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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Knowledge passed down orally depends on a lineage of transmission, often associated with ancestors, and ratified by human contact.

Sad to say, I splayed another motherfucking shotgun blast of coffee all over page fifty-three— Monopolies of Knowledgeaye—at which point my shoulders drooped sufficient to chat with my knees and I could acutely visualize the noose dangling from the bedroom ceiling. Oral communication, speech, was considered by Innis to be time-biased because it requires the relative stability of community for face-to-face contact. Open Preview See a Problem?

Concentration on a medium of communication implies a bias in the cultural development of the civilization concerned either towards an emphasis on space and political biaw or towards an emphasis on time and religious organization. These organized forms of power are in process, and defined by their interactions.

Harold Innis’s communications theories – Wikipedia

The Guns, Germs, and Steal of information networks – essentially one cogent point endlessly reiterated. Not only were Americans exhorted to buy the newest “improved” products, they were also exposed to a barrage of propaganda from political elites. University of Toronto Press, p.

New media threaten to displace the previous monopolies of knowledge, unless those media can be enlisted in the service of the previous power structures. First published commynicationthis masterful collection commmunication essays explores the relationship between a society’s communication media and that community’s ability coommunication maintain control over its development. A History of Communication: Same idea, different approach. New regulations encouraged the development of new gnu technologies.


Return to Book Page. In this analogy, McLuhan alerts us both to the method Innis uses to engage the cognitive powers of his readers, and the bias both of them share for the oral over the visual.

Mihajlo Krivokuca rated it it was amazing Sep 18, They include modern media such as radio, television, and mass circulation newspapers that convey information to many people over long distances, but have short exposure times. Materials that emphasize time favour decentralization and hierarchical types of institutions, while those that emphasize space favour centralization and systems of government less hierarchical in character.

The shift of perceptions redefines “knowledge,” onnis those in power claim needs to be known. Marshall McLuhan, deeply influenced by these essays, led North America to a new awareness of the role of media in contemporary culture. After doctoral studies at the University of Chicago, Innis joined the faculty of the University of Toronto.

Economic history of Canada Communication theory. The ideal situation of course was to have a good balance of both types of media, but this only rarely happened in practice. The god of writing was closely related to the leading deities and reflected the power of the scribe over religion. References commujication this book The Virtual Community: Monopolies of knowledge tend to polarize societies into a mass of the ignorant and a knowledge elite.

Any empire or society is generally concerned with duration over time and extension in space.

Sheikh Tajamul rated it really liked it Jun 08, He does, however, appreciate the considerable power invested in communications technologies and monopolies of knowledge to shape culture. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: When fascism comes to America, it will come in the form of democracy.


The conquest of Egypt by Rome gave access to supplies biqs papyrus, which became the basis of a large administrative empire. Harold Innis examined the rise and fall of ancient empires as a way of tracing the effects of communications media.

Harold Innis’s communications theories

The relative lightness or heaviness of the medium under consideration is not always a reliable indication of its particular bias. The invention of the calendar becomes a way to extend an empire over both time and space if the right spin is put on its meaning.

The second model is religious communicatuon concerned with the conquest of time. The practice of his communication… Persona Studies Vol thf No 2: The Bias of Communication is considered one of the most influential books ever published in this country, this text played a major part in reshaping our understanding of history, communication, and media theory.

The first is due to the character of the original medium used for writing: In Empire and CommunicationsInnis wrote that the ebb and flow of Egypt’s ancient empire partly reflected weaknesses or limitations imposed by “the inflexibility of religious institutions supported by a monopoly over a complex system of writing”:. Tough sledding at times—and if Innis hadn’t passed away shortly after this book saw publication, I believe he would have further fleshed out his thoughts herein—but brimming with brilliance and relevance.