Global Village – Marshall McLuhan

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In The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) Marshall McLuhan describes how electronic mass media collapse space and time barriers in human communication, enabling people to interact and live on a global scale. In this sense, the globe has been turned into a village by the electronic mass media.

Today, the global village is mostly used as a metaphor to describe the Internet and World Wide Web. The Internet globalizes communication by allowing users from around the world to connect with each other. This new reality has implications for forming new sociological structures within the context of culture.

The Global Village was preceded by the “Gutenberg Galaxy” which was ushered in by a technological innovation, the Gutenberg press. The Gutenberg Galaxy phase of Western Civilization is being replaced by “electronic interdependence” an era when electronic media replace the visual culture of the Gutenberg era, producing cognitive shifts and new social organizations based on aural/oral media technologies.

As a result of this shift in technology and media, McLuhan claims that humankind will move from the individualism and fragmentation that characterized the Gutenberg Galaxy to a collective identity, with a “tribal base.” McLuhan’s coinage for this new social organization is the Global Village.


Marshall McLuhan on YouTube by kenrg via youtube

Nel libro la Galassia Gutenberg (1962) Marshall McLuhan descrive come i media elettronici riducano le barriere spazio temporali della comunicazione umana e permettano alla gente di interagire e vivere su scala globale. In tal senso i mass media elettronici trasformano il mondo in un villaggio globale.

Oggi il termine “Villagio Globale” è usato come metafora per descrivere Internet e il World Wide Web. La comunicazione globale via Internet permette agli utenti di tutto il mondo di connettersi agli altri tramite il computer e i nuovi media. Questa nuova realtà crea nuove strutture sociali come i social network.

Il Villaggio Globale è stato preceduto dalla Gallassia Gutenberg, un’era inaugurata dalla stampa a caratteri mobili inventata da Gutenberg nel 1448. Alla fase della Galassia Gutenberg segue quella elettronica, in cui i media elettronici (film, televisione, computer) sostituiscono la cultura visiva dell’era Gutenberg, producendo cambiamenti cognitivi e nuove organizzazioni sociali basate sulle tecnologie dei media orali.

McLuhan sostiene che il genere umano si muova dall’individualismo e frammentazione che caratterizza la Galassia Gutenberg verso un’identità collettiva che ha una base tribale. McLuhan chiama questa nuova organizzazione sociale Villaggio Globale.

Source: wikipedia

photo: Mark Kens

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