Abstract - The Information Society 5(3)

The Social Significance of VCR Technology: TV or Not TV?

Grant Noble

New videocassette recorder (VCR) owners tend to watch twice as much displaced network television as prerecorded cassettes, and as time passes, that ratio widens in favor of network TV. The differences between broadcast and VCR technologies have significant implications for information society concepts. It is contended that VCR technology shifts the psychological locus of control from the external broadcaster to within the internal ambit of the viewer. Similarly, it is suggested that such technology has the potential to break the audiovisual nexus between producer and consumer. Since Noble (1975) stated that media are basically forms that mirror identities, it is proposed that VCRs can offer individualistic feedback concerning identity rather than the mass identity provided by mass media. Furthermore, ideologies other than those of the ruling elite can be aired electronically via VCR technology, which may reduce the degree of consensus existing in mass societies.

View Full Text | Subscribe Online


Back | TIS Home