Intercultural communication now allows us to be connected to any part of the world in mere seconds. With global networks spanning from China to America, Australia to India, Paris to Korea, the world we know is truly becoming a smaller ‘global village’ of sorts as time goes on. This process of nations invisible barriers being broken down to nothingness and cultures becoming more so diversified is that of Globalisation.
Globalisation is an interaction and/or integration between individuals, companies or governments of different nations, having both positive and negative implications. It can be seen as the tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization and/or the loss of a cultural identity within a nation.
“Globalisation offers a sense of interconnectedness by facilitating interpersonal communication and the formation of communities and relationships across geographic, racial, religious and cultural barriers”(O’Shaughnessy & Stadler P 45)
However with the integration of cultures among nations, individuals have been able to experience identities of other countries within the comfort of their own. Where would your favourite Italian restaurant be without immigrants from Italy spreading their culture? How would you watch your favourite anime without the multitude of streaming services that the internet provides? Who would you buy your sick new high-top shoes that were manufactured in China from? The fact that we take these multitude of culturally and nationally depended goods, ideals and cultures in our daily lives speaks to how we take globalisation for granted in our modern society.
Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. – Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964
McLuhan’s view of this ‘Global Village’ conveys the ideology of a growing ethnoscape, as the ways in which we interact within this global village influences the people of nations. The virtual playground which individuals play on allow for freedom of speech among anyone who enters the village being an extremely utopian view of globalisation. The ability to share ideas, cultures, nationalities and information at an instant allowed for rapid globalisation to occur in the 1920s when the telegram was created. This instant and reliable mode of communication between countries allowed for the sharing of a plethora of ideas. It is true that this global village, a network which could be described as a global nervous system, influences society even today as the traditional barriers that would inhibit this kind of exchange are being broken down.
In the modern day, globalisation has affected society in the ways in which media is conveyed to communities. These cultural influences conveyed through media conveys the abundant and free exchange of these qualities of different nations. The following images are examples of how multiculturalism is consuming individuals.
Examples such as Beyoncé being dressed in this Bollywood style headdress (a sari) and costume for Coldplay’s music video. This example of cultural appropriation and globalisation polarised opinions around the world, some said it empowered women of Sri Lankan and African-American background, others were offended by the way in which she wore a traditional headdress.
The classic concept of Japanese Anime has been tweaked slightly in American television with the creation of the ‘anime’ Avatar: The Last Airbender which polarised the opinions of many. Is an American television show still classified as anime if it holds all the characteristics of an ‘anime’ however wasn’t created or produced in Japan. Another factor of globalisation which anime brings is the idea of dubbing an anime in a different language to what it was created in, such as English dubbing a Japanese anime and vice versa.
It is identifiable in this way that the lines between nations and cultures are becoming blurred as the world is infinitely becoming smaller through globalisation. Multicultural utopias can be created as these ideals are embraced positively, influencing the media which is consumed by individuals diversifying cultures, nations and ideas.
Therefore, as technological advancements increase our ability to communicate and the multicultural nature of globalisation influences the media, it enables individuals to understand the views and attitudes of our neighbours across the ditch.
O’Shaughnessy M & Stadler J, 2012, ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 458 – 471.
S, William (2000), Marshall McLuhan Predicts The Global Village, livinginternet, viewed 24th of August 2016, <http://www.livinginternet.com/i/ii_mcluhan.htm>
UK Essays (2013). Japanese Animation And Its Globalization, viewed 24 August 2016, <https://www.ukessays.com/essays/media/japanese-animation-and-its-globalization.php>