McLuhan: The enemy is invisible

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March 17, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

scientistsMarshall McLuhan was aware of need to educate about media microbes

by Brittany H.
The quote that I’ve chosen to analyze is, “I am in the position of Louis Pasteur telling doctors that their greatest enemy was quite invisible and quite unrecognized by them.
This quote is referencing to Louis Pastuer’s work with microbiology (which is not visible to the naked eye), and how these small organisms, which were causing diseases, were being overlooked because they’re “hidden” until further research. He worked to educate others about this, and was in the position of telling people that their causes of illness were, in a way, invisible. The same thing can be said about those who study and speak about the media.

The media is constantly sending messages about what is cool, how people should look and behave, etc, and it’s usually done in a way that you don’t really realize it unless you’re looking for it. These messages can subconsciously affect your thoughts and moods, and can do real harm. For example, we see how the medias portrayal of women can lead to harmful consequences in Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly” documentarys, and the violent effects it can have on men with “Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the crisis in Masculinity”.
This quote relates to media studies because this very quote embodies what media studies is about. As students of media studies, we are learning to critically think about what the media is producing – what messages they’re trying to send, and whether or not we want to ingest those messages. In addition, now that we are learning about the medias secrets and hidden symbolisms, it is our job to educate others.

It’s important for people to be aware of the things around them, so that they may be less affected by it.


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