I will pay for the following article Technological Determinism and Media Determinsim. The work is to be 2 pages with three to five sources, with in-text citations and a reference page. Technological Determinism and Media Determinism Raymond Williams while looking at technology and the society examines theeffect that televisions have had on culture. He tries to look at whether technology is the cause or the effect of our culture, and postulates that if it is the effect, then there lies a more fundamental question, what is its cause? If technology is a cause, how can we best pause and modify its effects in our society? He goes further to term technological determinism as social change accidentally resulting from technology, i.e. the technological advancement accidentally sets in motion different cultural advances which lead to societal progress. (Williams)
Technological determinism, attributed to Marshall McLuhan, frames questions around technology in terms on what effect technology has on culture. Marshall McLuhan when discussing media determinism states that the medium is the message. The personal and social consequences of any medium result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves or by new technology. The medium of conveying the information is bigger that the information, the information results as a consequence of the medium. He goes further to state that it is not the media but what one does with it that makes it important, makes it have consequences. (McLuhan)
Alternatives to technological determinism
Raymond Williams on discussing cause and effect states that for a piece of technology to be in existence, something must have necessitated its creation. Alternatively, he states that technology occurred as a result of a sequence of events which might not have necessarily been geared toward the discovery of that piece of technology. Through all this he maintains that technology is self-generating. (Williams)
I choose to look at technology as being developed with certain purposes in mind, and not in a haphazard manner as Williams tends to suggest. Taking the example of the television, one would be remiss not to see that there was a need to capture and transmit so as to occupy the time of the citizenry at the time, i.e. fulfil a particular purpose. Debates were had as to how much time one would spend watching television but none of them envisioned the impact that the television would have on their culture. (Williams)
Another way to look at technology would be technological advancement brought about by the realization that the particular piece of technology would be used in a particular way. Necessity leading to invention, because of the lack thereof of a certain thing, it prompts an individual to set forth and try to come up with something that will aid in the meeting of that use. (Williams)
The relationship between technology, media and the society.
The relationship that exists between technology, media and society is one of interdependence. This is because one exists and thrives in the presence of the other. None of them would be seen to exist solely, they have to work together to ensure the others survival. Technology drives the world of media as it serves as a medium through which media is able to reach out to the society. The society even though can exist independently of the two, it will not thrive. This is because it needs a constant distributor of information so as to ensure that its affairs run smoothly. Though technology and the media can be said to be mediums through which information is shares, the society is deterministic in itself.
The proponents of both media determinism and technological determinism tend to suggest that there is only one way of looking at issued related to their field of study. The media determinism proponent states that “The restructuring of human work and association was shaped by the technique of fragmentation that is the essence of machine technology” which suggests that information is a natural flow from the media while the technological determinism proponent in arguing that technology is a product of the change in our culture or vice versa states that “New technologies are discovered by an essential internal process of research and development, which then sets the condition for social change and progress” (McLuhan) (Williams)
I do not agree with any of them because in every scenario, there is usually a differing approach to issues. Looking at technology and culture, one could say that they are interdependent, one cannot exist without the other, we need it, and so we provide for it. Looking at the media determinism approach, the media can be said to be dependent on its effect, information. The media needs to thrive in society, and it can only thrive if it provides information to its society.
McLuhan, Marshall. “The Medium is the Message.” Two Selections by Marshall McLuhan (1962): 20.
Williams, Raymond. The Technology and The Society. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1992.
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