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GLOBAL FLOWS OF COMMUNICATION Theoretical Approach 3. MEVIT3220/ 4220 Media and Globalisation Carol Azungi, 25 November 2007. Introduction:The lecture in a nutshell. The 21stC mediascape is characterised by multi-vocal, multimedia, multi-dimentional flows of information and communication

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global flows of communication theoretical approach 3

GLOBAL FLOWS OF COMMUNICATIONTheoretical Approach 3

MEVIT3220/ 4220

Media and Globalisation

Carol Azungi, 25 November 2007

introduction the lecture in a nutshell
Introduction:The lecture in a nutshell
  • The 21stC mediascape is characterised by multi-vocal, multimedia, multi-dimentional flows of information and communication
  • In today´s digitally connected globe, flows of all kinds of info. Circulate around the world at a speed unimaginable even a decade ago
  • A shift from state-centric & national views of media to one defined by consumer interests and transnational markets:key factor in expansion &acceleration of media flows
  • What does this mean?
    • Explanation of main concepts
    • Counter arguments
    • Theoretical extrapolates
    • Examples from the curriculum
ponder during lecture
Ponder during lecture
  • Has globalisation increased western cultural influence or triggered the possibilities of other flows?
  • What is the role of media ownership in determining the flow of information and communication?
introducing some of the concepts
Introducing some of the Concepts
  • Mapping out the main concepts that have characterised global flow of communication studies over the past 30 years.
  • Some of the the concepts and arguments developed in the 1970s and 1980s still influence current debates in global flow/ globalisation.
media flows
Media Flows
  • Media Flows- concept developed by a series of empirical studies in the 1970s and 80s. The research claimed the existence of unbalanced, unidirectional flows of TV programmes and foreign news from the “centre” to the “periphery” (Kaarle, Nordnstreng & Tapio Varis 1974 study “TV Traffic- A One-Way Street: A survey and Analysis of the International Flow of Television Programme Material. UNESCO
cultural imperialism
Cultural Imperialism
  • Cultural Imperialism- popularised by Jeremy Tunstall who described this term as a situation in which “authentic traditional, local culture…is being battered out of existence by the indiscrimate dumping of large quantities of slick commercial and media products, mainly from the US “The Media are American: Anglo-American Media in the World (1977: 57).
media imperialism
Media Imperialism
  • Media Imperialism-developed within a broader analysis of cultural imperialism and dependency theories. Oliver Boyd-Barret defined it as “the process whereby the ownership, structure, distribution of content of the media in any one country are singly or together subject to substantial external pressures from the media interests of any other country or countries without proportionate reciprocation of influence by the country so affected (1977: 117)
us film imports 1998
US film imports % (1998)
  • Ecuador 99.5
  • Barbados 97.8
  • Costa Rica 95.9
  • Gabon 94.5
  • Zimbabwe 90.2
  • Cyprus 88.8
  • Sri Lanka 88.5
  • Syria 86.1
  • Madagascar 84.2
  • Lebanon 83.0
  • Isreal 80
  • India 72
  • Australia 72
  • Germany 69
  • Hong Kong 66
  • Italy 64
  • Japan 60
  • Mexico 59
  • Russia 59
  • France 57
  • Spain 55
read about responses
Read about responses

EU Media Policies and Structures

  • Television without boarders
  • Support for film industry
  • Challenges
    • Hollywood hegemony
    • Language
    • Nationalism
    • Regionalism
counter arguments concepts
Counter Arguments / Concepts
  • Contra-flows - countries once thought as major “clients” of media imperialism such as Mexico, Canada, Brazil have successfully exported their programmes and personnel into the “Centre”. Mexico (Televisa Group), Brazil (TV Globo), Canada (CanWest) now export TV programmes and music to the countries all over the world.
  • Regionalism- there is now greater exchange of news, TV programmes, print media, music between regions, e.g. DSTV (South Africa), Nollywood (Nigeria), Bollywood (India), Star TV (Hong Kong), Al Jazeera (Qatar), EuroNews (EU). Exchange of cultural products has also increased in Scandinavia.
counter arguments concepts12
Counter Arguments / Concepts
  • Localisation - local programmes remain popular and attract large audiences. People prefer to watch their own locally made programmes.
  • Glocalisation / Hybridity- term popularised by British sociologist Roland Robertson in the 1990s and later developed by Zygmunt Bauman. This is characterised by the global-local interaction, by cultural fusion as a result of adaptation of Western media genres to suit local cultures and languages. For example, US generic models (e.g. soaps, sitcoms, action movies) have invited domestic imitation based on the country´s cultural and social realities.
counter arguments contd
Counter arguments contd...

Alternative media

community media:from the margins to the cutting edge

  • Address the digital divide: access, voice for the voiceless
  • Platform/spaces for civic engagement and expression
  • Internal flows of communication (devcom: endogenous community, local culture, indigenous knowledge etc)

Internet as alternative media enabling reversal of flows (see youtube.com, myspace and other people-centric channels, suggestions?)

determinants of reversal of global flows
Determinants of reversal of global flows
  • Post-Fordist mode of production
  • New technology (satellite, internet)
  • Changing patterns in geo-politics
  • Deregulation of the media
  • Growth of “diasporic communities” in the West see India´s Zee Tv watched by second generation British Asians, Chinese TV channel Phoenix and the pan-Arabic entertainment network MBC are examples of media representing what may be labeled as geo-cultural flows aimed at largely a diasporic pop.(Thussu, 2007, 14)
dimensions of global flow
Dimensions of Global Flow

Another influential study on global flows is one developed by Arjun Appadurai in the early 1990s

He identified 5 different dimensions of global flows:

  • Ethnoscapes - landscape of people who constitute our shifting world, e.g tourists, immigrants, refugees,
  • Technscapes - the fluidity of technology (similar to the network society concept)
  • Finascapes- movement of currency markets and money, across boundaries
  • Mediascapes - distribution of electronic capabilities to produce & disseminate news
  • Ideascapes- movement of political ideas and images, e.g. “freedom” “rights” “democracy”.
theoretical approaches influencing international communication
Theoretical Approaches influencing international communication

Concerns of the times

Emergence of theories of communication parallel to socio-economic changes of the IR

Communication part of the ”organic Society” where each part played a role in the functioning of the whole (Road infrastructure, credit system and communication-postal, telegram, press) the nervous system, channel for the centre to ”propagate its influence” to the outermost parts (Thussu, 2000, 54).

20th C, theories reflected the political, economic, technological developments of the time and their impact on the social and cultural…

The critical theories have also dwelt on the patterns of ownership and production in the media and communication industries (particularly the commodification of communication and its impact on inequalities

some of the theoretical approaches
Some of the theoretical approaches
  • Free Flow of Information
  • Modernisation theory
  • Dependency theory
  • Structural imperialism
  • Hegemony
  • Critical theory
  • IS and discourses of globalisation
slide18
Free Flow of Information
  • After the second world war and the establishment of a bi-polar world of free market capitalism and state socialism, theories of international communication flows became part of the new cold war discourse
  • The concept Free Flow represented western, especially US antipathy to state regulation, censorship and the use of media for propaganda by its communist opponents
  • The free Flow was a liberal, free market discourse that championed rights of media propriators to sell where ever and what ever they wanted.
  • The free flow therefore served economic and political purposes. Here, media organisations of rich countries could dissuade other from erecting trade barriers to their products or from making it difficult to gather news from their territories
  • Their arguments drew on premises of democracy, FOX, media role as watchdogs and their assumed global relevance.
  • For their compatriot businessmen, “free flow” assisted them in advertising and marketing their goods in foreign markets through media vehicles that championed the western way of life, capitalist values and individualism
slide19
Modernisation theory

(see Lerner 1958, Schramm, 1964)

  • Complementary to the doctrine of ”Free FLow” was the view that international communication, key to development in the third world
  • International mass comm could be used to spread the message of modernity transfer economic, political models of the west to the newly independent countries of the south
  • Western ways (power, wealth, skill, rationality etc) seem as a stimuli for development and a bridge to a wider world

Critism:

    • Top-down approach
    • Narrow approaches
    • Media are not neutral force (they have economic, political, social attachements and political power in hands of few)
    • Modern (western) and traditional are not mutually exclusive (see Freira 1970)
slide20
Dependency theories
  • Emerged in Latin America in late 1960s early 1970s in opposition of modernisation theory, need for alternative approaches, from the south
  • Cultural imperialism/media ”imperialism” from dominance of western cultural products especially hollywood (Schiller, 1976)

Critism

    • They offer no tangible solutions
slide21
Structural Imperialism (Galtung 1971)
  • Notions of centre and periphery
  • Forwards Castells notions of space of flows i.e. harmony of interest between the core of the centre nations and the centre in the periphery nations (p83)
  • The centre-periphery relationships are maintained and reinforced by information flows and reproduction of economic activities. These create institutional links that serve the interests of the dominant groups.
slide22
Hegemony (Gramsci 1891-1937)
  • The role of ideology and state power in the capitalist society
  • The dominant social group/nation has the capacity to excercise intellectual and moral direction over society or others and builds a new system of alliances to support its aims-Gramsci-this happens when this group excersise control over mass media, schools, religion etc
  • The dominant class then coersively imposses its will on subodinate classes
slide23
Critical theory (Adono, 1903)
  • ”Cultural Industries” production of culture as a commodity by the capitalist societies as enmass
  • This lead to standadization resulting into mass culture leading to the deterioration of other cultures
  • Forum for propagating capitalism ideologies and thinking among recipients
  • These debates have greatly influenced debates of thee Global flow of information and communication
slide24
Theories of the IS
    • Innovations in ICTs especially computing and their rapid global expansion has led to claims that this is an IS
    • Speed, volumes, costs influencing global flows
    • Covergence of telecoms with computing creating new infomation and communication flows between states, between business and among (ordinary) people
cases from the curriculum
Cases from the curriculum
  • “Miss World Going `Deshi`: Addressing an Indian television audience with a global media product” by Nobert Wildermuth (in Media in a Globalised Society ed. By Stig Hjarvard, pp 207-253
  • “National Prisms of a Global `Media event`” by Chin-Chuan Lee et al (in Mass Media and Society ed James Curran et al, pp 320-333
  • “The Whole World is Watching: Online Surveillance of Social Movement Organizations” by Sasha Costanza-Chock (in Who Owns the Media? Global Trends and Local Resistance ed by Pradip Thomas et al, pp 271-292)
case study 1
Case Study 1

Miss World 1996 in Bangalore

http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9611/23/miss.world/miss.world.28sec.mov

  • Controversial tv program: Cultural assault Vs foreign capital flow, show casing Indian culture
  • Events:
    • Four bombs weeks before the contest
    • Calls for boycott
    • Peaceful demonstrations
    • Feminists promise to set themselves on fire
    • 15 Nov-8 days before the show, Kumar Suresh committes self-immolation
slide27
Beach wear round (Nov 6-11) moved to Seychelles
  • Miss Personality (Nov 9) moved out of Bangalore for security purposes
  • Appeal to High court to ban show (culture and heritage)
  • Karnataka Supreme Court asks show to be mornitored to ensure conditions are met (alchohol and decency, laws of the land etc)-only after an affidavit from organisers
  • Final day (Nov 23) 24hour Bangalore bandh (general strike by BJP
slide28
Despite the strikes:
  • 2.5 billion tv viewers world wide
  • 200million Indians (poll results)
  • 120 countries
slide29
Article explores the following issues:
    • Protesters misjudgement and reflections on paternistic media consumption
    • Process of hybridisation as part of India´s glocalisation efforts
    • Conflicts between the local and the global
    • Ideological “fights” over the meaning of India´s culture (cultural imperialism)
    • Competing visions of national identity
    • Contested representation of gender (the traditional Indian woman vs. the “modern” Indian woman).
case study 2
Case Study 2

Coverage of the handover by the UK of Hong Kong to the People´s Republic of China in 1997.

  • 1842-1997 marking the end of 150 colonial rule
  • Media spectacle: 8000 journalists, 776 media organisations and several national ideological struggles between east and west, capitalism and socialism, democracy and authoritarianism etc
slide31
Western media and national ideologies (fear and doubt)
  • US representing itself as the guardians of democracy (Tiananmen crackdown, question of Tibet and HK seen as a target of abuse and negative influence)
  • Britain: Imperial nostalgia
  • Australia/Canada: significance of HK to china, defence of America
  • Japan: Economic interests
slide32
Chinese media and national ideologies (chinese jingoism)
    • 3 major media giants, common policy, access to pro-china HK sources
    • Patriotism, emotions
      • (common ancenstry, family centredness and the final process of reunifying Macao and Taiwan)
      • End of 150 years of national humiliation (Deng Xiaoping, the paramount leader and ingenious author of the “one country, 2 systems” and how chinese heroes beat British imperialists villains. Ignore
    • China´s military-national strength
slide33
Hong Kong media
  • Identified with chinese culture but rejects their communist system.
  • Reminiscence of the positive British presence especially cultural but not the political

Taiwan media

  • Endorse British decolonisation while rejecting China´s nationalism branding it as hegemonic and expansionist
slide34
Articles raises the following:
    • International news-making (foreign news) still determined by “domestic” and “national” interests.
    • Promotion of “national interests” in a global news story
    • Discursive struggles in international news making
    • What it means to be Chinese - cultural and national meanings of identity (global Chinese communities)
    • National triumph vs. Western imperialism
case study 3
Case Study 3
  • Social Movements and new communication technologies
  • USA Patriot Act 2001 allows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glTzekPGLCo&feature=PlayList&p=E8356527487842BA&index=0

    • Expanded wire taps
    • Secret searches
    • Information sharing among agencies
    • Access to voice mail
    • Interception of electronic communication (like e-mails)
    • Credit card numbers, Tel. numbers
    • IP addresses
    • Search warrants for emails
    • Access to records of meetings, sessions etc
some examples
Some examples...

US

  • Seattle Protests
  • Palestine.indymedia.org
  • Somalian Internet
consequences
Consequences
  • Vulnerability to selective prosecution
  • Persistant data
  • Chilling effect
    • Delegitimation of social movements
    • Climate of fear
    • Disruption of work
    • Deterrrence of legitimate political expression and activism
slide38
Article raises the following issues:
    • Use of internet for broader movement coalition building across national boundaries.
    • Multidimensional flow as opposed to one-way diffusion of information (social movement interaction)
    • US surveillance of social movements organisations (Big Brother watching?).
    • New technologies also curtails the SMOs (U,S govt uses different kinds of surveillance techniques).
questions for discussion reflection
Questions for Discussion / Reflection
  • In light of new developments in global and national media, is the concept of “media imperialism still relevant?
  • What forms of “glocalisation” / “Hybridity” can you perceive in your own country?
  • Despite the reversal of cultural flows from the North to the South, why do you think US cultural products (TV, Films, books) still dominate?
announcements
Announcements
  • 8 November: Dag´s lecture on Hollywood and Globalization
  • Undelivered term papers should be delivered to Sarah today after the lecture
  • Lin Prøitz PhD Defence
    • trial lecture on the 1st of Nov., 17:15, auditorium 4, Eilert Sundts hus, A.
    • Disputas 2. november 09:15 i theologisk eksamenssal, domus academica, sentrum