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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From Cave Paintings to SMSs..

wilbur.schrammWilbur Schramm intended for The Story of Human Communication to not be “limited to one medium or one country” but serve as “an introductory course on human communication”. This book describes developments in communication that span millennia, cultures, and nations.But a mere introduction it is not. Schramm will take you beyond an introductory understanding of mass media, evaluating & analysing its origins, its raison d’être, its dynamics and the symbiotic relationship between communication & progress.

The language simple and complicated jargon is rare. His expositions are concise and coherent. His ‘suggestions for further reading’ and ‘questions to think about’ at the end of every chapter ensure that the book is more than just statements of facts and theories.

Untitled-1By using a chronological narrative, Schramm parallels the development of communication with the progress of civilisation, demonstrating that there is a definite co-relation between the two. He uses devices like time capsules to ‘set the narrative in historical continuity’ and enable the reader to put the developments in perspective.

In his concluding chapter Schramm raises the issues of ‘the increasing pace of information, ‘opportunity versus overload’, privacy and artificial intelligence. His concerns were based on the technologies present in the late eighties but two decades later we find that those concerns are still relevant and disturbing.

More interesting reads by Wilbur Shramm:


Jerusha Chande

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