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In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,

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In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2018, 23:59
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In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory, Understanding Media. In this book, McLuhan first articulated the idea that would come to be known as “the medium is the message.” McLuhan coined the descriptions “hot” and “cool” to describe the level of interactivity inherent to different forms of communication. To McLuhan, high definition media such as movies were “hot” in that they engaged the sense of vision so completely that the audience need not fill in any details on its own. In contrast, McLuhan deemed lower definition media, such as television and comics, “cool” in that they offered less detail to the audience and thus required that the audience participate more actively in determining meaning.

Critics have dismissed McLuhan’s work as being reductivist. Notably, Eco has claimed that within the word “medium,” McLuhan has blurred the lines among the distinct concepts of channel, code, and message. Likewise, Debray has dismissed McLuhan’s ideas as placing undue emphasis upon the technology itself instead of analyzing how the technology is used. Criticisms aside, however, McLuhan’s groundbreaking work has forever changed the landscape of popular cultural criticism and has greatly enriched the vocabulary that scholars still use today.

The passage suggests that McLuhan would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements?

a. Television is a “cooler” medium than comics are because television requires more participation from the audience.

b. A lecture is “hotter” than a seminar is because a lecture requires less participation from the audience.

c. As technology develops, media are becoming “cooler.”

d. Rather than being distinct ideas, channel, code, and message are merely different aspects of the concept of “medium.”

e. Radio is a “hotter” medium than television is because radio requires more participation from the audience.


According to the passage, which of the following is the most accurate description of Eco’s view of McLuhan’s work?

a. He dismisses it for placing undue emphasis upon the technology used to communicate rather than on what is communicated.

b. He disagrees with its conclusion but acknowledges the contribution that it has made to the study of popular culture.

c. He believes that it oversimplifies a concept by conflating disparate ideas.

d.He wholeheartedly rejects McLuhan’s assertion that “the medium is the message.”

e. He believes that it inappropriately elevates the concept of “message” over those of “channel” and “code.”


The primary purpose of the passage is to

a. discuss criticisms of the ideas presented in McLuhan’s Understanding Media

b. dismiss the objections of two critics of McLuhan’s views on media theory

c. call for a renewed study of the theories that McLuhan presents in Understanding Media

d. present some of the contributions of and objections to a prominent scholar of media theory

e. reconcile competing views of McLuhan’s claim that “the media is the message”


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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 10:57

+1 kudos to all the posts containing proper explanations for all questions


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In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2018, 16:08

Passage Map:


1) In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory, Understanding Media. => About MM's theory and MM's contribution
2) Critics have dismissed McLuhan’s work as being reductivist. => Views of 3 critics
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2018, 20:53
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For question 1
A movie comparison with television can be used as an analogy. Anything "hot" requires less participation from end user, similarly lecture is hot, since it requires less participation from end user.

Question 2:
. He dismisses it for placing undue emphasis upon the technology used to communicate rather than on what is communicated.:No where mentioned

b. He disagrees with its conclusion but acknowledges the contribution that it has made to the study of popular culture. : not clear with eco's point

c. He believes that it oversimplifies a concept by conflating disparate ideas. : correct. Eco believes "McLuhan has blurred the lines among the distinct concepts of channel, code, and message"

d.He wholeheartedly rejects McLuhan’s assertion that “the medium is the message.”: Not mentioned

e. He believes that it inappropriately elevates the concept of “message” over those of “channel” and “code.”: Not mentioned
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2018, 20:14
d. present some of the contributions of and objections to a prominent scholar of media theory
what does this mean^^^^
so many "of" (*O*)
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2018, 22:18
Can someone please explain why option D in question 1 is not correct? From the second paragraph, it is clear that McLuhan was 'reductivist', which means he oversimplified and 'blurred' the codes, etc. This suggests that instead of considering the codes, etc as distinct, he considered them as one with 'medium'?
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 00:58
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Aayush9093 wrote:
Can someone please explain why option D in question 1 is not correct? From the second paragraph, it is clear that McLuhan was 'reductivist', which means he oversimplified and 'blurred' the codes, etc. This suggests that instead of considering the codes, etc as distinct, he considered them as one with 'medium'?



Yes,you are correct that McLohan is mentioned as reductivist in the 2nd para but you need to read and understand the question properly.
Reductivist tag is given by one of the critics. However, the question asks about McLuhan. The views of McLuhan is clearly mentioned in para1. I. e. Hot if less participation n cool if more participation. That makes option D wrong.

I hope it's clear.
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2018, 20:16
In Q1, I understand why B is correct. But why is A wrong in Q1?
More participation--'cooler' right?
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 08:52
venkywaran wrote:
In Q1, I understand why B is correct. But why is A wrong in Q1?
More participation--'cooler' right?


The author supply information neither about the difference in participation levels nor about the coolness of comics over TV.
He simply categorizes these two mediums as an opposites of "HOT".
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2019, 08:08
I dismissed B, because it says lecture is "hotter" than a seminar. Shouldn't it be "hotter medium".
Is it a typo or am I missing something here?
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Re: In 1964, Marshall McLuhan published his seminal work on media theory,   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2019, 08:08
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