Thursday, 24 January 2013

Lecture Twelve - Globalisation, Sustainability and the Media.

Definitions of globalisation
  • Socialist - 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.
  • Capitalist - 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
  • markets become more powerful in influencing decisions
  • multi-national become the most powerful
  • all the people of the world were meant to share everything together
  • now there are restrictions on goods and borders, a relegated system
  • western market has spread across almost all of the developed world
  • 'the pursuit of classical liberal policies in the world economy'
  • americanisation of the world
  • telecommunication systems have expanded us, making us more globalised

  • ‘American sociologist George Ritzer coined the term “McDonaldization” to describe the wide- ranging sociocultural processes by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world’
  • Principles of rigid hierarchy, parts of a machine
  • these ideas being passed to other countries

Marshall McLuhan
  • one of the first people to focus on the effects of the mass media
  • radio, television and phone lines
  • ‘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’
  • rapidity of communication echoes the senses
  • experience instantly the effects of our actions on a global scale

Global Village Thesis 
  • should make us more aware of our responsibilities
  • ‘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’
  • right and wrong
  • new technology has expanded our senses
  • hasn't brought us together but a greater accountability for people in power

Centripetal and Centrifugal forces
  • centripetal - bringing the world together in uniform global society
  • centrifugal - tearing the world apart in tribal wars
  • big corporations have swallowed up the rest

Problems with globalisation
  • sovereignty - challenges to the idea of the nation state
  • accountability - transnational forces and organisations. Who controls them?
  • identity - nation, group. Who are we?

Cultural imperialism
  • if the global village id run with a certain set of values then it would not be so much an integrated community as an assimilated one
  • key thinkers - Schiller and Chomsky

Rigging the 'free market'
  • illusion people have is that mass culture is just a giant free market, some are popular and some are not
  • music, film, tv, newspapers etc are controlled by 4 or 5 giant multinational corporations
  • the control of all of those goes back to one
  • media conglomerates operate ad oligopolies
  • anything you are interested in will be controlled by one of these organisations

News corporations
  • news corporations divide the world into territories of descending market importance
  • hierarchy of market importance
  • concentrate efforts on areas of the globe that will give them the most money
  • focussing and hyping up american culture because that there is where the most money is
  • hierarchy
    • North America
    • Western Europe, Japan and Australasia
    • Developing economies and regional producers
    • The rest of the world
  • The news people get fed in the third world is the ideas of the west
  • because of this bombardment it changes these people into thinking similarly
  • 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, mirroring old school colonialism.
  • create a product in the west, slightly repackage it and sell it everywhere else

Manufacturing Consent
  • propaganda model
  • 5 basic filters
    • ownership
    • funding
    • sourcing
      • only as objective as it's aloud to be
      • what you're aloud to report is controlled by the rich and powerful
    • flak
      • companies set up to feed the stories in their interests
      • characterised by concerting snd intentional efforts to manage public information
    • anti ideology
      • painting something different as you to be bad
      • was communism
      • now anti-islam
  • news systems operate as a giant system of propaganda
  • news is thought to be true but it is more fabricated stories
  • not an objective reporting of fact but a tissue of lies in the benefit of the rich


  • ‘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

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