The Transformation of Carey on McLuhan: Admiration, Rejection and Redemption | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



During his 40 years of writing about Marshall McLuhan, James Carey’s critical engagement was transformed from initial admiration, to rejection, and then to acceptance. Carey’s dismissal of McLuhan as a technological determinist whose work was inferior to Harold Innis was particularly influential. By the late 1990s, however, Carey called this position an unproductive argument that prevented appreciation of McLuhan’s contributions. This reappraisal of McLuhan was omitted from the two anthologies of Carey’s work and appeared in an array of publications that diluted its impact. This article traces contours of Carey’s transformation on McLuhan to argue that Carey’s recognition of his legacy should replace the view that Carey still dismissed him as a technological determinist.


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  • Article Type: Article
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