11 terms

Technological Determinism

Chapter 11
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Technological Determinism
States that technolgoy specifically media - decisively shapes how individuals think, feel and act and how societies organize themselves and operate.
Mashall McLuhan
Canadian, "Oracle of the Electronic age" "prophet of the media" Coined phrases: "The medium is the message" & "Global Village"
Assumptions
- media is extremely powerful
- media profoundly affect us individually as a society
Four Epochs
Tribal - Oral communication, face to face, interdependent societies
Literate - sight dominant sense, linear communication developed (Math, science)
Print - Guttenberg printing press - reading became more widespread and available. Fragmentation of communities.
Electronic - revived oral tradition (hearing & touch) created a "global village"
The Medium is the Message
The idea that the mode of communication determines the substance of the story
The Medium is the Massage
This is the view that the media manipulate how we perceive ourselves, others, society and the world.
The Medium is the Mass-Age
This means that mass communication is the dominant form of communication in the current age.
Hot Media
Media that includes relatively complete sensory data.
- less effort from the audience
- radio, tv, printed material, photographs, lectures and films, etc.
Cool Media
Media that requires the audience interpretation of meaning
- meaning must be filled in by the listener
- requires active participation from the audience
- telephone, computer games, face-to-face interactions, class discussions, rapping, crossword puzzles
Critiques
Lacks empirical support - no research to support claims.
Overtly deterministic - assumed people were powerless to control media therefore it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy; the theory obscures influences on society and individuals.
Value
McLuhan raised awareness of impact on meida on cultural life and how media influenced individual and collective life.
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