Discourses of globalization — reaction

The book discussed about the cultural discourses of globalization as one of the approaches to theorizing international communication. We are walked through the ideas of scholars regarding globalization from pessimist/conservative toward the optimistic/Utopian ones. First, we start with Anthony Giddens, he presented globalization as a way to spread modernity. The latter is an extension of the world capitalist economy. Then, we discover George Ritzer who introduce to us the idea of Americanization or what he call “McDonaldization theory”. In fact, Globalization is a new way to see or represent the spread of the Western culture over other cultures. Hence, it draw to the attention that the United State culture is at the center and other cultures are evolving around it. Next, Ulf Hannerz was neutral and a bit optimist on the idea of Globalization. For Hannerz, the flow if communication can not be running on one way; however, the center-periphery interaction between the western and traditional cultures goes in both direction which he calls the contra-flows. The periphery culture, might in fact, have a potential influence on the Western culture. Rafond Robertson inform us of the idea of Glocalisation. It is the global production of the local and the localisation of the global. For example, in Ramadan, we might have in morocco McDonald advertising campaign proposing meal options for Ramadan. McDonald, an international company, adapts to the local culture and propose offers related to the cultural event happened in the country where it is based on. Finally, Arjun Appadurai argues that cultural practices is at the heart of Globalization. Appadurai introduces five “scapes” to explain the following phenomena, which are: ethnoscapes, technoscapes, finanscapes, mediascapes, and ideoscapes. ethnoscape is the flow of people such emmigrant. Technoscape is the transfer of technology. finanscape is the flow of investment at a transnational level. mediascape is the flow of media. Idioscape is the transfer of culture. Cultures get to meet each other and their contradiction lead to the creation of a change.

In my opinion, there is no right or wrong to these opinions. People tend to be pessimist about globalization as it causes the western culture to dominate other cultures, others tend to be optimistic about it because it creates this exchange and mutual understand between culture practices. I personally agree to the five theories about the consequences of globalization and I believe that globalization could provide positive outcome as well as negative outcomes. However, it is unfortunate that the globalization has been based on the exchange between the western culture as a center and other cultures as periphery.

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