Many scholars in the world considered Harold Innis one of the outstanding scientists on technology of communications in Canada. He wrote a series books in which he traced the growth of communication systems with the history of the development of Canada. He understood that Canadian society is between the cultural legacy of its European past and the expanding space of the American Empire. Innis realized growing dependency of Canada from America. He wrote: With their powerful communication system American cultural imperialism is imposed on Canada.(Innis, 134) Harold Innis considered that there is a network of communication system in society with key junctures. It stores and transmits important information to other parts of the system. From early times universities monopolized certain kinds of information.
It happened because they had all necessary parts as had governments. The universities are always considered to be progressive and united associations of professionals (doctors, engineers, lawyers etc.) Innis showed that individuals or groups who have an access to knowledge are also powerful. Monopolization of knowledge allows them to determine what legitimate knowledge is. Monopolization of knowledge will cause some negative effects. Scientific communities can lobby not only for the objectivity of knowledge but also provide rigid methods for obtaining it. I have a feeling that the Rockefeller Foundation is apt to suffer in a very much less acute form from the disease which has infected Universities, namely, a concern for boundary lines and departmentalization… I would particularly emphasize support of the social sciences in the field of classical antiquity… I have the feeling the Departments of English are doing very significant work in the social sciences without knowing it.
The residential school system of Canada are network of residential school for Aboriginal peoples of Canada funded by the Canadian government’s Department of Indian Affairs, and administered by Christian churches. In the early twentieth century, young natives were removed from their families, and deprived of their ancestral languages, exposed physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their ...
(Innis, 26) In his work The Bias of Communication Innis proves that educations purpose should not be oriented only on training specialists and prepare students for their occupations. He pointed the problem of disciplinary that lead to overspecialization and nationalism. The essay “Minerva’s Owl” from the book The bias of communication devotes to the problem. According to Innis point of view Universities are kinds of media monopolies. The thread can be made not only to scholarship, but also to the self-awareness. Taking into account Innis concepts, the system of education should reduce “aggregates and averages” and add social science subjects.
Innis method of media analysis gave researchers a chance to examine monopolization of knowledge that they face in universities and society. Being concern of Innis, the monopolization of knowledge is greatly developed in his works in communication, and has become a correspondence on the funding and an orientation of university research and teaching. Norman Cantor provides an interesting survey of the ancient world. He examined a large period in the history of ancient civilizations. The author of the book Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World gave analysis of social and cultural political and economic history of ancient societies. The aspects, examining in his work, seized all sides of those early ears: not only their achievements but also their negative after-effects. Cantor supports Innis arguments as to the monopole of knowledge and shows that people were educated for certain purpose or occupation in those times.
In the Roman army professionals were well-trained. They had elementary knowledge in several discipline, so, we can say for sure that they were educated for that time. But they had education for certain purpose and that fact caused the concentration of power in the hands of well-educated warriors. Being an economic historian he studied the development of the dominant communication technologies in succeeding empires. His work The Bias of Communication is a proof of rich and profound study of it. In his book he came to the conclusion that stable and creative civilizations were those that successfully balanced time factors and space factors.(Innis, 45) Time factors serve as a transmission between cultures.
The History of Communication Media Introduction What follows is on attempt to discuss the history of communication technologies - as far as this is humanly possible - in general terms. The objective is ultimately the outline of a scientific history of the media - an outline for the simple reason that media sciences is a new field of research which would not exist had it not been for the triumphal ...
They brought certain knowledge, receiving from previous generations, to another. Time factors are the bases of the history of a country or of a community. Space factors, in their turn, are techniques, used for ruling a given territory. Technology and mechanization were examined by Harold Innis as means of communication. The development of them influenced the society. But, before examining Innis attitude towards technology and mechanization, it is necessary to say that he divided media on time- and space-biased; and regarded technology and mechanization to one of them. Harold Innis regarded methods of communication as an integral part of in the process of developing and existence of a civilization.
He proved in his work that changes in communication technology influenced the culture of a civilization greatly. He was sure that any Empire and society is durable over time and extensive in space. Time- and space-biased media should be in balance; otherwise, instability will lead to a social change. Time-biased media are considered to be durable and heavy (such as stone and clay); though Innis put speech at the same rank. He proved it saying that time-biased media do not lead to expansion of a territory, though have a long life and testify social changes of the time. Space-biased media (such as paper) is extensive in space.
They can be moved over large distances though have a short lifespan. Technology and mechanization are regarded to space-biased media and associated with territorial societies. Innis based his arguments on the roles of the both types of media in society. He examined them in different social contexts. The scientist was sure that oral forms of knowledge are more important for the cultural and social development of a society than innovations in technology. As being time-biased, oral communication or speech does not cause instability of community. If knowledge was represented with speech they are said to overcome time.
Communication Over The Internet, and The Effects It Will Have On Our Economy Thesis: Communication over the internet is growing at a rapid rate, this rate of growth may destroy the monopoly taking place with the major telecommunication giants. In this day and age we as a global community are growing at a super fast rate. Communication is a vital tool which aids us in breaking the distance barrier. ...
Most of all, there is a human contact while communicating. Knowledge passed through new technological means is impersonal and rigid. The oral traditions are more humanistic. But there is a contradiction in Innis words. As he pointed, a balance should be achieved between time- and space-biased communications media. This is the main condition for stability in societies.
Though oral communication and technology should not be opposed but regarded together. Nowadays, in the era of technological progress it would be better to consider technology as a new manifestation of speech. It would be mistaken to think that technological progress had a negative impact on the development of knowledge. It is just another approach to the process of possessing it. Innis considers languages to be important means of communication. Thats why he often returns to the evolving drama of language.
He writes that a flexible alphabet flavored the growth of trade, development of the trading cities of the Phoenicians and the emergence of smaller nations dependent on distinct languages. (Innis, 39) He thinks that introducing writing and printing in modern civilization increases the difficulties of understanding of a civilization based on the oral tradition. The quantitative pressure of modern knowledge has destroyed oral dialectic and conservation. Innis point of view was based on his perspective as a Canadian. He thought that the advanced capitalism in America would cause the control and domination through the relationship of technology and culture. The scientist was sure that mechanized communication such as printing, TV, and radio would lead to a crisis of modern civilizations.
He called the process neotechnic capitalism. In his work Innis often used examples from the history of various developed civilizations. For example, he showed the Greek standard of culture and compared it to our modern standards of machine age. He gave notice of a danger that would be provoked by science, technology and mechanization of knowledge. Innis thought that knowledge in a modern society would be able to loose its main component freedom of thought. It would be destroyed with neotechnic means.
All American students have embedded in their brains a memory from a science class or history course on the history of the world or America. We are taught a very obscure calculated version of how the world was developed and who influenced the development. The most common teachings of African history are of the African people and the struggles of slavery and their contributions either during or ...
Innis died in 1952. He did not know that after 20 years his theory would not bear a test of time. In the mid-70 the world entered into a new era era of globalization and satellite communication. As they say the world became smaller; though quickly developed technical progress has not destroyed modern civilizations and cultures. Technological progress influences greatly our society, especially nowadays. Innis could not estimate the after-effects of the development of technology and mechanization as far as possible; because he lived in times when innovations of means of communications did not develop so quickly.
Nowadays, we say about the danger caused with new means of communication but there is no sense to speak about their negative influence. People are loosing their ability to oral communication but they develop their written ones. Modern generation is loosing the need in personal contacts while conducting a conversation but they have a chance to get more useful information and produce more efficient work. Modern life is impossible without those innovations as the Internet, e-mail etc. Most of all we have no a chance to estimate the after-effects of them. We can only suppose. But we can say about after-effects of the era of mechanization (19th-20th centuries); and it becomes clear that there were a lot of positive moments (as well as ancient civilization had many negative ones).
Developing of new forms of communication demands profession-oriented education. Nowadays, modern educational establishes prepare specialists for certain occupations. Employees are estimated for their professional knowledge. At present the task of universities narrows that will cause the monopoly of knowledge. But may be it is a necessary process because in the world of globalization there is no need in wide knowledge in several fields. In his work The Bias of communication The author focused on the social history of communication media.
In the last 50 years or so technology had contributed to the exponential growth of the mass media where what started out with the telegraph was subsequently followed by the radio, the newspaper, magazines, television and the new arrival the Internet. The outcome of all these subsequent introductions had made society to be dependant on information and communication for all the major steps they are ...
As it was said, Innis emphasized a great influence of media on the stability of cultures. He thought that it depends on the balance of the media. His ….