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Relationship between media technology and culture
Journalism & Communication
Pages 10 (2510 words)
With reference to relevant arguments by Raymond Williams and Marshall McLuhan regarding the relationship between media technology and culture, outline your own position in relation to this debate, using two digital media examples to illustrate your argument.
McLuhan’s work laid emphasis on how media is not an exclusive domain, but a space for the intermingling of politics, commerce and culture. One of the founding fathers of the field of media ecology, McLuhan introduced his core ideas in the 1950s and 60s. This was a period of rapid growth in telecommunication technology. The project McLuhan undertook is no less than to explain how “the nuances and great sweeps of human history are made possible by media of communication--how media determine the thoughts and actions of people and society.” (Strate, 2004) Raymond Williams’ career as a media analyst succeeded that of McLuhan. Consequently, he was able to see the flaws in several of McLuhan’s theories and rectify them to a large extent. Where Williams differed from his predecessor was on his ability to place media in the larger socio-cultural and economic dimensions rather than merely the technological dimension. This essay will argue that while McLuhan laid out many fundamental concepts governing media studies, it is Williams who offers a more robust and veritable framework of understanding for studying media. Their arguments are weighed in the cases of digital media such as the television and the Internet. And finally, where either scholar’s concepts fall short, the Propaganda Model proposed by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman is referred to present a more comprehensive understanding of media and its functionality. ...
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