McLuhan uses the term "literacy" to refer to the degree to which print and mechanical media have affected a culture.[1]

In a highly literate culture, the term "literacy" is an unqualified positive term, carrying with it the assumption that "illiterate" people are unintelligent and unable to cope with the world. From the perspective of standing outside of print media, though, it is a value-neutral term.


  1. UM, p. 16