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Media Technologies and convergence Raymond Williams - Essay Example
This essay examines Raymond Williams’ critique of McLuhan’s work by means of a focused analysis of the key aspects. Examining Marshall McLuhan’s work inevitably entails consideration of the issues surrounding his work and the claims by Raymond Williams that the work epitomises and promotes the concept of technological determinism…
Raymond Williams is strongly opposed to Marshall McLuhan’s analysis that the world has been altered by television, which is intended to mean that watching television reduces one’s intelligence quotient (IQ). Although McLuhan’s line of thought is somehow consistent with experience in the media, Williams argues that it would be overly deterministic to believe in the precepts of this model. On this point, Williams’ line of thought makes quite a lot of sense because some television programs are greatly educative and laden with facts. The implication is that the society can learn a great deal from these facts and effectively develop their IQs.
Technological determinism assumes that technological advancement is an accidental, self-driven process. It pre-supposes that the advancements are never pre-determined by external forces. However, most of the technological developments arise as a result of the needs (either real or perceived) of the society. This way, technology is the ultimate result of many years of carefully designed research. Put differently, the kind of technology that develops in a particular place is normally related to the challenges associated with the place. Technology is, therefore, aimed at providing definitive solutions to the needs and challenges of the society. Williams reinforces this point further by making reference to some television-related inventions such as the electric eye, the copying telegraph, the cathode-ray tube, and the scanning system. ...