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- What is a communication “medium”? o Any vehicle through which the exchange of information takes place o E.g. radios, TV, newspapers, stained glass, architecture
– Three Broad Types of Media: o Oral o Literate o Electronic
– Claim: using different forms of communication encourages a particular type of social form – Oral Society: has a “time bias” (society is close knit because knowledge is invested to Individuals)
o Provides for a stable, adaptable culture with ideas and knowledge generated for sure in specific places (e.g. medicinal plants, building, materials)
– Mnemonic Aid o Learning techniques in which aids an individual retain information o E.g. Shakespeare uses Iambic Pentameter to help the actors remember their lines
– Oral Societies tend to stick together in a group over time as the knowledge is invested within the individuals in the group. If one person leaves, a part of the knowledge leaves as well.
– Literate Society: “space bias” meaning that the medium leads to bind people together in space (books etc, transportable, spread knowledge and technique) o By building on ideas tends to encourage common ways of doing things across space (linear and sequential forms of thinking)
– Electronic Society: (radios, TV, telephone, computers, satellites) connects and interacts in multiple points across great distance. Tends to break down social barriers and traditional roles, creates new relationships across space (“hyperactive space bias”)
– For McLuhan leads to global village o Other writers argue it leads to a “mix and match” of ideas and values; collisions between different cultures and different ways of life
– Today, electronic forms of communication underpins globalization – Our society utilizes all three forms of communication – Effects of Literate Communication
o They tend to promote monopoly of knowledge (promotes singular ways of looking at the world)
– Electronic Communication ultimately brings together oral and literate forms of communication – Why Do Mass Medias Exist
o Lots of Different Reasons for Example…  To make money for individuals and corporations  To inform people of particular events and circumstances  To educate  To further particular ideas and interests
– Media ultimately crosses the barriers of time and space – Indeed, media serves different and often contradictory interests and purposes at the same time – Generally, however, coordinate social action across time and space. Media “mediate” (come
between) social relations and coordinate social action across distance