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The Medium Instead of Marriage:: Pornography Induced Erectile Dysfunction in the Light ofMarshall McLuhan’s Media Theory
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the phenomenon of Pornography Induced Erectile Dysfunction (PIED), meaning potency problems in men due to Internet pornography consumption, in the light of Marshall McLuhan’s media theory. McLuhan suggests that in order to understand the impact of modern media, socio-psychological effects rather than their particular content should be investigated. Hence, one of the possible social effects of Internet pornography, namely involuntary celibacy due to impotence, is the focus of this paper, with the goal of determining the implications of PIED for McLuhan’s theory. To this end, empirical data from men who believe to suffer from this condition have been collected based on data triangulation. A combination of topical life history method (with qualitative asynchronous online narrative interviews) and personal online diaries has been employed. The data has been analysed using theoretical interpretative analysis (according to McLuhan’s media theory), based on analytic induction.The empirical investigation shows that PIED tends to emerge according to a five point pattern. First, a relatively early introduction. Second, habit building with daily pornography use. Third, escalation toward more “shocking” content. Fourth, realisation about the problem through for example failed sexual encounters. Fifth, a re-boot process to reverse PIED.When McLuhan’s theory is applied to the empirical data, weak as well as strong points emerge. For example, McLuhan’s under-emphasis of media content constitutes as weak point, since content escalation is shown to be crucial in the development of PIED. However, his analysis of what he calls the numbing and amputating effects of modern media proves to be valuable in explaining the emergence of and mechanisms behind PIED. Weighing together the weak and strong points, the final conclusion is that PIED as a phenomenon strengthens McLuhan’s theory in that the latter may be used to conceptualise and explain the former. The study also shows that other theorists, such as Herbert Marcuse and Jean Baudrillard, might be invoked in order to compensate for some of McLuhan’s weak points. In terms of the empirical results of this study, they serve to shed light on a new and little researched social phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 100 p.
Keyword [en]
media theory; pornography addiction; Marshall McLuhan; social fragmentation; cultural
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-59007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-59007DiVA: diva2:1128642
Subject / course
Sociologi
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-07-27 Created: 2017-07-27 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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