Global village or Western village?

“Think local and act global”, are the words spoken by Manuel Castells in the reading ‘Media and Society’. My interpretation of this quote on Globalisation is to incorporate your own cultures individuality into a product and then communicate this product globally for maximum success. Some examples from the top of my head include Mcdonalds, iPhones and Xbox. Now, I am quite sure that most of my readers are thinking of similar products, as we are constantly saturated in these products every single day. The other similarity that these Global products have is that they all come from America- “the land of opportunity”. This therefore makes me and many others wonder, are we really living in a “global village”?

This music video clip showcases positive globalisation in relation to world music. African music or any music from third world areas of the globe did not have exposure in the past, but through the growth of communication media there is now the exposure they desire. The clever use of the well known Western pop artist Shakira will definitely globalise African inspired music, but will the Americanised editing and pop-styled finished product desensitise the true essence of African music to the world?

Since the explosive growth in media and communication industries in the 20th century when television and radio were popularised, there has been constant debate concerning the positives and negatives with the Globalisation of these media’s. The positive facts concerning the globalisation of communication are characterised by:

Instantaneity (instant access to distant information eg. The internet)

-Interconnectedness (formation of relationships across different cultures eg. Charities)

Interdependence (politics coming together from different countries about certain issues eg. United Nations)

Marshall McLuhan’s utopian view on globalisation suggests that people of the world can be brought closer together by the globalisation of communication. He sees this as an agent of empowerment, education, democracy and equality. As much as I agree with Mcluhan’s view, it is to only some extent, as I believe this view can only really benefit the developed/western world. How can people in Africa with no access to the internet let alone electricity, be included in media globalisation? My answer to this is that they just simply cannot. Even though media globalisation has done wonders for the worlds economic output, the gap between the rich and poor is stretching further and further apart.

These negatives in globalisation are very much evident in the products we all consume on a daily basis. The multi-national company Nike for example has strengthened the Dystopian views on Globalisation. The sweat-shops that are running in parts of Asia exploit the poorer parts of the globe by underpaying workers in horrific conditions. Whilst countries like Australia and England are paying for these product in expensive amounts, the Asian workers that produce these products cannot even afford what they make.

Castell’s distopian view of globalisation ‘we are not living in a global village, but in customised cottages globally produced and locally distributed’ perfectly describes my view on the supposed ‘Global village’. In order for it to be a genuine global village, the western culture should stop being cultural imperialists and embrace traditional cultures.


One thought on “Global village or Western village?

  1. Pingback: Reflection on International Media | Wheres the Seasoning?

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