Marshall McLuhan

September 3, 2009 at 7:22 am (Uncategorized)


Having never heard of Marshall McLuhan, its hard understanding exactly what impact he has had on society. McLuhan grew up in Canada where he developed an urge for learning. As he grew older he got his bachelors and master’s degree at the University of Manitoba. Soon after this accomplishment he attended universities in England and St. Louis to attain his doctorate in English. When he got his PhD, he taught at St. Michael’s College, a Catholic college of the University of Toronto. There he wrote one of his best books called The Mechanical Bride, which made his reputation spread, leading to offers from many other universities. The only way the university kept McLuhan was by opening a Centre for Culture and Technology, and put McLuhan in charge of it.
Throughout researching Marshall McLuhan I learned that he wrote 14 books and numerous articles, but one of his major works was The Mechanical Wife. This was a book that analyzed a few different articles and was a study on popular culture. He goes through almost making a mockery of all these ads and how people try to develop society the way they want to see it. McLuhan is also responsible for The Gutenberg Galaxy printed in 1962. This was a book talking about how technology is becoming more and more advanced. His way of describing this new technology is called “the Global village” and that we are developing into a technological society. McLuhan has a obscure method of describing it but in short, he talks about how there is two types of media, “Hot” and “cool” media. Hot media is when media is given to listeners straight so they can’t fill in the blanks with their creativity, such as television and internet. Now cool media on the other hand is the opposite. This type of media is given in a way so that listeners can use their creativity to fulfill the message some person or organization is trying to convey.

The true fact that Marshall McLuhan was trying to get through was that society is becoming more electrical than oral. He helped there become a better understanding of the media. Another thing that McLuhan describes was the Trivium. This Trivium is what McLuhan believed made up the whole world of communication. It included all the grammar, rhetoric, logic and dialect used in media. His philosophy helped the ability to look at media differently. Media is rapidly becoming a significant part of society and plays a huge role in just about everyone’s life. Depending in the type of media an individual is watching, it can shape his or her moral compass and make him or her the type of person he or she becomes later in life.

McLuhan points out and gets the truth out in the open that media can bend society and culture to whatever way sees fit. McLuhan revisits this same concept over and over in his books, I’m guessing to just embed it in the reader’s heads that society is changing. I believe that McLuhan is absolutely right in all his opinions about the media and I think it’s a good thing that there is media because I believe society would be more chaotic than it is now.


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