During my master’s, I read an article written by Dr. Alexander G. Flor, the former dean and a professor in the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). Currently, Dr. Flor sits as a member of my dissertation committee, and my professor too in my two subjects this semester. The article I’m talking about is “Communication, Culture and the Collective Psyche.”
The reason I remembered was during our recent class, timely as it is, Dr. Flor brought up the said article. Since we are in the middle of the post-electoral scene from the recent 2022 National Elections, the article does make sense to at least navigate us through one of the many answers, if not the sole conclusion, to our questions about the said elections–like, of course, “how did IT happen?”
As a development communicator, one of my objectives, as also shared by Dr. Flor in the article, is a development communicator researcher’s biggest ambition–“to understand and explain how a socially beneficial idea assumes a life of its own and spreads throughout society without the benefit of planned and funded campaigns” (Flor 2007, p.99).
Collective Mind is how we can explain it, how we could describe it, and how we can answer the question simply put as “anyare?” or suffice to the wonders of our minds and reactions whether positively or negatively–“wow!”
This Collective Mind refers to the synergy generated through individual minds in the social system (p.106). Thus, our society has its social system and its collectivity has a mind. Communication plays a huge role in this narrative. In fact, socialization by sociologists and acculturation by anthropologists can only be achieved through communication (p.111).
Society refers to a whole comprised of various individuals. Apart from they share the same spatial, they are typically subject to dominant cultural expectations. In a democratic country just like the Philippines, people have invested power to decide, in our recent case, elected officials in the government, through representation. Communication and comprehension of what’s being communicated craft the society we live in; education, and media/digital media play a huge role today that make or even break forms of information and social construction.
Many may point disinformation and misinformation as part of it, the seeds that are planted reap differently than what was expected of many, now as far as the election results go, the minority (I’ll concentrate more on this in another research). Needless to say, communication is an essential element, if not the main key, of politicking. Hence, as communication scholars, and development communicators at that, (in unison with the sociologists, media personnel, and journalists), we all have a crucial role to play. May it be breeding new sources of knowledge or research, but also understanding societal engagement and cultural communication unbiased more importantly, as we try to be.
Collective Mind is how we can simply glue how we came about, the same goes with the People Power I or EDSA 1 in 1986 and People Power II or EDSA 2 in 2001.
Flor, Alexander G. (2007). Communication, Culture and the Collective Psyche. Chapter 10 in Development Communication Praxis, pp.99-114. University of the Philippines Open University Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services. Diliman, Quezon City. ISBN 978-971-767-200-7.
Featured Image from the internet / Pexels.