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Media Ecology - Book Report/Review Example

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The book documents and details the invention of writing and its corresponding effects on culture. Ong relates writing to a technological revolution, which transforms societies. He…
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Media Ecology
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Media Ecology Media Ecology Walter Ong’s book, Orality and Literacy, is undoubtedly among the most interesting artwork. The book documents and details the invention of writing and its corresponding effects on culture. Ong relates writing to a technological revolution, which transforms societies. He attributes the restructured way of thinking among individuals of diverse background to writing. The book presents that writing restructures what individuals feel in the privacy of their minds. Ong points printing press as the next revolution that occurred after writing. Printing press then advanced into what the present media is. He praises the many changes attributable to reading and writing.
Ong notes a number of benefits of literacy; however, the foundational point that he makes regarding writing is that it is more basic to humanity compared to literacy. He argues that writing and the subsequent print culture originated from something, which he describes as rich and well-developed culture of orality (Ong, 2013). Ong points that in the process of communication, the first step is speech. Thus, literacy follows later. He argues that literacy is often neutral and has consequences that are both positive and negative in their nature. Since speech involves more than one individuals, thus, Ong asserts that orality constitutes a community.
He points that speech has a special role in changing the surrounding that human being live. The book emphasizes that an oral culture usually treats words with the utmost respect, which the subsequent literate culture cannot neglect (Ong, 2013). He posits that the souls of the society is the storage for an oral text as opposed to printed ones in which shelf acts their storeroom. Therefore, the oral text needs memorization by individuals in the society. Ong points that group hearing establishes unity; however, individual reading may be of significant benefit but may have a complete different effect. He argues that two individuals may read the same material but have varied experience about it.
Ong extends to discuss that several oral individuals have the desire to become literate. Individuals in oral cultural settings often value their traditions; however, they have the urge of attaining literacy on grounds of the benefits that it brings (Ong, 2013). Ong argues that when an individual can read and comprehend in a way that is literate, then he gets access to a vast world resource, which is unavailable in the oral culture. Ong attributed advances in science to literate thinking and printed word. He asserts that in the context of missions, it is imperative for the individuals working with oral learners to acknowledge that gaining of greater literacy requires time.
In conclusion, Walter Ong’s Orality and Literacy offers an interesting account of how advancement in writing and mobile print revolutionized individuals’ way of thinking, as well as the process of information. The account that the book details is more in comparison to the historical interests, which is evident in a number of cultures that are primarily oral. It appears that illiterate individuals live in a world separate from those of literate individuals. Thus, it is crucial for literate individuals to understand the variation between oral and literate communication should they want to communicate effectively with oral communicators.
Reference
Ong, W. J. (2013). Orality and Literacy. London: Routledge. Read More
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