Globalisation is not an easy topic to define as it’s quite broad: Globalisation refers to the international community, and it’s collective influence on technological development, economies, political movements, media representation and military interests. It is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information. (Khorana, 2013) It is a process that is feared by some and embraced by many mainly because it is almost unavoidable, after all there’s no ignoring the two McDonald’s they’ve built in my hometown of 35 000 people. Every technological event we’ve had since the fifteenth and sixteenth century has led us towards global interrelatedness. Now (with many thanks to the instantaneity of the Internet) communication itself has been globalised and we’re able to interact with people, business’s, celebrities, government, media, experiences on a whole new level in real time. There are now many platforms that allow us to create communities and form relationships that transcend geographical location, race, religion and bring down cultural barriers – exchanging and communicating to create a world that is interconnected. Marshall McLuhan’s utopian term the ‘global village’ imagines a world where media transcends the nation-state in a democratising process that gives everyone’s voice a chance to be heard and enables information to be freely shared. Interactive media facilitates participation in global communication and debates and offers entry into public space. (Globalisation reading, 2013)
I wish we could live in a world with unicorns, rainbows and world peace too.
There is a much darker, more realistic side to globalisation, where the wealth that the global society is generating isn’t being equally distributed. Tied up in secret handshakes and big banks, the money that should be helping to create a egalitarian global society is only helping to further the gap between the world’s richest and poorest.
Manuel Castells paints more of a negative portrayal of what’s to come for human kind with his envisaging of a network society ‘while the media have become indeed globally interconnected and programs and messages circulate in the global network, we are not living a global village, but in customised cottages globally produced and locally distributed’
So where do we go from here? Time will tell. Does globalisation lead us down a path of cultural hybridisation and multiculturalism or do we walk the road of hegemony and loss of cultural identity?
I’ll leave you with this video, Google are a company who are one of the biggest benefactors of globalisation. An interesting thought for a planet that should be united by freedom of information and democratising process separate from the nation-state