McLuhan & Jenkins

There is a thesis to be written here but I’ll try to be succinct. Basically, McLuhan’s  ‘media is the message’ theories anticapted the impact of the new technologies we are looking about if we are to accept what Jenkins writes about them.

Jenkins’ ‘Participatory Culture’ and ‘Collective Intelligence’ are the direct outcome of the ‘Convergence’ that he describes. He describes what are fundamentally new ways of living that have only come about because of what the new media enables us to do: “… convergence represents a shift in cultural logic, whereby consumers are encouraged to seek out new information and make connections between dispersed media content.”

McLuhan stated, ” All media works us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered.” Similarly Jenkins states “Convergence occurs within the brains of individual consumers.” Both are stating that the media goes well beyond just conveying a message – the media itself shapes the way we read the message, and goes beyond that to effect the very nature of how we think and act.


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