the implications for this in a multi-modal arena. The immediacy of imagery in electronic culture has a significance, which Kress suggest, has not yet been adequately theorised.

Kress’s claim is a valid one. The purpose of this essay is to argue as such and prove the validity of Kress’s claim. This paper will examine the current communication landscape, focusing on the implications, needs and potentials of verbal and visual forms of representation in electronically mediated communication.

It seems clear there is a direct link between advances in modern information technologies as communicational tools and the need to move beyond narrowly defined accounts of literacy, to ones that capture the complexity of real literacy practices in contemporary society. Literacy needs to be conceived within a broader social order, what Street and others have called a ‘new communicative order’ (Street, 1998; Kress & Van Leeuwen, 1996; Lankshear, 1997).

The nature of communication has and is changing; the following quote by Kress (1997) describes the nature of this change.

“…the landscape of communication and representation, the semiotic landscape, is indeed being remade. Where before there was the single, central mountain range of written language, now another alpine system is being thrust up by forces of a complex kind: in part, social, political, technological, and as yet less recognised, by economic forces as well” It is the use of multimedia in this ‘new communicative order’ that permits characteristics such as ‘…global reach, its integration of all communication media, and its potential interactivity’ (Castells, 1996: 329). The potential to combine visual, verbal and written forms of representation in this multi-modal arena has meant that all kinds of messages can...