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Technological Determinism of Marshall McLuhan From Chapter 26 in Em Griffin, A First Look at Communication Theory, 1994.

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Presentation on theme: "Technological Determinism of Marshall McLuhan From Chapter 26 in Em Griffin, A First Look at Communication Theory, 1994."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technological Determinism of Marshall McLuhan From Chapter 26 in Em Griffin, A First Look at Communication Theory, 1994

2 MCLUHAN WOULD SAY: A = Inventions in communication technology cause cultural change; B = The age of print had its obituary tapped out by the telegraph; C = The electronic media are retribalizing the human race; D = Instant communication has returned us to a prealphabetic oral tradition; E = ALL OF THE ABOVE PLEASE SPECULATE ABOUT THE FOLLOWING IDEAS--WHAT DID MCLUHAN MEAN BY THESE?

3 McLuhan was early to recognize that: 4 We were entering the Electronic Age 4 Electronic Media radically alter the way people –think –feel –act Why would electronic media alter how we think, etc.?

4 Tribal Age Literate Age Print Age Electronic Age Historical Epoch Technological Development Dominant Sense Receptors Phonetic alphabet 2000 B.C. Printing Press 1450 Telegraph 1850

5 According to McLuhan, the crucial inventions were: 4 The phonetic alphabet 4 The printing press 4 The telegraph WHY THESE 3 PARTICULAR INVENTIONS? Would you call the alphabet a medium of communication?-why?

6 Core Concepts  Inventions in communication technology cause cultural change  Changes in modes of communication shape human life  Channels of communication are the primary cause of cultural change  “We shape our tools and they in turn shape us”

7  Each new media innovation is an extension of some human faculty  The book is an extension of the eye  The wheel is an extension of the foot  Clothing is an extension of the skin  Electronic circuitry is an extension of the central nervous system HOW DO YOU FIGURE THIS LAST ONE ABOUT ELECTRONIC CIRCUITRY & THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM? k/u /TxtHypertxtCW1- Final.ppt+McLuhan+and+the+central+nervous+system&cd=2&hl=en&ct= clnk&gl=us

8 | Media are anything that amplify or intensify a bodily organ, sense, or function  Media (NOT ONLY)  extend our reach  increase our efficiency  Media (ALSO)  act as a filter  to organize  and interpret our social existence WOW! Media organize and interpret our social existence? PLEASE SPECULATE ON THIS--

9  The way we live is largely a function of the way we process information  The phonetic alphabet, the printing press, and the telegraph changed the way people thought about themselves and their world  “The medium is the message”  The same words spoken face-to-face, printed on paper, or presented on television provide three different messages McLuhan spoke in riddles--speculate on what he might have meant by any of the ideas below--

10 McLuhan Web Site

11  The primary channel of communication changes the way we perceive the world  The dominant medium of any age dominates people

12 A Media Analysis of History  The Tribal Age  an acoustic place  where the senses of hearing, touch, taste, & smell were most developed  “Primitive” people led richer and more complex lives than their literate descendants because the ear, unlike the eye, is unable to select the stimuli it takes in  The spoken word is more emotionally laden than the written

13 The Age of Literacy  The phonetic alphabet put sight at the head of the hierarchy of senses: with reading people exchanged an ear for an eye  Literacy (reading) jarred people out of collective tribal involvement into “civilized” private detachment  The phonetic alphabet established the line as the organizing principle

14 The Print Age  If the phonetic alphabet made visual dependence possible, the printing press made it widespread  Repeatability is the most important characteristic of movable type  The print revolution demonstrated mass production of identical products--it was the forerunner of the industrial revolution  It created the book that people could read in privacy and in isolation  The printed book glorifies individualism

15 The Electronic Age: The Global Village  “The age of print had its obituary tapped out by the telegraph”  The electronic media are retribalizing the human race  Instant communication has returned us to a prealphabetic oral tradition  where sound and touch are more important than sight  All of us as members of a global village

16 Hot & Cool Media  Hot media are beamed at a single sense receptor  Print is a hot, visual medium  Photographs are a hot, visual medium  Motion Pictures are a hot, visual medium  They package lots of information in a way that requires little work on the part of the viewer

17 Cool Media  Cool media require high participation to fill in the blanks  A lecture is hot  Discussions are cool

18 McLuhan-esque Examples D Education D People living in the midst of innovation often cling to what was, as opposed to what is D Education is a prime example of a battle ground over forms of literacy--video as an audio/video aid as opposed to the primary tool D The acoustic media are a threat to an educational establishment that has a vested interest in books

19 WOW! THIS ONE IS A BEAUT-- PLEASE EXPLAIN


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