Media and Violence: Does McLuhan Provide a Connection?

Educational Theory 65 (4):405-421 (2015)


School shootings publicized worldwide inevitably awaken the debate about contemporary communication media and violence. It is often conjectured that regular exposure of young people to countless acts of aggression in contemporary popular media leads them to become more aggressive and, in some cases, to commit violent crimes. But is this claim valid? Media guru Marshall McLuhan argues that it is not so much the content of such media that incites aggressive actions as the sociostructural conditions they bring into being. In this article, Jane O'Dea draws on the cultural context of postmodernity and on Jean Baudrillard's thought to explore and critically assess the validity of the linkage McLuhan proposes, identifying the kinds of questions, inquiries, and educational implications it potentially raises

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