What is at the center of Marshall McLuhan’s approach to understanding media?

What is McLuhan’s theory of media?

McLuhan’s most famous idea is that “the medium is the message”. By which he means that the important thing about media is not the messages they carry but the way the medium itself affects human consciousness and society at large. In other words owning a TV that we watch is more significant that anything we watch on it.

What is Marshall McLuhan’s main field of study?

of media theory

Herbert Marshall McLuhan CC (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian philosopher whose work is among the cornerstones of the study of media theory. He studied at the University of Manitoba and the University of Cambridge.

What were Marshall McLuhan’s ideas?

One of McLuhan’s favourite theories was that human history could be divided into four ages: acoustic, literary, print and electronic. As television became a staple of western middle class life, McLuhan argued that people were being reshaped by the transition from print to electronic technology.

What is McLuhan’s contribution to the study of new media theories?

McLuhan believed that people should observe not only the media itself but “the ways in which each new medium disrupts tradition and reshapes social life.” He believed that the social impact of the media was that they became an extension of the human senses, and alter the social world.

What would McLuhan think about social media?

McLuhan would say that social media is ‘cold’. Social media would encourage his belief in technological determinism. McLuhan would also apply social media to develop the notion that content is dictated by form. Finally, he would say that the Global village has become even smaller.

What is Marshall McLuhan’s most famous saying?

We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.

When did Marshall McLuhan say the medium is the message?


The phrase the medium is the message was coined by Marshall McLuhan, a mass media theorist. McLuhan first used this phrase as early as 1964, when it was the title of a chapter in his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. He later used it as the title of a book he published in 1967.

What does McLuhan mean by media is an extension of ourselves?

McLuhan calls the media “extensions of man” because they each increase the range and power of one part of the human body. In so doing, they effect a modification of consciousness by altering the ratio between the various senses and faculties.

What is the meaning of media theory?

Media theory focuses on the effects that can come from utilizing new media, like new textual experiences and new ways of representing the world. One effect is the changing relationship between subjects and technologies, especially in relation to identity and community.