Technological Determinism

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Technological Determinism

  1. 1. Technological Determinism Of Marshall McLuhan
  2. 2. Basic Ideas <ul><li>New electronic media radically affect how we think, feel, and act </li></ul><ul><li>The world will never be the same </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic age supersedes tribal, literate (phonetic alphabet), and print ages </li></ul><ul><li>Inventions in technology cause cultural change </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in modes of communication shape human existence </li></ul><ul><li>Media are extensions of human faculties: media are tools that amplify or intensify a bodily organ, sense, or function. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Medium is the Message <ul><li>The medium changes people more than the sum of all the messages that the medium conveys : the medium is also the mass-age </li></ul>
  4. 4. Tribal Age <ul><li>Senses of hearing , touch, taste and smell developed beyond ability to visualize: this is an oral culture </li></ul><ul><li>Spoken word is emotionally laden – it draws people into tribal mesh </li></ul>
  5. 5. Literate Age <ul><li>Sight becomes head of the hierarchy of senses </li></ul><ul><li>Writer and reader are separate from the text </li></ul><ul><li>People are more detached </li></ul><ul><li>Logic becomes linear </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy promotes science </li></ul>
  6. 6. Print Age <ul><li>Mass production of literary products </li></ul><ul><li>Homogenization of dialects </li></ul><ul><li>Nationalism </li></ul>
  7. 7. Electronic Age <ul><li>End of power of print. </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic media re-tribalize the human race </li></ul><ul><li>Formation of the global village </li></ul><ul><li>Linear logic is useless </li></ul>
  8. 8. Hot and Cool Media <ul><li>Print, photos and motion pictures are HOT – are high definition and require little work on part of viewer; tend to be highly visual </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions are COOL – cool media draw a person in, requiring high participation to fill in the blanks. Television is cool, low-definition. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Media-Induced Changes <ul><li>Politics </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Sex and drugs </li></ul>
  10. 10. Critique <ul><li>Postman – new digital age, a new age, in which culture is totally used by tools and in which our thought world is dominated by technopoly </li></ul><ul><li>Mediated world takes us from truth claims to aesthetic appeals </li></ul><ul><li>Have we become tools of our tools </li></ul><ul><li>Like many single-factor theories, McLuhan’s thesis is provocative but very disputable </li></ul><ul><li>Relate to Post-Modernism of Baudrillard and Derrida and others. </li></ul>

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