SMC219Y1 Lecture 9: Theory - Marshall McLuhan

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St. Michael's College Courses
Steve Hoselton

Theory: Marshall McLuhan - One of the first to deal with the medium itself  it extends our sense (putting us beyond our body) in a physical and concrete way. Physically and mentally influenced by what happens in the medium (the medium controls our senses) the medium becomes part of us and controls our senses - The medium becomes important regardless of the content/message. The thing that sends the message is more important than the content - The definition of who I am changes depending on the media we use Implications: - The content doesn’t matter – the medium creates structure (ways of experience and understanding) they are so important that they overwhelm what is being said. They are an extension of ourselves and they change who we are. o The ones we can’t be involved with are hot medium – overwhelms the senses and doesn’t involve our participation, we just absorb what is happening (TV). o Cool medium – it is easier to have an influence, less impact on you, more involved (easier to read than to watch) - We respond to the medium’s properties  saying hello when you answer the telephone. We create rules and expectations about how the medium is going to influence us and how we interact with it - The medium is part of you, it has its own properties and limitations - The medium creates content – the way we use it generates the content (talking in groceries stores vs talking in a phone booth) - The medium is the message – its really the medium that is speaking to you and that will have an impact on you - When the media change, it changes us – our values, relationships, the way we relate to each other, our identity, what we think is important (not in a good way). Using them without knowing the powerful influence on us. We become pawns of technology - Its not the way technology is used but the way it uses us - The age of topography – print was the tech medium, to the electric age – wireless communication. This swi
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