Strengths And Weaknesses Of Social Shaping Theory

731 Words 3 Pages
In the third chapter of New Media An Introduction, Terry Flew and Richard Smith explain the two competing perspectives on media technology. The first theory that will be discussed is technological determinism. Next, I will explain the social shaping theory. From these two theories, I will expand on their specific strengths and weaknesses. Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan who was highly influenced by Harold Innis spearheaded the technological determinism theory. Marshall McLuhan is most popularly known by his remark that “the media is the message.” What McLuhan meant by this is that the content of the message does not matter, however, what matter is how the message is delivered. McLuhan’s theory states that technology shapes our society. Changes in technology leads to a change in social structure, small local communities and empires that more or less leads to a change in …show more content…
This theory focuses on cultural and technology being interdependent on each other. Therefore, cultural depends on technology and vice …show more content…
The strengths and weaknesses presented for technological determinism can be flipped for social shaping of technology. Above I noted the strength for technological determinism by using the example of the introduction of the washing machine and the lock-in from the QWERTY keyboard. However, in social shaping of technology this is now considered a weakness. It is a weakness because the technology determined how individuals act. Society formed new habits from the invention of these new technologies. Likewise the weakness of technological determinism is the strength of social shaping of technology. In the case of Apple versus Samsung, the technology that was being created was not being formed based on our society but on the bases of other

Related Documents