Media ecology  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Media ecology is an interdisciplinary field of media theory involving the study of media environments. According to the Media Ecology Association, media ecology can be defined as "the study of media environments, the idea that technology and techniques, modes of information and codes of communication play a leading role in human affairs."

Definitions

In 1977, Marshall McLuhan said that media ecology "means arranging various media to help each other so they won't cancel each other out, to buttress one medium with another. You might say, for example, that radio is a bigger help to literacy than television, but television might be a very wonderful aid to teaching languages. And so you can do some things on some media that you cannot do on others. And, therefore, if you watch the whole field, you can prevent this waste that comes by one canceling the other out."

Inspired by McLuhan, Neil Postman founded the Program in Media Ecology at New York University in 1971. He described it as

Media ecology looks into the matter of how media of communication affect human perception, understanding, feeling, and value; and how our interaction with media facilitates or impedes our chances of survival. The word ecology implies the study of environments: their structure, content, and impact on people.

Along with McLuhan and Postman, media ecology draws from many authors, including the work of Harold Innis, Walter Ong, Lewis Mumford, Jacques Ellul, Eric Havelock, Susanne Langer, Erving Goffman, Edward T. Hall, George Herbert Mead, Margaret Mead, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Benjamin Lee Whorf, and Gregory Bateson.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Media ecology" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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