Masthead CMC Magazine / February 1, 1996

Shaping and Being Shaped

Engaging with Media

by Daniel Chandler

Modern social scientists have widely critiqued --technological determinism and have come to occupy four primary stances with respect to it. In this article, I examine the tone of technological determinism and the corresponding attitudes towards technology these stances imply.

I use a framework which is broadly applicable to both the macrosocial and microsocial levels. The selectivity of media shifts the purposes that a user originally had in using it. This transformation gives rise to resonances which can best be understood from a perspective which acknowledges interacting frames.


Dr. Daniel Chandler ( is a lecturer in Media Theory at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom. His primary interest is in the phenomenology of engagement with media. He provides a fuller treatment of technological determinism in his web, His book, The Act of Writing, examines writing in the light of his perspective on technological determinism.

Copyright © 1996 by Daniel Chandler. All Rights Reserved.

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