Don’t criticise, just globalise

Having struggled to define globalisation myself and all it comprises, I stumbled across a fantastic explanation that is relevant especially to media flows in the set reading ‘Media and Society’ (O’Shaughnessy and Standler) 

“globalisation refers to an international community influences by technological development and economic, political and military interests. It is characterized by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.”

The act of abolishing national and geographical borders promotes an utmost level of shared information, awareness and connectedness. However, while differential curiosity arises, anxiety follows. Conflict often arises when individuals and communities are faced with perceptions that don’t match their own, inevitably; a latent mistrust of those who are different presents itself. The notion of ‘cultural imperialism’ runs deep here, the idea that upheld traditions are being taken over by the homogenization of Western culture and its consumerist ways. There is relentless questioning so as to view human kind as scapegoats of homogenization or more broadly informed and educated as a result of cultural integration. But in my own opinion, I think the positives out weigh the somewhat culturally intolerant negatives. This would easily be viewed as a utopian outlook on the concept of globalisation; encapsulated by a key philosopher in the ‘Communication Theory’ Marshall McLuhan as a ‘global village’ in which he creates an image of

“a world in which media transcend the nation-state in a democratising process that gives everyone’s voice a chance to be heard and enables information to be shared freely.”

However, the voice that is criticised for being overheard and overbearing is that of the West. Although, there would be many other underlying, intra-cultural influences when the topic of ‘Americanization’ is presented.

In the video below: ‘Big ‘Think’, Dr Melissa Chiu, Director of the Asia Society Museum in New York and Vice President of the Society’s Global Arts Programming discusses a balance between the utopian and dystopian views of globalisation, explaining how “global organisations become localised to the regions in which they are operating, encouraging both the preservation of the indigenous culture, but also the evolution of a new hybrid culture.”


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