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Notes | Raymond Williams

[Few quotes from Williams, Raymond. Television: Technology and Cultural Form. London, Routledge, 2003.]

Page 1-2: “[W]e often discuss […] this or that ‘effect’ of television, or the kinds of social behaviour, the cultural and psychological conditions, which television has ‘led to’, without feeling ourselves obliged to ask whether it is reasonable to describe any technology as a cause, or, if we think of it as a cause, as what kind of cause, and in what relations with other kinds of causes.”
– Page 121: “Especially in advanced industrial societies the near-universality and general social visibility of television have attracted simple cause-and-effect identifications of its agency in social and cultural change. […] What is significant is the direction of attention to certain selected issues [sex, violence, ideology].”
– Page 126: “The ordinary assumption seems to run: ‘this society discourages violent behaviour; violent behaviour is constantly represented and reported on television; we need to study its effects on people’. […] [A]nyone looking analytically at those first two statements would feel the need to examine their quite extraordinary relationship. […] What we are really faced with is a contradiction within the social system itself. And it is then to the sociology of that contradiction that we should direct our primary scientific attention.”

[Critiques to McLuhan]

– Page 129: “Sociological and psychological studies of the effects of television, […] were significantly overtaken […] by a fully developed theory of the technology – the medium – as determining. […] [T]he new theory was explicitly ideological: not only a ratification, indeed a celebration, of the medium as such, but an attempted cancellation of all other questions about it and its uses. The work of McLuhan was a particular culmination of an aesthetic theory which became, negatively, a social theory: a development and elaboration of formalism which can be seen in many fields, from literary criticism and linguistics to psychology and anthropology, but which acquired its most significant popular influence in an isolating theory of ‘the media’.”
– Page 130: “For if the medium – whether print or television – is the cause, all other causes, all that men ordinarily see as history, are at once reduced to effects. Similarly, what are elsewhere seen as effects, and as such subject to social, cultural, psychological and moral questioning, are excluded as irrelevant by comparison with the direct physiological and therefore ‘psychic’ effects of the media as such. The initial formulation – ‘the medium is the message’ – was a simple formalism. The subsequent formulation – ‘the medium is the massage’ – is a direct and functioning ideology.”

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Questa voce è stata pubblicata il 02/12/2009 da in Cose serie con tag , , , , .

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