Globalisation… Should we fear or welcome it with open arms?
Globalisation refers to the unification of nations under a culture influenced by technological developments, economic, political and military interests. Globalisation can be looked at with a utopian view Marshal McLuhan refers to as “the global village“. This can be seen as a culture where media serves the general population to share unbiased information and bring people together.I found this to be realistic in some cases but there are many channels of media and with media ownership narrowing each year, the views of mainstream media is being chiselled into the voice of media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch (Newscorp) and Gina Rinehart (Fairfax Media), only to be combated to by blogs and independent news features online.
HSBC’s traditional trendy advertisement suggests valuing cultural differences and democratisation. But on the other hand potentially displays a dystopian view where culture has been de-contextualised fundamentally becoming ‘just another cultural icon’. This dystopian view encompasses how globalisation can devalue individual culture. If body art that signifies identity and belonging to a unique culture is shared without universally, is it not devalued? I’m not saying culture should not be shared, perhaps it should be valued for what it means and not what it is. Tattoos are tattoos but traditional body art is unique.
Communication technologies allow for faster and broader communication, thus making the world ‘smaller’. This has led to the concept of ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson 1991, p.6), this refers to the idea that members of a community are part of such community regardless that they may never know most of its members.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Todd Gitlin argues that globalisation will herald cultural imperialism, a situation where. instead of diversifying, cultures conform to an economically superior western culture. On the other hand Henry Jenkins argues that media flows are not unidirectional. I’ve often found myself listening to European dance techno while playing Japanese video games on a laptop from an American company (Also, I’m Australian). Globalisation is under way and is causing social and cultural impacts worldwide, there are varied attempts to interpret the impacts of globalisation but at this point in time we can only try to understand these changes in order to steer ourselves in the best direction.
Anderson, B 2006, Imagined Communities, 1st ed, Verso, London.
O’Shaughnessy, M Stadtler, J 2012, Media and Society, 5th ed, Oxford University Press, USA.
McLuhan M, 1962, Gutenberg Galaxy, 1st ed, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Canada.