Thursday 21 November 2013

Globalisation, Sustainability and the Media

The Lecture;
Globalisation, Sustainability and the Media;
Ever expanding global system.

Definition of Globalisation;
The process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and function together. This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces.
The elimination of state-enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex global system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result.

"Covering a wide range of distinct political, economic, and cultural trends, the term “globalization” has quickly become one of the most fashionable buzzwords of contemporary political and academic debate. In popular discourse, globalization often functions as little more than a synonym for one or more of the following phenomena: the pursuit of classical liberal (or “free market”) policies in the world economy (“economic liberalization”), the growing dominance of western (or even American) forms of political, economic, and cultural life (“westernization” or “Americanization”), the proliferation of new information technologies (the “Internet Revolution”), as well as the notion that humanity stands at the threshold of realizing one single unified community in which major sources of social conflict have vanished (“global integration”). Fortunately, recent social theory has formulated a more precise concept of globalization than those typically offered by pundits. Although sharp differences continue to separate participants in the ongoing debate, most contemporary social theorists endorse the view that globalization refers to fundamental changes in the spatial and temporal contours of social existence, according to which the significance of space or territory undergoes shifts in the face of a no less dramatic acceleration in the temporal structure of crucial forms of human activity. Geographical distance is typically measured in time. As the time necessary to connect distinct geographical locations is reduced, distance or space undergoes compression or “annihilation.” The human experience of space is intimately connected to the temporal structure of those activities by means of which we experience space. Changes in the temporality of human activity inevitably generate altered experiences of space or territory. Theorists of globalization disagree about the precise sources of recent shifts in the spatial and temporal contours of human life. Nonetheless, they generally agree that alterations in humanity's experiences of space and time are working to undermine the importance of local and even national boundaries in many arenas of human endeavor. Since globalization contains far-reaching implications for virtually every facet of human life, it necessarily suggests the need to rethink key questions of normative political theory."

Sociologist; George Ritzer
'American sociologist George Ritzer coined the term "McDonaldization'
-large companies taking over all over the globe.
-particular idea of life and organising the world.
-idea of a fragmented disposable culture.

Marshall McLuhan;
'Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned' (1964:p3)

Global village thesis;
'As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village. Electric speed at bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion has heightened human awareness of responsibility to an intense degree.'

The Internet;
We live mythically and integrally...In the electric age, when our central

Centripetal forces - bringing the world together in uniform global society.
Centrifugal forces - tearing the world apart in tribal wars.

Three problems of Globaisation;
Challenges to the idea of the nation-state
Transnational forces and organizations: who controls them?
Who are we? Nation, group, community.
Businesses are more powerful than the government.
Businesses can act outside the restrictions of the government.
System where multinational businesses are more powerful.

'Does globalization make people around the world more alike or more different? ...A group of commentators we might call "pessimistic hypergolbalizers" argue in the favor of the former. They suggest that we are not moving towards

Cultural imperialism;
It the 'global vil;age' is run with a certain set of values then it would not be so much an integrated

Rigging the 'Free Market'
Media conglomerates operate as oligopolies.
Focussing on the media.
The media tends to be controlled by about 5/6 giant clusters on businesses, in the control of one central figure.
6 companies are controlling the entireites of the worlds media, all of which are American.

Time Warner's media and other interests;
(List is too large to put on blog, but can find here. Source
This company controls a vast output of the media in the world, this American company, no matter what language it is, it has come from America and has an American view of the world.

News corporations divide world into 'territories' of descending 'market importance'
  1. North American
  2. Western Europe, Japan and Australia
  3. Developing economies and regional producers (India, China, Brazil, Eastern Europe)
  4. The rest of the world
US media power can be thought of as a new form of imperialism;
Local cultures destroyed in this process and new forms of cultural dependency shaped, mirriring old school colonialism.
Schiller - dominance as US driven commercial

Big Brother;
Classic example of a franchise all over the globe.
Western ideas are repackaged and sold all over the world.
Offers the product as something special and unique to each culture, but its the same just repackaged.

Chomsky and Herman (1998) 'Manufacturing Consent'
The entire system can be thought of that they are preaching the right way of life.
The fair way of life. The good life.
Anti Communist ideology

Rupert Murdock
  • News of the world
  • The sun
  • The Sunday Times
  • The Times 
  • NY Post
  • BSkyB
  • Fox TV
Run stories appearing as new but actually just in the interest of the new corporation.
The Sun determined the outcome of the UK elections, this is by doing bad deals with different parties.
These people have immense power over the public.
Massive social effect.

The things that is reported is only what is allowed to be reported.

The businesses also stop you from reporting certain things.
Need to keep the advertisers happy.
Not just multinational businesses controling political parties, but also the news stories we read.

US - based Global Climate Coalition (GCC)
Flak is characterized by concerted and intentional efforts to manage public information.

Global warming 'Glaciers';

Al Gore 'The inconvenient truth' (2006) dir. Davis Guggenheim;
  • Release less CO2
  • Plant more 
  • Try to be CO2 neutral
  • Recycle
  • Buy a hydrid vehicle
  • 'Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'
  • Needs (particularly of the worlds poor)
  • Limitations of technology
Green washing;
Green is seen as an eco friendly colour
e.g companies such as McDonalds went green to make themselves look better.

People are realising that this system isn't working.

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