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. ...
and weapons, in addition to the major mass media and communication technologies.” (Driedger & Redekop, 1998) Hence, media is effectively an extension of human beings and their perceptory faculties and capabilities. While there is efficiency and expedition in the dissemination of information in this setup, the concerns are the attendant negative consequences. For example, an outcome of this pervasive media space is the numbing of our critical faculties under the overload of information processing. In this cultural order where ‘the medium is the message’, there is danger in media technology’s role in “how and what we communicate, how we think, feel, and use our senses, and in our social organization, way of life, and world view.” (Driedger & Redekop, 1998) I concur with McLuhan’s apprehensive about the power of media technology in determining and dictating culture. McLuhan further argued that “the sensory organization, and the relationship between sensory organization and the nature of thought were shaped by a person's direct experience with a medium. He saw television as a high-involvement medium, which leads viewers to crave the same level of involvement in all of their experiences. This was based on his designation of television as a "cool" medium, drawing on the distinction between "hot" jazz which was highly structured, and "cool" jazz, which was more unstructured, generating more listener involvement.” (Driedger & Redekop, 1998) It is fair to claim that this theory is now proven to be inaccurate, for television actually only requires passive consumption as opposed to active engagement. Indeed, television has thus acquired the derogatory terms ‘idiot box’ and ‘the tube’. This is one of several instances where McLuhan’s grasp of the nature ...
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