What is Globalisation?

Globalisation is the term that refers to the way in which, in a society of contemporary texts, countries from all over the world are inter-related and connected together by communication, trade and various cultural experiences.

Globalisation is focused on the greater and easier access to the mobility of goods, services, labour, technology, capitalism and ideologies worldwide. Capitalism is the dominant economic model and criticism is the national and international traditions that are merging together to produce an American cultural imperialism where the US media dominates around the globe and indirectly enforced American ideas and values. There is also the concern that the largest media organisations are supplying more of the media we consume, which is leading to global cultural homogenisation. The digital revolution is changing the way we communicate and obtain information.

A lot of people have different views and opinions on what globalisation means. For example, Marshall McLuhan's definition is that globalisation means we are living in a global village because new technology and the media have contributed to the shrinking of space and time barriers in human communication across the globe. Global village suggests that the world has shrunk and the population of virtually every country in the world now have almost instant access to cultures and societies that were once far away and were just considered foreign, leading to cultural convergence.

However, according to a man called Giddens, we live in a runaway world where cultures, economies and politics appear to merge across national boundaries. For instance, TV programmes such as 'The Simpsons' are watched all over the world.

We are rapidly becoming a world audience; a successful mass media product often has to have appeal to worldwide markets if it is to make serious money. However, there are still areas in the world where communication technology barely exists, this is called the digital divide. Most media technologies are confined to developed nations and certain elites within developing nations. In addition to the digital divide, there is also a language divide, as much new communications technology is US-centric, non-english speakers are excluded. In addition, US values and ideologies are dominant.

Other debates on the issue of globalisation include the fact that globalisation has a homogenising effect which results in a McWorld. The role of the media in the process of globalisation is an ongoing debate, for example, the role the media played in the collapse of European communism. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 it was suggested that one of the major factors in the wave of protest in Eastern Europe at that time was that a population, previously denied access to all things western, had started to listen to and watch western media broadcasts, therefore, they were able to see that it was about capitalism and democracy and that their political masters had been denying them for decades.

To see the effect that recent advancements in new and digital media such as social media is playing in the process of globalisation you should watch The Guardian newspaper's Three Little Pigs advertisement for their open journalism campaign. It shows how the media has gone from newspapers to tv, texts, social media, video broadcasting, radio, magazine etc. There are 3 different platforms that institutions can broadcast their media : Print, broadcast and e-media. These platforms allow institutions to go global.

Marshall McLuhan stressed that the role of the media in creating the mass as opposed to the separate individuals of the public, asserting that electronic media fosters and encourages unification. However, has the window on the world which media globalisation offers opened our eyes or merely overloaded us with information, much of which we don't want or even need. Have we really retreated behind our literal and metaphorical borders? Or have we embraced the world as it is presented to us?

Written By: Pippa Timmons (Stockport, United Kingdom)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

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