Week 2 – Marshall McLuhan

This week in Critical Studies we looked at Marshall McLuhan’s book The Medium Is The Massage. It is a book that encompasses the idea that media shapes our lives. The title of the book is actually a typo error, which worked out for McLuhan, instead of saying the medium is the message it said the medium is the massage. This in itself shows how technology was changing at the time.The fact that it is a book also has something to do with McLuhan’s ideas, on one of the pages there are two thumbs sticking onto the page, this is telling the reader that this is a book this is how it should be held to be read. It makes you aware that it has a purpose, and it is an object.

“The medium, or process, of our time – electronic technology – is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence.”

Another thing that was highlighted within the book was that TV media influences peoples thoughts. This can be seen when the TV came about, it focused the living room. By centralizing the focus to the TV, it meant that families moved from eating dinner at the table to eating them at in front of the TV; this in turn made fast food rise. This is a good example of how media changed the way people lived their lives.

All of this fed into the idea of technology democracising power. Which in turn fed into the birth of the teenager, this happened during the 60’s when pocket money came in. It meant that kids had time to grow up instead of just going to work.

The overall theme of McLuhan’s work was that this new technology made a global socialisation.


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