Communications ’ Efects on Politics and Social Change: A Study on Harold A. Innis


The importance of communications on social change increasingly recognized in both academic and popular works. Te effect and presence of communications are felt in all aspects of human life and these tools are usually considered to have signifcant effects on human activities in the social, political and cultural spheres. Harold A. Innis is one of the frst scholar who studied and paid attention to that aspect of communications and came with one of the most original and provocative theory about media and communication systems. Innis’s theoretical legacy is particularly important nowadays as the use of these tools in life is increasing. However, there is not even one single article devoted to present his opinion in Turkish and this is an important missing part for the literature. Innis examined the communication tools on the basis of their relation with time and space. He examined them under two main categories: time-bias communications and space bias communications. He tried to understand what these communications mean today and what they have meant for civilizations throughout history. According to him, the means of communication have many cognitive and social effects and the history of civilization can only be understood when these effects are taken into account. In this article, his theories about technologies, communications and social change will be discussed and evaluated. In this context, the article has two main aims. First, to examine Innis’s works and his Teory in the context of his time. Second, to shortly summarize how communications affect society and human beings by giving some historical and contemporary examples. Te article argues that communications are incrisingly becoming both time and space bieas and thus it becomes difficult to understand their effect. Tat recuires more feld work to see all dimentions of the changes they cause.


Harold Innis communications social change technology.