Marshall McLuhan (Herbert Marshall McLuhan), 1911–80, Canadian communications theorist and educator, b. Edmonton, Alta. He taught at the Univ. of Toronto (1946–80) and at other institutions of higher education in Canada and the United States. McLuhan gained popularity and fame in the 1960s with his prophetic proposal that electronic media, especially television, were creating a
"the medium is the message,"
i.e., the means of communications has a greater influence on people than the information itself. While many of the mass media were in early stages of development, McLuhan considered their effects on people to be potentially toxic and dehumanizing. His books include The Mechanical Bride (1951), The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), Understanding Media (1964), From Cliché to Archetype (1970, with W. Watson), and City as Classroom (1977, with K. Hutchon and E. McLuhan).
See biographies by W. T. Gordon (1997) and D. Coupland (2010).
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Publication information: Article title: McLuhan, Marshall. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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