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Lecture 3

Lecture 3- Harold Innis.docx

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Communication Studies
Alexandre Sevigny

Lecture 3 CMST 1a03: Introduction to Communication Alex Sévigny, APR, MCIPR, PhD (Winter Term, 2013) ITC – Harold Innis “Minerva’s Owl” Who was Harold Innis?  Born in Otterville, Ontario  Studied at McMaster (B.A. & M.A.)  Completed his Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Chicago  Innis library named after him Innis's philosophy  People inhabit both a symbolic and a material environment  Classically liberal, believed in free markets constrained by common moral and ethical principles Influence of Adam Smith  “The Invisible Hand”- within boundaries of law, morality, and principles there is an invisible hand that brings together buyers and sellers in the market  Smith the moralist influenced Innis the moralist  The Theory of Moral Sentiments (A. Smith)- says that the market only works when constrained by commonly held beliefs values attitudes and morals  Communities share values and beliefs that constrain the market Innis's theory of media  “Changes in the mode of communication lie at the heart of social, cultural and economic evolution.”  Took a look at the history of economics from the perspective of symbolic capital, he learned that communications and technologies were the vehicle pushing and changing economic patterns of behaviour  Diagnosed with cancer at a young age and spent his time writing 3 books Time-binding societies  Bind time and space- time binding technologies collapse time while space binding technologies collapse space  Pre-literate, oral and tribal  Emphasize continuity, for the human mind is limited in storage capacity.  Engaged in oral traditions- singing, dancing, storytelling, poetry  Conserved knowledge of a very practical and religious/ magical nature- who are your friends and enemies, how did the world come to be  Less possibility for abstraction- abstraction requires lots of brain space  Time flows in circular in this time-binding society with a recurrent present- time, dances, songs, are centered around life events  Tradition is valued over progress Time-binding media  Durable, either oral or handwritten  Were either oral (emphasizing social links) or hand-written  Less transportable, harder to work with and mo
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