Textbook Notes (290,000)
CA (170,000)
UTSC (20,000)
MDSA01H3 (300)
Chapter 13

MDSA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: New Media, Lifeworld, Television Jamaica


Department
Media Studies
Course Code
MDSA01H3
Professor
Ted Petit
Chapter
13

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!
" Johannes!Gutenberg!(inventor!of!moveable!type!mechanical!printing)!listed!
as!#1!influential!person!in!the!past!1000!years!in!A&E’s!show!Bibliography!
" Gutenberg’s!invention!initiated!a!massive!paradigm!shift!
" Paradigm!shift:!a!fundamental!transformation!in!how!persons!know!and!
perceive!the!world!
" Printing!press’s!revolutionary!impact!on!society!offers!a!particularly!clear!
example!of!the!centrality!of!communication!technologies!(i.e.!media)!to!our!
lives!
" Media!ecology!highlights!that!social!environments!are!communication!
environments!which!are!dominated!by!certain!communication!technologies!
at!particular!historical!moments!
" Central!goal!of!media!ecology!is!to!study!the!interaction!between!people!and!
their!communications!technology!!
!
MEDIUM!THEORY:!AN!OVERVIEW!
" Medium!theory:!research!tradition!that!the!technology!or!individual!medium!
of!communication!to!be!equally!important!to,!or!even!more!important!than,!
the!content!of!media!to!understanding!our!social!environment!
" E.g.!sending!a!package.!Contents!of!the!package!=!message.!Shape/size!of!
packaging!=!form.!Means!by!which!it!was!delivered!=!medium!
" Medium!theory!posits!that!the!technology!of!communication!always!makes!a!
world!of!a!difference!
" “The!medium!is!the!message”!
" Three!central!premises!of!medium!theory:!
1. Each!medium!of!communication!has!a!relatively!unique!and!fixed!set!
of!characteristics!
2. Those!characteristics!produce!a!particular!type!of!communication!
environment!
3. The!communication!environment!has!consequences!for!human!
consciousness!and!social!organization!
" Medium!theorists!seek!to!identify!the!characteristics!of!a!medium!that!
distinguish!it!psychologically!and!socially!from!other!media!
" Medium!theory!can!be!utilized!at!either!micro"!(single!situation)!or!macro"
level!(social)!
" Micro!level!example!!!what!are!the!consequences!of!breaking!up!with!your!
boyfriend/girlfriend!in!person!vs.!via!text?!Even!if!message!is!the!same,!the!
medium!matters.!
" Macro!level!!!asks!what!type!of!human!relations!and!social!structures!
emerge!in!a!particular!communication!environment!
" Most!ecologists!are!interested!in!medium!theory!at!the!macro!level!
" Macro!level!produces!a!remarkably!clear!and!consistent!picture!of!the!history!
of!civilization!
" Oral!society!societies,!modern!print!societies,!contemporary!
electronic!or!digital!societies!
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!
HAROLD!A.!INNIS!(1894"1952)!
" The!exercise!of!political!power!within!society!is!influenced!by!the!unique!
character!of!the!communication!media!that!dominate!the!dissemination!of!
information!
" Information!monopolies!can!be!diffused!or!reconfigured!by!the!development!
and!spread!of!new!media!
" E.g.!printing!press!is!regarded!as!having!had!a!democratizing!effect!because!it!
diminished!the!privileged!position!help!by!religious!scribes!and!undermined!
medieval!church’s!monopoly!over!religious!information!and!ultimately!over!
salvation!(no!longer!relied!on!church!to!interpret!religious!texts)!
" Time"biased!media:!!
" Characteristic!of!tribal!or!oral!civilization!
" Only!reaches!a!limited!audience!because!it’s!labor"intensive!(carving,!
handwriting,!etc.)!
" Civilizations!based!on!such!media!are!usually!decentralized!and!
hierarchal!
" Durable!(parchment/clay/stone)!
" Difficult!to!exert!direct!political!influence!+!control!
" Knowledge!is!tied!to!tradition!(preserved!by!community!elders!+!
religious!figures)!
" Space"biased!media:!
" Inclined!towards!secularism,!materialism,!and!rapid!social!change!
" Lighter!and!less!durable!(papyrus/TV/radio/newspaper)!
" Can!reach!many!people!over!long!distances!
" Supports!centralized!systems!of!government!that!are!less!hierarchal!
!
MARSHALL!MCLUHAN!(1911"1980)!
" Moveable"type!printing!constituted!a!decisive!break!from!oral!societies!of!the!
past!and!produced!“Gutenberg!Man”:!a!subject!who!was!characterized!by!
rational,!linear!thought!processes!!
" All!human!history!can!be!divided!into!3!major!periods:!oral,!writing/print,!
and!electronic!
" Hot"cold!spectrum!for!evaluating!the!degree!to!which!media!are!low!or!high!
in!participation!
" Hot!medium:!!
" One!that!extends!a!single!sense!in!‘high!definition’!
" Low!audience!participation/completion!
" Fully!satiate!the!senses!
" Radio/photographs/film/phonetic!alphabet!
" Brassy/big!band!music!that!overpowers!and!intoxicates!the!soul!
" Film=!hot!medium!because!it!asks!very!little!from!audience!and!
supplies!all!necessary!input!
" Cool!medium:!
" “Low!definition”!because!it’s!high!in!participation!or!completion!by!
audience!
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