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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This interplay of aspects can generate insights or discovery” vii.

The inins of Harold Innis are seminal in the study of Canadian history; the essays in this volume continue to generate intense dabate among historians, communications scholars, and media theorists. References to this book The Virtual Community: As important today as it was when first published, The Bias of Communication is essential reading for historians and scholars of communication and media studies.

Those media that supported theocratic empires had relative durability as a major characteristic so that they could support the concepts of eternal life and endless biax. For Innis, speech is a time-biased medium. He approaches each of these forms of organized power as exercising a particular kind of force upon each of the other components in the complex. Oxford University Press, p.

Interestingly, the reason for the complexity of this system of writing on papyrus is explained by several factors. If priests can gain a monopoly on papyrus and writing, then they will gain power relative to the king who depends on stone monuments.

The Bias of Communication – Harold Adams Innis – Google Books

In writing, the tendency is to isolate an aspect of some matter and to direct steady attention upon knnis aspect. The torch of empire then passed from Greece to Rome.


Why do you think he says that? New World Perspectives, p.

New allegiances are formed. Concentration on a medium of communication implies a bias in the cultural development of the civilization concerned either towards an emphasis on space and knnis organization or towards an emphasis on time and religious organization. It is often a question of balance. Societies that depend solely on time-biased media are oral and tribal.

The Bias of Communication

Schell rated it it was amazing Aug 16, University of Toronto Press- History – pages. Harold Innis’s analysis of the effects of communications on the rise and fall of empires led him, in the end, to warn grimly that Western civilization was now facing its own profound crisis. A History of Communication: A lifelong student of political economy, Harold Innis became an internationally prominent social scientist and chief architect of the staples interpretation of Canadian history.

Phil Nichols rated it really liked it Dec 25, Same idea, different approach. The need to manage a flooding river promotes an absolute authority, which is further reinforced by a regular–thus eternal–calendar, which in turn supports the absolute dominance of elemental forces embodied in Osiris and Ra.

The book as a specialized product of printing and, in turn, the newspaper strengthened the position of language as a basis of nationalism. Innis argued that a balance between the spoken word and writing contributed to the flourishing of ancient Greece in the time of Plato. The first model is militaristic and concerned with the conquest of space.

Harold Innis’ bias of communications – a starting point, not a foundation « Communication Mediated

The invention of off calendar becomes a way to extend an empire over both time and space if the right spin is put on its meaning. Andrej Skerlep rated it really liked it Aug 09, Return to Book Page.


Jan 28, Szplug rated it really liked it Shelves: They have little regard for tradition and when compared with oral societies, their ways of thinking are apt to be more rational, linear and impersonal. 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. Com,unication sees a communiccation relationship between society and technology: Richard rated it it was amazing Nov 13, The development of “mechanized” communications media such as mass-circulation newspapers had shifted the balance decisively in favour of space and power, over time, continuity and knowledge.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Space-biased media are more ephemeral. How do specific communication technologies operate? What assumptions do they take from and contribute to society?

Harold Innis’s communications theories

Email Address never made public. But the space-binding medium of paper imported from China, Innis wrote, facilitated challenges from Islam and later from a rising commercial class. Technology and the Canadian Mind: