Social Communication in Nation Building

Topics: Woleu-Ntem Province, Communication, Gabon Pages: 6 (2386 words) Published: March 23, 2013
The basis of nationality is the sensé of belonging to the same nation and the désire on the part of its members to live with each other at this level of community. When the political scientist wants to de fine or locate this subjective sensé of community, he has used such objective criteria as common language, common history, common territory, and so forth. It is clear that ail thèse criteria are an expression of something more basic—shared expérience. This shared expérience, which may lead to the necessary mutual trust among members of a given society and to the feeling that this group as a group is différent from others, contributes continuously to national unity. National unity likewise makes shared expérience more possible. To détermine the human and géographie frontiers of a nation the political scientist must find ways to examine this shared expérience. The problems in the Tiers Monde are greater with regard to such research than they are in Europe because much of the necessary data are not available. Research at very basic levels with some new methods is necessary. Karl W. Deutsch, professor of political science at Yale University, has proposed a quantitative interdisciplinary way to examine shared expérience and, indirectly, the sensé of community.1 He suggests that one measure the quantities of communications among a given people to find out how much contact they hâve. For this one must use criteria such as flows of letters, telegrams, movement of vehicles, trains, planes, téléphone calls, mass média of communication, location of markets, settlement patterns, and population movements, he says. If it is possible to examine thèse différent forms of communication, or as many as possible of them, it is equally possible, he says, to estimate shared expérience and make prédictions about increases or decreases in shared expérience. The first stage in this process, that of physical contact, is called "mobilization". People who hâve intensive communications with each other are "mobilized"1 for shared expériences and are "mobiliz-ed" into a current of communications which may eventually change a physical relationship into an affective relationship. The second stage is a change in the sentiments and attitudes of the people; it is called "assimilation". People find that, on the basis of shared expérience, they communicate increasingly more effectively with members of a particular society than with others. In other words, when the "communication habits" of a population become increasingly standardized within a group composed of smaller groups, assimilation of the smaller groups to the larger one is occurring: "If the statistical weight of standardized expérience is large, and the weight of recalled information within the [smaller] group is relatively small, and the statistical weight of feedback information about the [smaller] group's peculiar responses is likewise small, then the responses of such a group would differ from the responses of other groups in the same situation by a converging séries, until the remaining différences might fall below the threshold of political significance. This is the process of assimilation."2 People may also find that there are advantages to be gained in belong-ing to this new community, but there may never be a conscious choice which is made. Because a study of assimilation is a study of beliefs, values and conceptions, différent kinds of data are necessary. Professor Deutsch says that there are also quantifiable. According to him, the "rate of assimilation" dépends on certain linguistic, économie, and cultural "balances": similarities in linguistic habits must be balanced, for example, against différences in value, material rewards for assimilation must be balanced against rewards for non-assimilation. To measure values he says it is necessary to give psychological tests to considérable numbers of people3 and to measure rewards it is necessary, in part, to examine économie surveys to détermine...
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