Monday, September 7, 2009

Communication between Developed and Developing Countries

While reading the Overview of Harold Innis, what he calls the time-biased media and the space-biased media seemed to have a very strong connection with the dependency theory Thussu mentions in, Approaches to Theorizing International Communication. Based on the explanation of the dependency theory there are two types of nations: the developed nations or centre nations which try to implement new necessities in the peripheral nations or the developing nations, for as to create a dependent relationship and at the same time control the peripheral nations. The example Thussu used was how the countries in the South created a dependency towards the hardware and software of communication and media from the Western (developed) countries like the United States.

Harold Innis states that there are two types of media, the time-biased media that encourages such things as the maintenance of traditions and cultures through time by mediums like speech. In contrast with, the space-biased media which travels long distances and encourages the expansion of empires by mediums, such as paper.

Relating the dependency theory to these types of media, the time-biased media would be used by the peripheral countries which have a very defined culture because of the knowledge and traditions that have been and continue to be passed down from generation to generation. The space-biased media, is utilized by the developed nations that transmit their communication media and with it their particular lifestyles, ways of thinking, and culture to the developing countries.

By imparting their ways of thinking through the media towards the developing nations, the developed nations gain control of the peripheral nations, and these create a dependence on the developed nations. This statement also coincides with one of the definitions of communication James Carey gives us in A Cultural Approach to Communication; he says “communication is the transmission of signals or messages over distance for the purpose of control”. All three authors agree that the developed nations are using communication as a way of controlling the developing countries.

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