Alexa Lorraine DePablo Assignment 2 Critical Perspective Team 10

**please tag your team number in categories or your work will be lost or graded late**

Critical theory refers to the conception concept of new approaches aiming to question and denounce ideas that oppress humanity. In Marshall McLuhan’s 1969 Playboy Interview, he proposes that “the medium is the message”. By questioning previously held ideas, creating room for debate and wanting to better society he cements his theory as being a critical theory. strong thesis

One of the determining factors in identifying whether an idea can be categorized as critical theory is if it questions previously held assumptions.  Marshall McLuhan sets himself up as an individual bent on disrupting common thinking within the first few lines of the interview when he states “I want to map new terrain rather than chart old landmarks.” A self-proclaimed investigator, McLuhan begins to elaborate on his theory of the medium being the message and the sentiment that the medium is more altering than the content it contains.

By simply introducing his theory of the medium is the message, McLuhan is creating room for debate. Introducing any new idea into the world is cause enough for talk, but introducing a concept that disturbs peoples blissful ignorance is an invitation for  profound discussion. The interviewer poses a question early on regarding what McLuhan’s critics have to say about his methods, presenting us with evidence that he has already started a debate. McLuhan goes on to counter multiple points the interviewer shares as the article proceeds, producing thoughtful discourse.

Finally, McLuhan’s purpose for sharing his theory is simple: to better society. His goal is education and describes a state of self-hypnosis called ‘Narcissus narcois’, a syndrome in which man is unaware of the effects that new technology is creating, much like a fish who is unaware it is surrounded by water. Snapping man out of this state would alert him of his surroundings and that’s precisely what McLuhan wants. He knows that ignorance towards mindlessly consuming and participating in electronic media makes man susceptible to pain and identity loss therefore conscious awareness of it is what will save mankind. His theory aims to save man from the oppressive and anxiety-inducing hold that electronic media can cause.

McLuhan’s theory disrupts society’s routine act of being engulfed by media without even realizing it, but does so through educating and hoping we do better.

PauleyNiecea Assignment 2 Team 10

McLuhan and the Critical Perspective

Thesis: McLuhan was a little-known professor until he started wowing the world with his critical and deeply-thought ides ideas which he presented in his books. While McLuhan discussed the society as a whole in details in the books, he cut a reputation for his deep thought and understanding about the impact of the media on humans. While McLuhan uses a style that is rather complex in his writing, the revolutionary nature of his ideas attracted him to not only his students but also his audience across the globe. However, not all people appreciated the abundance of rich ideas on his work. He came under attack from his colleagues who found his ideas to be untested, unproven and demented and dangerous.  In the interview, McLuhan addresses a wide range of issues, concerns and the content of his work, and the following is an analysis of the content of the interview. this is great. well written and informative


***you need to tag your team in categories or it will be difficult to find it***

Does McLuhan question commonly held assumptions?

Yes, one of the most outstanding features of this interview, and which has been the foundation of McLuhan’s work is his tendency to question or even go against commonly held views and ideas. From the beginning of the work, McLuhan says that he is always making explorations, without even knowing where they will lead him. He says that he is taking a pragmatic approach to his work, and he considers everything that he is always doing his work without having a pre-determined ides in mind. It is also notable that McLuhan refers to traditional facts as sterile, meaning that he is pursuing new ideas in his work. The fact that McLuhan seeks to test everything without taking them as absolute confirms the idea that he is questioning commonly held assumptions. 

McLuhan has made it clear that he intends to question the long-held assumptions which a number of scholars have ignored even in the modern technological age. McLuhan says that “…scholars evidence few signs of modifying this traditional stance of ostrichlike disregard” (McLuhan 3). It is clear from this statement that McLuhan is determined to attack the commonly-held assumptions about the media and society. Even when modern scholars are avoiding the issue, McLuhan is demonstrating that he is not afraid to venture into these controversy-laden topics.

Does McLuhan expand the bounds of debate?

Yes, McLuhan has made a tremendous effort to increase the bounds of the debate. Apparently, there are many factors, cultural or otherwise, which have a tremendous impact on the behavior of humans. McLuhan describes the extent to which language can have an effect on the psychology of man. While appreciating the fact that humans are captured in strong tribal webs, McLuhan says that when a tribal man becomes literate, he may have an improved perception of the world, and that may influence the individual’s new perception of the world. There is a sense in which McLuhan expands the bounds of the debate so that he may get as much information as possible to support his hypothesis. 

Does McLuhan aim for the betterment of society?

Yes, McLuhan aims at the betterment of the society. For instance, when he talks about the tribal man and the extent to which it contributes to conflicts, his idea is to minimize or possibly eradicate the conflicts that arise from these differences. He refers to Africa and the extent to which tribal differences have affected the continent. He, therefore, seeks to contribute to the development of possible ideas that may be used to end the problem. 

As indicated above, McLuhan is using a critical perspective in his examination of social phenomena, and that is effective in making his ideas acceptable to a majority of his audience.

excellent job (except you didn’t tag your team #)

ASSIGNMENT 2: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective – GROUP 10 – AUSTIN ZARLING

Assignment 2: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective

      Marshall McLuhan is a master of many things from rhetoric to pop culture, but he is also a master of the Critical Perspective. McLuhan does an amazing job explaining and supporting his idea that the medium is the message. He flawlessly disproves others opinion of his theory, expands on many aspects of his theory, and ultimately releases this information and conducts the interview to help his theory become more well known to better the society we live in. Great thesis!

      According to the interviewer in the Playboy Article, many of McLuhan’s critics call him and his theory erratic, inconsistent and eccentric, but that doesn’t change his belief in his theory. In the paragraphs following that question, McLuhan is able to explain the reasoning behind their distrust and eventually discredit it. He takes a simple “yes, because” response to the debate and takes it a step further. He addresses the elephant in the room by explaining, like a scientific experiment, his method of research, although less conventional, is in-depth and has the ability to adapt and be in “constant flux” with the environment around him. He continues to explain not only this critique, but many more throughout the interview very well with ample reasoning to support his argument.  this is a very well-structured paragraph that includes insightful analysis

Not only does McLuhan answer his critics calls, he addresses widely adopted assumptions of him and his theory. McLuhan takes simple and complex assumptions like the idea that the importance should be in the media not the medium and discredits them. He is able to use the Critical Perspective, pick apart the assumption, and then make us question the assumption and the information used to support the assumption.

McLuhan found this topic to be of the upmost importance to not only himself, but to society as a whole. He thought that “the effects of the media have been systematically overlooked by social observers,” and felt that needed to change soon for the betterment of society as a whole. He also believed that his research and theory would help us stay with the program rather than being one step behind as usual. He says that society is beginning to understand the affect the medium of the media has on us, but not as much and not as well as we should. McLuhan says these dangers were not as powerful in the past due to its effects being felt more gradually, but because media is progressing at such a fast rate, it could lead society down a hole that there is no coming back from. The whole point of his theory is to help us, as a society, understand the changes that are caused by the medium of the media, or the way we view the media. He wants us to be able to see how the way we view things affects the outcome of society. This was very interesting reading rather than summarizing and repeating commonly stated truths about McLuhan and his theories.

Jeannie Hurtado Marshal McLuhan “The medium is the message” Assignment 2.

Today, 51 years after Understanding Media was published “The Medium is the message” is still a challenging and intriguing idea. Marshal McLuhan presented his ideas on media with such certainty for the future. His questions hold assumptions about how media will be used in the future whether bystanders see it yet or live unbothered by it.


His theory expands the floor (bounds of?) to debates because of those who either don’t understand the meaning or do not believe the way in which we consume media has a lot to do with the existence and evolution of technology. For example, the invention of the cell phone completely reshaped how we communicate with one another in rapid speeds. Therefore, the medium is the phone which allows us to reach our family and friends instantly. But the message is the fact that the phone gave you the capability to send a message to your loved ones in the first place.


Cell phones are a major upgrade since McLuhan’s ideas but we can still test his theory on situations this day in age. Mediums that are present in our lives reshape us as communicators while they allow the process in which we are able to send and revive media. We accommodate our cell phones by having them so close just in case we need to send a text but the real magic is the fact that you are able to send your text so instantaneously because of the existence this technology.


“By placing all the stress on content and practically none on the medium, we lose all chance of perceiving and influencing the impact of new technologies on man, and thus we are always dumfounded by—and unprepared for—the revolutionary environmental transformations induced by new media.” In this quote McLuhan uses critical perspective to convince the reader in what way is “The medium is the message” and how it continues to change us with time.


Back during the industrial revolution news was spread by print technology. Today we stray away from print and turn toward electric media. By turning this this type of media McLuhan expresses that we have broken the boundaries between “oral-tribal man and visual-man”. Meaning that our culture as a species is evolving into a collective environment which allows us to always stay connected to one another.


Although McLuhan stresses the medium is the message, he does not ignore that the message has a role in how we communicate as well. “By stressing that the medium is the message rather than the content, I’m not suggesting that content plays no role—merely that it plays a distinctly subordinate role.” said McLuhan during his Interview from Playboy 1969.


The main reason why McLuhan stresses his famous quote “The medium is the message” is because if we concentrate all of our energy on the content and none on the medium in which we got the message from, then we lose ourselves. We become lost in the media and are completely flabbergasted when a revolutionary transformation in technology and humanity occurs.


You clearly understood some of McLuhan’s major theories. You could have used more analysis rather than mostly summary. You also should avoid using long quotes in short assignments in this class. Good job overall.





Individual Assignment 2: McLuhan and the Critical Perspective – IDS3309 – Andres Arias – Group 10

The intricate principles scholar Marshall McLuhan  espouses throughout his numerous writings and a 1969 interview with Playboy Magazine’s Phillip Rogaway are neatly encapsulated by his time-tested adage, “The medium is the message.” good thesis Notable for his willingness to confront and expose the consequences and influence of mankind’s breakneck exposure to media, McLuhan implemented the critical perspective to shape observations about political scale and the reach of leaders, the apparent ignorance of the cognitive faculties of earlier cultures in favor of individualism and the establishment of “Gutenberg man,” and a great deal more.  His willingness to sidestep insignificant minutiae and instead concentrate attention on the quirks of infrastructure and its pull, as referenced to great effect by Richard Kostelanetz several decades ago, warrants an examination into his sphere of thought.

McLuhan’s trademark advocacy makes the commentator uniquely qualified to question the time-tested assumptions of the general public.  The “ostrichlike disregard” on the behalf of society that he references during his Playboy interview provides a canvas upon which McLuhan can lay his ideas bare.  Several questions into said interview, the focus turns to the development of alphabetic expression centuries prior and perceived impact on the social fabric, with Rogaway acting as an ambassador to popular belief.  Facing an assertion that literacy offers mankind innumerable benefits, McLuhan chooses to dismiss “homogenized Western man” and his “applied knowledge” on the basis that the inherent nature of the alphabet breeds its own brand of isolation and fragmentation amongst these visual forms.  This, in turn, allows for neat and worry-free classification and organization in the name of, in the scholar’s words, “efficiency and practicality.” It goes without saying, then, that McLuhan propagates systems of understanding rooted in an interplay between hearing, touch, taste and smell, much like those enjoyed by tribal cultures, feeling that they fostered “unique emotional blends” in a powerful way.

The scholar’s infusion of the critical perspective into his signature ideas, particularly “the medium is the message,” is evidenced by his subtle expansion of the bounds of scholarly debate.  His postulation of the existence of two distinct forms of media in “hot and cool” varieties immediately stands out. Once again, within a society in which content is king, or, as described by Kostelanetz, “…where others see only data, or nothing;” McLuhan establishes a hot medium as one that engenders minimal participation or basic thought by an audience and thus delivers much straightforward information upon engagement.  A cool medium, on the other hand, asks for a great degree of participation from the audience and delivers “relatively little data.” Far beyond his offering up telephones, radio and photographs as examples, to name a few, the public confusion surrounding ideas such as these only indicates that McLuhan has successfully vanquished convention. Lastly, even dispensing commentary framed by negativity and despair, he is providing leeway towards the improvement of society.  His celebration of superior ways of life, a willingness to engage hypothetical questions about fatherhood, and the depth of his ideas make that incredibly clear. In McLuhan’s very own words, doing things properly mandates that “…we’ve got to recognize that we’ve been doing them the wrong way…”

beautifully written and a thorough analysis

ASSIGNMENT 2: Amanda McKenna Team 10

Throughout his work and words, Marshall McLuhan effectively argues and demonstrates how he uses critical thinking through a critical perspective, in order to show his audience that the medium is the message. The ways in which he does this is by putting together his rare and forward-thinking ideas, and then applying them to the concept of ‘media’ in society. very well done thesis

McLuhan most definitely questions commonly held assumptions. He questions the assumption that the more important factor in media is the content and what it has to share to its audience. He goes against this by stating that it is not the content of the message of that is really what creates our media, but that it is the medium in which is used that holds most importance and effects on its receivers. He also questions assumptions by telling us of negotiation, in his terms, which is the fact that certain symbols and ideas are used purposely and precisely to over saturate the consumers with as much media as possible. When one is overly taken by an abundance of media, they do not care to look at the meanings and hidden messages them, staying blind to the negative effects of media – which McLuhan’s work sought to really show society.

McLuhan expands the bounds of debate when he somewhat jabs at society and it’s people that play both the part of the doer and the one being done to. He refers to them as trigger men, and somnambulists. Trigger men being the people who put out this media, and somnambulists being the ones who receive this media and do not question WHY it is being put out. McLuhan expands on a radical idea that all media is an extension of the human physical body, and that electric media perfectly imitates that of the nervous system. Due to this, he goes on to argue in many sources, that this is why humans react so much to media and play into its part in our world. Looking at this idea, it is seen how McLuhan used such a critical perspective when writing several parts of information in his paper Understanding Media. He uses examples of blind media situations when he talks about scholars, economists, and texts, that show us that there are so many people who are believed to have authority, whom even themselves cannot see that it is not about how we use media, whether its good or bad, but that it is the existence of the media itself, and how it changes aspects in peoples lives. The whole point of McLuhan’s efforts is to better society. He wants humans to question media and to not so docilely accept media at its face, becoming a slave to it, but to look behind its execution and see how the mediums of media effect society on a conscious level. He argues that almost everyone is so oblivious to these facts, oblivious that are even being used as channels for giant media resources and urges us to open our eyes so that we may gain back our control of what is being put into our minds.


You could have separated the last paragraph into two, but this is a very strong submission.

McLuhan – Critical Perspective

Jordan Semper | 5740905 | Team 10

As most know or would probably agree, Marshall McLuhan was seen as an eccentric individual, mainly due to the fact that he had farfetched ideas and his thinking tends to be beyond the usual. He always presented these ideas based upon historical/literary allusions and so much more with a twist of his humor within it. Of course, this only led to confusion. In his “analysis” known as “The Medium Is The Massage”, he states how the way we perceive and take information is far more important than the information itself in which why he stated The Medium is Message.

McLuhan does in fact use Critical Perspective for this analysis and understands how communication, especially on how it is delivered shapes and affects culture. Furthermore, he questions commonly held assumptions by placing more stress on content of things instead putting it on the medium. This demonstrates that as long as the content is delivered through the proper medium, consumers will perceive or interpret the message from what the medium was displaying.

McLuhan also expands the bounds of debate by mentioning that society has always been shaped by the nature of media and how we communicate with it instead of the actual content of communication. The way we behave with such communicative technology is proves this. There was rise of individualism, detachment among people, authorship, etc… McLuhan cited these changes happening as he saw society being shaped by the printing medium. He continues by stating that we never notice these changes are happening to us since it’s so frequent among our lives. That alone displays the expansion bounds of debate.

In regards of aiming for the betterment of society, McLuhan believes that the old educational system is quite horrendous for children in this day and age. Children of the current times are more tuned in with technology, television to be more particular. He stated that expecting a child from the electric age to learn from the older educational system is like expecting an eagle to swim. Quite the unique analogy but furthers his point. fragment of a sentence rather than a complete sentence He finishes by also stating it’s not within the child’s environment thus learning would be nearly impossible. Additionally, a child has practically lived several lifetimes compared to their elders due to the things they consume on television such as crime, war, discrimination, and much more. It would be best to have a child learn under the proper enviroment instead. Lastly for the betterment of society, McLuhan mentions that violence can be avoided if we comprehend the process of decentralization and rehabilitation.

Although Marshall McLuhan was a bit of an odd character, his thinking sure sparked lots of interest and managed to captivate the minds of many due to how perplex complex? his thinking was. Some of it was undebatably undoubtedly? peculiar but it did shed light into certain issues and how society acted as a whole. One could say that he made everyone open their eyes to the digital world and how we interpret things in today’s time. Whether you agree with or not, one can’t deny that he always managed to capture an audience based on his thinking.


Good job and very thorough. You definitely understand McLuhan and were able to grasp concepts. Please be sure to proofread for typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, etc. You want to be sure your writing is presented at a high academic level.