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Abstract. Fifty years after his death, Harold Innis remains one of the most widely cited but least understood of communication theorists. This is particularly true in. PROFESSOR INNIS has written a pioneering book and made a serious contrib nology, we can discover the specific “bias of communication” in each perio. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Harold Innis and “the bias of communication | Fifty years after his death, Harold Innis remains one of the most widely cited.

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Innis would, for example, be fascinated by the Nisga’a treaty negotiations in British Columbia, where a time-biased, marginalized and predominantly oral culture is attempting to communicate with a space-biased culture transfixed by the rule of written law. Introduction to Communication Theory.

In his essay, A Plea for Timehe suggested that genuine dialogue within universities could produce the critical thinking necessary to restore the balance between power and knowledge. Harold Adams Innis November 5, — November 8, was a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto and the author of seminal works on Canadian economic history and on media and communication theory. Innis’s The Bias of Communication has played a major part in reshaping our understanding of history, communication, and media theory.

New regulations encouraged the development of new gnu technologies. To begin harole inquiry into this area, he suggests we ask three basic questions:.

Some of his ideas were taken up and extended by Marshall McLuhan.

Biad 03, Steven Felicelli rated it liked it. Innis harolx us instead to consider the formalities of power exerted by these structures in their mutual interaction. The encounter of European traders from the imperial centres of France and Britain with the aboriginal tribes of North America that Innis chronicled in The Fur Trade in Canada is a poignant example of what can happen when two different civilizations meet one traditional and oriented to preserving its tribal culture in time and the other bent on spreading its influence over long distances.


Now, the balance shifted decisively in favour of space over time. Yet, many now see it as a Canadian classic because it “has sufficient detail in its analysis and originality to be regarded as a landmark book. Writing was a difficult and specialized art requiring long apprenticeship, and reading commynication a long period of instruction.

The Bias of Communication

They literally spoke the language of the masses, effectively penetrating popular consciousness and shaping public opinion. The media, Commmunication tells us, are inter-related in their impact on the survival of empires. The latter are suited to wide areas in boas and trade. He also believed that change came from the margins of society, since people on the margins invariably developed their own media.

Introduction of a second medium tends to check the bias of the first and to create conditions suited to the growth of empire.

Harold Innis’s communications theories – Wikipedia

My library Help Advanced Book Search. The new media allow those on the periphery to develop and consolidate power, and ultimately to challenge ccommunication authority of the centre. Instability resulting from a lack of balance haorld time- and space-biased media, and agitation from the margins of the empire can equally drive social change.

Innis warned however, that such generalizations tended to obscure the differences between empires. Innis devoted the remainder of his life to fleshing out these ideas, and toward the end he began to explore the biases embedded in staples-driven communications systems. It is often a question of balance. Jan 28, Szplug rated it really liked it Shelves: Empires that sprang up communicatuon to be biased towards space control over a large area or time continuing control for a long timedepending on the dominant medium in use by the empire.


Harold Adams Innis: The Bias of Communications & Monopolies of Power

Lists with This Book. The scribe had commjnication full qualifications of a special profession and was included in the upper classes of kings, priests, nobles and generals, in contrast with peasants, fishermen, artisans and labourers.

Ability to Afford High Costs: Innis sees a dialectical relationship between society and technology: Oral communication, speech, was considered by Innis to be time-biased because it requires the relative stability of community for face-to-face contact.

The written record, signed, sealed and swiftly transmitted was essential to military power and the extension of government.

The scientific community lobbies not only for a pre-eminent status for the objectivity of knowledge, but also advocates communiction rigid method for obtaining that knowledge. He directly influenced Marshall McLuhan and continues to be a central figure in communications theory. The bias of communication Harold Adams Innis Snippet view – In writing, the tendency is to isolate an aspect of some matter and to direct steady attention upon that aspect.

Peter communlcation it it was amazing Oct 24, The concepts of time and space reflect the significance of media to civilization. References to this book The Virtual Community: Foucault, throughout his writings on the dynamic between knowledge and power, insisted that neither is, in fact, a commodity even though it is often treated as such–one cannot own power; power is a process which must continually be reasserted for its continuance.

The relative lightness or heaviness of the medium under consideration is not always a reliable indication of its particular bias.