Globalisation: the international community which has been influenced by technological development and economic, political, and military interests.
Technology in particular has had the largest and most recognisable impact on the rate of globalisation.
*Insert meme or comic strip about McDonaldization and technology taking over the world.*
The introduction of the personal computer in the mid 1970s was all that was needed to spark a revolutionary age of technology, and in turn, the sharing of knowledge and information in a new-found world of networked society (now more commonly referred to as the internet).
The technological aspect of globalisation is one of the most influential and fast paced forms of wide-spread sharing of knowledge across the globe. Both Appadurai and Castelles support this notion, attempting to define our complex and ever-changing society and values in many parts of the world through the process of globalisation.
In Appadurai’s case, the proposal of five separate factors which contribute to the global exchange of ideas and information can be explored through the five-scapes of global cultural flows.
These “scapes” aim to define globalisation by separating their main characteristics into groups, which are also “constantly shifting, just as cultures are.” (Hogan, 2010) These groups are named ethnoscapes (the shifting landscape of tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles and guest workers), mediascapes (the distribution of electronic capabilities), technoscapes (the global configuration of technology), and financescapes (the global flow of capital goods which includes currency, stock and commodity).
Furthermore, technocapes and mediascapes both have a substantial influence on the effects of globalisation. This is why technology appeals to a variety of people who wish to stay connected with not only each other, but also with the happenings of the world. This can be seen within local, national and international coverage of important news events and their impact on the society around them.
However, globalisation has been somewhat glamourised by western media, with its ability to squash media saturation on issues which are not giving certain countries a favourable image.
An example of this concealed media can be seen in the lack of coverage on the multiple violent attacks on Indian international students in Melbourne, Australia. Compare this with the extensive broadcasting in India itself, Australia’s severely inadequate media coverage is a cause for concern for individuals who believe globalisation does not have signigficant power over many cultures and society.
In addition to this, traditional cultures and those living in third world countries are the most affected by globalisation, with the result of this technological gap pushing the poor into further poverty and social exclusion. Cultural imperialism is also becoming significantly more prominent, with the potential threat of “loss of cultural diversity.” (O’Shaughnessy, 2012)
This “global village,” although spectacularly enhanced through the introduction of the internet, also has some dystopian characteristics (as shown above) paired with its utopian overview.
However complicated the process of golobalisation continues to get, there is no denying that it has brought the new networked globe of people, communication, information and technology closer together.
O’Shaughnessy M & Stadler J, 2012, ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 458 – 471.
Hogan, A. (2010). Course blog | Appadurai’s 5 -scapes | Amherst College. [online] Amherst.edu. Available at: https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/courses/1011F/MUSI/MUSI-04-1011F/blog/node/229354 [Accessed 13 Aug. 2017].