Week 2: Globalisation, Media Flows and Saturation Coverage.

In this weeks lecture, Sukhmani put emphasis on the idea of globalisation as well as cultural flows and the saturation of media.

Globalisation

Globalisation refers to an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political, and military interests. It is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.

MICHAEL KUNCZIK (2002) Globalisation, The Journal of International Communication, 8:1, 39-79, DOI: 10.1080/13216597.2002.9751921

The author, a Professor in Mainz, highlights the concept of globalisation and how the concept is not new to anyone. Kunczik talks about Marx and Engels, the emphasis of resolved personal worth and how it has set up that single, unconscionable freedom – Free Trade. A hundred and fifty years have passed since these two professors discovered this conception, and the interconnections within the world have become much more intensive. It was also said that globalisation means an uprising which moves the global economy closer to the theoretical ideal of perfect markets. The intensive sector of labour is beginning to show more and more mobile production factors, more notably capital.

In Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Manifesto of the Communist Party, there is much ideation of the ‘world market’. ‘Modern industry has established the world market – This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has in its turn, reacted on the extension of industry’.

Global Cultural Flows

There are 5 types of ‘scapes’:

  • Ethnoscapes,
  • Technoscapes,
  • Financescapes, and
  • Mediascapes and Ideoscapes.

Ethnoscapes

The shifting landscape of tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles, guest workers. It also affects politics of, and between nations.

Technoscapes

The global configuration of technology. Technology, both high and low, both mechanical and informational, now moves at high speeds across various kinds of previously impervious boundaries.

Financescapes

The global flow of capital which includes currency, stock and commodity. Financescapes plus politics and labour is what moves technology around the world. Globalisation has accelerated much quicker in this landscape than in trade and production.

Mediascapes and Ideoscapes

These are a closely related landscape of images. The distribution of electronic capabilities to produce and disseminate information, and the images of the world created by these media.

Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjunture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalisation, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47.

Appadurai disseminates the idea of ‘global flows’. He suggests that these flows are ‘disjunctive’ and ‘chaotic’ in a sense and that they overrule basic geographical thinking in social-cultural analysis. This argument underestimates the relative power of capital and the connections between different types of flows. His view of geography assumes that immovable components are the opposite of flows, whereas a developmental geography understands how flows can ‘create, reproduce, and transform’ geographic zones.

Through this alternative, global inequalities and barriers are easier to understand and it allows us to bring up the topic of separated rights and treatments of moving populations.

Media Saturation

The global communication environment is media saturated and offers information overload and access to a virtual global community. It is can be characterised by loss of meaningful interpersonal communication and traditional communities, languages and value systems.

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