Media ecology

campo di studi interdisciplinare

Media ecology theory is the study of media, technology, and communication and how they affect human environments. The theoretical concepts were proposed by Marshall McLuhan in 1964, while the term media ecology was first formally introduced by Marshall McLuhan in 1962.Ecology in this context refers to the environment in which the medium is used – what they are and how they affect society. Neil Postman states, "if in biology a 'medium' is something in which a bacterial culture grows (as in a Petri dish), in media ecology, the medium is 'a technology within which a [human] culture grows.'" In other words, "Media ecology looks into the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival. The word ecology implies the study of environments: their structure, content, and impact on people. An environment is, after all, a complex message system which imposes on human beings certain ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving."Media ecology argues that media act as extensions of the human senses in each era, and communication technology is the primary cause of social change. McLuhan is famous for coining the phrase, "the medium is the message", which is an often-debated phrase believed to mean that the medium chosen to relay a message is just as important (if not more so) than the message itself. McLuhan proposed that media influence the progression of society, and that significant periods of time and growth can be categorized by the rise of a specific technology during that period. Additionally, scholars have compared media broadly to a system of infrastructure that connect the nature and culture of a society with media ecology being the study of "traffic" between the two.
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main subject: Media ecology


Amusing Ourselves to Death

book by Neil Postman

author: Neil Postman


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