Friday, January 9, 2009

Marshall McLahun

Marshall McLahun is a Canadian philosopher, educator and literary critic. He was born in July21, 1911 in Edmonton in Canada. His parents were Methodist.
In 1915, he moved with his family to Winnipeg, Manitoba where he grew up and went to school. In 1928, he joined the University of Manitoba from which he earned his Masters degree from later on. After that, he moved with his family to England to study in Cambridge University. In 1936, he received the Bachelor degree and he returned to Canada. He wanted to work as an assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin Masson but he did not the chance. He went back to England to join Cambridge University to finish his higher study.
From 1937 to 1944, he taught English at Saint Louis University. There he found his futures wife, Corinne Lewis. They got married in 1939. In 1950s, McLahun began studying communication and culture at the University of Toronto. Later he began to make his family. Marshall and his wife got six children. His had was full of events and movements until he died in his sleep last day of 1980.

His works
During his life, Marshall wrote many books and essays. He is a very famous of his slogan 'The media is the message'. He wrote this slogan in one of his most popular books called Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man which was published in 1964. Also his doctoral dissertation is very rich of his ideas about media.
Marshall was influenced by F.R.Leavis and Dengs Thompsons' books. This influence is very clear in his study called Folklore of Industrial Man published in 1951. In addition, he was very interested in the critical study of popular culture. In 1962, he published his famous book, The Gutenberg Galaxy. The book contains many short essays introduced by an advertisement or essay taken from a magazine or a newspaper followed by Marshalls' comment.
Hot and cool media
In his book Understanding Media, Marshall says that different media invite different degree of participation on the part of the person who chooses to consume a medium. He says that there are two types of media, Hot and Cool media. Hot media usually provides complete involvement without a considerable stimulus. On the other hand, cool media usually provides little involvement with substantial stimulus.


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