Theory Key Names
Annotated list of scholars and terms, from the Instructors Manual and margin notes in the text
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Chapter 25—Media Ecology
- Symbolic environment
- The socially-constructed, sensory world of meanings.
- Marshall McLuhan
- The former director of the Center for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto who championed an ecological view as the key to understanding media.
- Generic term for all human-invented technology that extends the range, speed, or channels of communication.
- A specific type of media; book, newspaper, radio, television, film, website, email, etc.
- Media ecology
- The study of different personal and social environments created by the use of different communication technology.
- According to McLuhan, human inventions that enhance communication.
- Tribal Age
- An acoustic era; a time of community because the ear is the dominant sense organ.
- Literate Age
- A visual era; a time of private detachment because the eye is dominant sense organ.
- Print Age
- A visual era; mass produced books usher in the industrial revolution and nationalism, yet individuals are isolated.
- Electronic Age
- An era of instant communication; a return of the global village with the all-at-once environment of sound and touch.
- Global village
- A worldwide electronic community where everyone knows everyone’s business and all are somewhat testy.
- Digital Age
- A possible fifth era of specialized electronic tribes, contentious over diverse beliefs and values.
- Neil Postman
- The founder of the media ecology program at New York University who was widely regarded as McLuhan’s heir apparent and argued that technology always presents a Faustian bargain.
- Faustian bargain
- A deal with the Devil; selling your soul for temporary earthly gain.
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