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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
Unformatted Document Text:  Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria REVIEW OF RELEVANT THEORIES/STUDIES THAT SUPPORT CULTURAL DEVELOPMENTOne of the theories that support some of the arguments raised in this investigation is the Technological Determinism Theory by McLuhan (1964). Innis (1950) first used the term “technological determinism” before McLuhan elaborated on it and built a theory out of it. According to Innis (1950), the nature of media technology prevailing in a society at a given point in time greatly influences how the members of that society think and behave. DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1982) state that McLuhan elaborated on Innis’s thesis and characterized television as a “cool” medium because of its capacity for rich configurations of audiovisual stimuli, which elicits high but passive audience participation. From the technological determinist’s perspective, the most important characteristic of the audience-media interface is the technological properties of the medium. Thus, McLuhan asserts, “The medium is the message” (DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach, 1982:184). According to McLuhan (1964), the vast majority of social, economic, political and cultural changes are based on the development and diffusion of technology. His argument in this theory is based on the need to draw the attention of media audience to the hidden effects of communications technologies, especially with regard to culture, leading to his now famous phrase “global village”. This theory, in Griffins’ (1991:289) interpretation, regards our present cultural challenges as a direct result of the information explosion engineered and sustained by television, computer and the Internet. The theory, therefore, ultimately linked the historical, economic, and cultural changes in the world to the invention, development and diffusion of technology. While some social scientists are busy trying to understand the potential impact of the nature of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) on audiences and society, few people would accept the proposition that technology alone determines how a society encounters and responds to the media. According to DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1982:185), most people would reject McLuhan’s claim that the content of media messages has no impact on audiences. Essentially, 3 | P a g e

Authors: Ekeanyanwu, Nnamdi.
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Theorizing Cultural Development vis-à-vis Cultural Imperialism Theory: Lessons from Nigeria
REVIEW   OF   RELEVANT   THEORIES/STUDIES   THAT   SUPPORT   CULTURAL 
DEVELOPMENT
One   of   the   theories   that   support   some   of   the   arguments   raised   in   this   investigation   is   the 
Technological   Determinism   Theory   by   McLuhan   (1964).   Innis   (1950)   first   used   the   term 
“technological determinism” before McLuhan elaborated on it and built a theory out of it. According 
to Innis (1950), the nature of media technology prevailing in a society at a given point in time greatly 
influences how the members of that society think and behave. DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1982) 
state that McLuhan elaborated on Innis’s thesis and characterized television as a “cool” medium 
because of its capacity for rich configurations of audiovisual stimuli, which elicits high but passive 
audience   participation.   From   the   technological   determinist’s   perspective,   the   most   important 
characteristic of the audience-media interface is the technological properties of the medium. Thus, 
McLuhan asserts, “The medium is the message” (DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach, 1982:184).
According to McLuhan (1964), the  vast majority
  of  
social, economic, political and cultural 
changes are based on the development and diffusion of technology.  His argument in this theory is 
based on the need to draw the attention of media audience to the hidden effects of communications 
technologies, especially with regard to culture, leading to his now famous phrase “global village”. 
This theory, in Griffins’ (1991:289) interpretation, regards our present cultural challenges as a direct 
result   of   the   information   explosion   engineered   and   sustained   by   television,   computer   and   the 
Internet. The theory, therefore, ultimately linked the historical, economic, and cultural changes in the 
world to the invention, development and diffusion of technology. 
While some social scientists are busy trying to understand the potential impact of the nature 
of Information  and Communications  Technologies  (ICTs) on audiences  and society,  few people 
would   accept   the   proposition   that   technology   alone   determines   how   a   society   encounters   and 
responds to the media. According to DeFleur and Ball-Rokeach (1982:185), most people would 
reject McLuhan’s claim that the content of media messages has no impact on audiences. Essentially, 
3 | 
P a g e


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