Cultural and Ethnic Studies: The Print Revolution
Thesis statement: print revolution is the father of modern readership, copyright laws and social cultural reforms
The emergence of the printing press marked the beginning of knowledge democratization. Thus, many people were able to access a wide range of information from the printed sources. However, despite the contribution that the printing revolution made in regards to knowledge, critics felt that it allowed dissemination of incorrect information in some cases. Eisenstein states “the effects produced by printing arouse a little controversy, not because views on the topic coincide, but because almost none of them set them are in an explicit and systematic form” (29).
Printing revolution paved way for the modern day Europe through availing medieval and ancient textbooks to a large audience. The availability ushered in new theories and ideas that traverse through the dominant oral culture to print technology. It changed the nature of human consciousness in that it allowed abstract homogenous and sequential thoughts. Abstract thinking mainly occurs in disciples such as philosophy, scientific materialism and realistic fiction. Johns states “we assume all the things of such as an object- that such an object actually exists derives from our daily living in what many people refer to as print culture” (p. 34). Printing is the art behind standardization of European native languages because publishers began using it in publishing. The standardization led to the emergence of literatures that formed part of national mythologies.
Early Print Culture
The transition from ancient scribes to print ushered in a book culture in universities from monasteries. Therefore, the practice attracted people into readership and writing for the readily available reader market. The print culture marks a transition from the middle ages when manuscripts remained exclusively in royal monasteries and ecclesiastical centers that regulated the book culture.
The scribal culture during the middle ages was dependent on manuscript copying among scribers. The strain that accompanied manual copying on manuscripts caused them to remain scarce and expensive. Only the chiefly clericals and other royal groups accessed these works. The feudal social structure allowed monasteries to keep scholarly works and the reading skills remained under the influence of clerics. Some of the earliest reformists such as Hussites and An Hus denounced the clergy for negative indulgence. Martin Luther King’s contribution to the print revolution introduced broadsheets and pamphlets. The Catholic Church is one of the earliest associations that introduced printing as a divine art. They attribute their early censorship decrees of print as God’s gift. Early philosophers such as Albert Eisenstein describe print as a preconditioned art…