The ‘dematerialization’ of society in the digital age

A quarter century ago, Russell Belk introduced the concept of the extended self in a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research and cited thousands of times since, reported Aug. 27. The term was an attempt at explaining why “knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, we regard our possessions as part of ourselves.”…Today, this formative act of consumption no longer requires we physically possess an object. Music, along with photos, videos, even our written words are “largely invisible and immaterial until we choose to call them forth,” writes Belk, now a marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in Extended Self in a Digital World, published this May. Read full story.

How best to lower cost of wireless? Stronger government regulation
“The controversy over allowing American telecoms giant Verizon to buy into the Canadian wireless market in the hope of a payoff for consumers has deep echoes in the history of Canadian telecommunications,” wrote York University communication studies Professor David Skinner in the Winnipeg Free Press Aug. 28. “But while foreign ownership is not new to Canadian telecommunications markets, it has never proven to be the best road to spurring investment and lowering prices.” Read full story.

This isn’t your high school dating scene
Nearly a third of university students (32 per cent) who filled out the biggest-ever survey of health on Canadian campuses earlier this year agreed that their intimate relationships had been traumatic or very difficult to handle….“The main reason students will tell us they end their relationships is because they weren’t able to spend enough time together,” said York University psychologist Jennifer A. Connolly in Maclean’s Aug. 27. “Relationships often benefit from stability. Established ways to spend time and have fun together make the relationship easy. If that’s disrupted there may be disruptions to the relationship as well.” Read full story.

Joe Zambon brings message of healing
Putting his heart on the line has been a long-term side project for Canadian musician Joe Zambon, reported the Catholic Leader Aug. 28. For the past 10 years, the part-time musician, full-time pastoral assistant at York University, has crafted four albums full of sincere reflections on life. “I try to be as honest as possible,” he said on his recent visit to Brisbane. “I don’t write songs that I don’t believe myself, and I often write from a real personal place of struggles I have, brokenness I have and then how the Lord has spoken into that.” Read full story.