Rethinking Media and Technology: What the Kennedy-Nixon Debate Myth Can Really Teach Us

Paul Myron Hillier 1 *
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1 University of Tampa, USA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp. 143-156. https://doi.org/10.29333/ojcmt/2510
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ABSTRACT

The presumption that communication technologies – TV, the Internet, social media – have fundamentally changed society has a deep cultural resonance. Indeed, the predominant framework for theorizing “media” – within both the academy and in popular culture more broadly – is rooted in technological determinist presumptions. The primary goal of this article is to challenge this framework, to demonstrate the ways it is incompatible with critical theory, and to make as case for a method and tradition that more productively problematizes technology itself. Taking on one of the most repeated claims and examples for the “effects” of media technologies, the Kennedy-Nixon debate, the article makes a case that a limited, binary theoretical model has fundamentally influenced the deductions. What’s at stake here is how to properly theorize media technologies and propose solutions to social problems and issues.

CITATION

Hillier, P. M. (2015). Rethinking Media and Technology: What the Kennedy-Nixon Debate Myth Can Really Teach Us. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 5(2), 143-156. https://doi.org/10.29333/ojcmt/2510