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Study of global communication | Wikipedia audio article

Study of global communication | Wikipedia audio article

The study of global communication is a interdisciplinary
field focusing on global communication, or the ways that people connect, share, relate
and mobilize across geographic, political, economic, social and cultural divides. Global communication implies a transfer of
knowledge and ideas from centers of power to peripheries and the imposition of a new
intercultural hegemony by means of the “soft power” of global news and entertainment.==”International” Or “Global”==
With the end of the twentieth century and the turn of a new millennium, the global arena
and the field of international communication were undergoing significant changes. Some authors started to use the term global
communication because it goes beyond the bounds of individual states and emphasizes communication
between and among peoples across borders and, importantly, the rise of transnational media
corporations.International communication traditionally refers to communication between and among
nation-states and connotes issues of national sovereignty, control of national information
resources, and the supremacy of national governments. Nevertheless, earlier International communication
theories have failed to develop models or research agendas that match the reality of
the contemporary role of global communication. The old theories only explain part of the
global picture and the theories of modernization, dependency, and cultural imperialism have
failed to satisfactorily explain global communication.The term “global”, implies a declining role of
the state and state sovereignty. As a term, “international” has within it notions
of bilateral or multilateral decisions. “Global” could be seen as an aspiration, also
as a fear, of the weakening of the state. In addition, global may imply something more
pervasive, more geographically inclusive than international.==History==
The study of global communication increased dramatically after World War II due to military
considerations coupled with their economic and political implications. Earlier attempts at theorizing have failed
to develop models or research agendas that match the reality of the contemporary role
of global communication. More global communication research was written
in the decade from 1945–1955; most of the research of the 1950s dealt with propaganda
and the cold war. By 1970, global communication research had
grown to include a great variety of subjects, especially comparative mass communication
systems, communication and national development and propaganda and public opinion.From the
point of view of global communication scholars, previous theories of modernization, dependency,
and cultural imperialism have failed to satisfactorily explain global communication. The old theories only explain part of the
global picture.===Technological development===
The emergence of global communication technologies may be considered the origin of the field
of global communication in the nineteenth century. Numerous technical advances such as the creation
of a new major global communication phenomenon, convergence, digital environments and the
internet are some of the major engines driving the change from international communication
to global communication.===Global power shifts===
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the shadow of Cold War has lifted to reveal shifting
political, economic, and cultural alliances and conflicts. The increasing importance of these currents,
especially in the cultural sphere, demands a reconsideration of the nature of the international
communication field within the rubric of international relations.===News agencies and propaganda===
Three key players are usually recognized as the founders of the international news agencies. In 1835, Charles-Louis Havas created the world’s
first news agency; In 1849, Bernhard Wolff started publishing stock market news and daily
reports from Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt; In 1849, Paul Julius Freiherr von
Reuter established his own commercial service, the Reuter agency, and organized a worldwide
exchange of news in 1870. In 1859, Reuter, Havas and the German Wolff
agency reached an agreement to exchange news from all over the world, which was known as
the League of Allied Agencies, or the ” Ring Combination”. In 1848, American News Agency Associated Press
was founded and was formally admitted into the “Ring Combination” in 1887.There are some
major factors that point to the growing importance of global communication in the world of the
twenty-first century: world population explosionfrom geopolitics
to gaiapoliticsincreased cross-cultural communication changing concept of community
greater centralization of control information explosion
changes in technologies greater dependence on global communication
greater interdependence and democracy impact of communication on peace and war==Theoretical approaches and perspectives
Transcultural political economy===Transcultural Political Economy is a concept
that is presented in Global Communications by Paula Chakravartty and Yeuzhi Zhao. This concept looks at global communications
and media studies in three major areas: global flows of information and culture, decentralizing
the conceptual parameters of global information and media studies, and the normative debates
in global communications in the context of neoliberalism. Transcultural Political Economy is a multidisciplinary
study that focuses on the tensions between political economy and cultural studies. It “integrate[s] institutional and cultural
analyzes and address urgent questions in global communications in the context of economic
integration, empire formation, and the tensions associated with adapting new privatized technologies,
neoliberalized and globalized institutional structures, and hybrid cultural forms and
practices”. Transcultural Political Economy addresses
the issues surrounding the practice of neoliberalism and its creation of unequal power structures
within the world system.===Globalization theory===Globalization theory was popularized in the
1990s as a model for understanding global communication. The concept of globalization inspired a number
of theories from various schools of thought in communication studies that each emphasize
different aspects of globalization. Many globalization theories highlight actors
in the business sector as leaders in the processes of global integration. Transnationalizing business is often celebrated
as progression toward a more interconnected world. Globalization theories are often associated
with theories of modernity. Some scholars view globalization as the social,
political, economic, and cultural integration of societies into a capitalist system; Others
see globalization as a successor to modernity, while some see it as an iteration of imperialism. Some question the usefulness and legitimacy
of globalization theory, arguing that it does not adequately conceptualize current international
relations or function as a lens through which to examine everyday events. Many scholars criticize globalization theories
as overzealous toward and unrealistic about the extent of global integration. Some scholars criticize social theorists for
offering opinions and predictions based on theory with little practical evidence. In contrast, some scholars work to dispute
the pessimistic views of globalization theory.===World systems theory===
World-system theory is a macro-sociological perspective that seeks to explain the dynamics
of the “capitalist world economy” as a “total social system”. A world-system is what Wallerstein terms a
“world-economy”, integrated through the market rather than a political centre, in which two
or more regions are interdependent with respect to necessities like food, fuel, and two or
more polities compete for domination without the emergence of one single centre forever. World-system theory was first articulated
by Immanuel Wallerstein. There are three major sources of the world-system
theory which conceived by Wallerstein: the Annales school’s general methodology, Marx’s
focus on accumulation process and competitive class struggles and so on, and dependence
theory’s neo-Marxist explanation of development processes.Referring to the transnational division
of labor, world-system divides the world into core countries, peripheral countries, semi-peripheral
countries and external areas. The core countries usually developed a strong
central governments, extensive bureaucracies and large mercenary armies, which permit the
local bourgeoisie to obtain control over international commerce and extract capital surpluses from
the trade for benefits. The peripheral countries often lack strong
central governments or been controlled by core countries, they export raw materials
and rely on coercive labor practices. Semi-peripheries which served as buffers between
the core and the peripheries. They retain limited but declining access to
international banking and the production of high-cost high-quality manufactured goods.[3]
External areas such as Russia maintain their own economic systems, they want to remain
outside the modern world economy.===Modernisation theory===
The theory of modernization was developed by Daniel Lerner (1958) in the “Passing of
traditional society.” Lerner’s description of “modernised” is an
individual having the ability to be empathetic and being able to see oneself in another person’s
situation. This concept has come from the transition
of traditional societies to modern societies, where modern societies is distinctively industrial,
urban, literate, and participant. This theory looks at development in a linear
fashion, concluding that nations need to develop into a modern society to make it a sustainable
and flourishing nation. Developing modernized societies include technological
advancement, and developing media sectors to help create a participatory culture.===Post-colonialism===
See also: Post-structuralism, imperialism, modernity,
Post-colonialism is a theoretical approach to looking at literature that examines the
colonizer-colonized experience. It deals with the adaptation of formerly colonized
nations and their development in cultural, political, economical aspects. Some Notable theoreticians include: Frantz
Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, R Siva Kumar, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Derek Gregory.===Cultural imperialism===
Cultural imperialism is a mighty civilization exerts culture influence over another. Less economically prominent cultures often
import culture from Western countries, which have the economic means to produce a majority
of the world’s cultural media, mostly via the global transmission of media. The weak civilization adopts the mighty civilization’s
customs, philosophies, worldviews and general ways of life. The theoretical foundations of the academic
study of cultural imperialism mostly come from Michel Foucault’s concept of biopower,
governmentality and Edward Saïd’s concept of Post-colonialism, which theories see cultural
imperialism as the cultural legacy of colonialism or forms of Western hegemony. Media effect study which integrated with political-economy
traditional is the core argument of cultural imperialism. There are two opposite effects of media study. The negative one is that Western media imposes
socio-political conflicts to the developing country and the latter one’s resistance to
the media effects to preserve their traditional cultural identities. The positive effects are the issues of the
process of civilization such as women’s right or racial equality with exposing to Western
media. Now the term of cultural imperialism usually
refers to America’s global culture expansion to the rest of world, which include brand
name products, video media, fast food and so on.===Communication for development (C4D)===
Communication for Development (C4D) is a praxis oriented aspect
of global communication studies that approaches global development with a focus on action
and participation for social change enacted through communication systems. C4D underlines “voice, citizenship and collective
action” as central values that promote citizen-led development where the visiting party provides
guidance rather than direction within the host community. C4D often incorporates bottom-up theories
of social change with the aim to create sustainable change which is believed to be more likely
to occur if the efforts are planned, implemented, and sustained by community members themselves. Some development workers and academics suggest
that a shared definition of communication for development should be clarified, because
disagreement within the field can detract from the characteristics that most scholars
view as central to current development, including participatory action research (PAR). Many C4D projects revolve around media systems
as a central site for social change, which differentiates C4D from other approaches to
development. Theories behind C4D highlight that development
projects should be contextually situated and that communication technology will affect
different types of social change accordingly.===Global media studies===
Global media studies is a field of media study in a global scope. Media study deals with the content, history
and effects of media. Media study often draws on theories and methods
from the disciplines of cultural studies, rhetoric, philosophy, communication studies,
feminist theory, political economy and sociology. Among these study approaches, political economic
analysis is non-ignorable in understanding the current media and communication developments. But the political economic research has become
more resilient because of stronger empirical studies, and the potential connections to
policy-making and alternative praxis.Each country has its own distinct media ecosystem. The media of mainland China is state-run,
so the political subjects are under the strict regulations set by the government while other
areas such as sports, finance, and increasingly lucrative entertainment industry face less
regulation from government. Canada has a well-developed media sector,
but the mass media is threatened by the direct outcome of American economic and cultural
imperialism which hinder the form of Canada’s media identity. Many of the media in America are controlled
by large for-profit corporations who reap revenues from advertisings, subscriptions
and the sale of copyrighted materials. Currently, six corporations (Comcast, The
Walt Disney Company, News Corporation, Time Warner, Viacom and CBS Corporation) have controlled
roughly 90% of the America media. Such successes come from the policies of the
federal government or the tendency to natural monopolies in the industry.==Central debates=====
Global power shifts===Immanuel Wallerstein’s world system theory
develops a basic framework to understand global power shifts in the rise of the modern world. Wallerstein proposes four different categories:
core, semi-periphery, periphery, and external, in terms of different region’s relative position
in the world system. The core regions are the ones that benefited
the most from the capitalist world economy, such as England and France. The peripheral areas relied on and exported
raw materials to the core, such as Eastern Europe and Latin America. The semi-peripheries are either core regions
in decline or peripheries attempting to improve their relative position in the world system,
such as Portugal and Spain. The external areas managed to remain outside
the modern world economy, such as Russia.There are two basic types of global power shifts
in the 21st century. One is traditional power transition amongst
states, which follows Wallerstein’s world system theory. For instance, the global power shifts from
the West to the East since the rise of Asia. The other is power diffusion, the way that
power move from states to non-states actors. For instance, “climate change, drug trade,
financial flows, pandemics, all these things that cross borders outsider the control of
Global public sphere===Public sphere theory, attributed to Jurgen
Habermas, is a theory that in its basic premise conceives of democratic governments as those
that can stand criticism that comes from public spheres. Public spheres are places, physical or imagined,
where people discuss any kind of topic, particularly topics of a societal or political nature. Global public sphere is, therefore, a public
that is made of people from across the globe, who come together to discuss and act on issues
that concern them. The concept of global public sphere is linked
to the shift of public sphere, from restricted to nation-state, to made of individuals and
groups connected across as well as within borders.Since Plato, it can be argued that
philosophers have been thinking about versions of a common space for all people to debate
in; however, a global public sphere that can fit the description above began to appear
much later. In the second half of the 20th century, the
legacy of World War II and technological advancements created a new sense of the global and started
the economic and political phenomena that we now call globalization. This includes the expansion of humankind into
space, which gave individuals the sense of a global unity, the growth of satellite technology,
which allowed for people across the globe to view the same television channels, and
the internet, which can provide access to an unprecedented amount of information and
spaces to connect with other people.===Cultural industries===
The term “culture industry” appeared in the post-war period. At that time, culture and industry were argued
to be opposites. Cultural industries” are also referred to
as the “Creative industries.====Definitions and scope of cultural industries
====In the present day, there remain different
interpretations of culture as an industry. For some, cultural industries are simply those
industries that produce cultural goods and services.In the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the cultural industries are regarded as those
industries that “combine the creation, production and commercialization of contents which are
intangible and cultural in nature. These contents are typically protected by
copyright and they can take the form of goods or services”. According to UNESCO, an essential part of
cultural industries is that they are “central in promoting and maintaining cultural diversity
and in ensuring democratic access to culture”. “Cultural industries” combines the cultural
and economic, which gives the cultural industries a distinctive profile.In France, the “cultural
industries” have recently been defined as a set of economic activities that combine
the functions of conception, creation and production of culture with more industrial
functions in the large-scale manufacture and commercialization cultural products.In Canada,
economic activities involved in the preservation of heritage are also included in the definition
of culture.====Global cultural industries====
Since the rise of the cultural industries has occurred simultaneously with economic
globalization, cultural industries have close connections with globalization and global
communication. Herbert Schiller argued that the ‘entertainment,
communications and information (ECI) complex were having a direct impact on culture and
human consciousness. As Schiller argued, the result of transnational
corporate expansion is the perpetuation of cultural imperialism, defined as “the sum
of the processes by which a society is brought into the modern world system and how its dominating
stratum is attracted, pressured, forced, and sometimes bribed into shaping social institutions
to correspond to, or even promote, the values and structures of the dominating centre of
the system”.The second wave of transnational corporate expansion, which began in the 1970s
with the emergence of Export Processing Zones in developing countries, is focused on the
development of global production networks. This process was described as a “new international
division of labour” (NIDL) by the German political economists Frӧbel et al. (1980). Ernst and Kim have argued that GPNs are changing
the nature of the multinational corporation itself, from “stand alone overseas investment
projects, to “global network flagships” that integrate their dispersed supply, knowledge
and customer bases into global and regional production networks”, entailing a shift from
top-down hierarchical models of corporate control to increasingly networked and collective
forms of organization.====Global media empires====
The largest firms in media and media-related industries have a very high international
profile. Global media empires such as Disney, News
Corporation, Time-Warner and Viacom-CBS now derive 25-45 per cent of their revenues outside
of the United States.It is often argued that the global media are dominated by a small
number of powerful media conglomerates. Herman and McChesney (1997) argued that the
global media were “dominated by three or four dozen large transnational corporations (TNCs)
with fewer than ten mostly US-based media conglomerates towering over the global market.” Similarly, Manfred Steger has observed that
” to a very large extent, the global cultural flows of our time are generated and directed
by global media empires that rely on powerful communication technologies to spread their
message.” He also argued that during the last two decades,
a few very large TNCs would come to dominate the global market for entertainment, news,
television, and film.===Diaspora===
Diaspora is often confused with exodus. Diasporas are minority groups that have a
sense of connection with a larger community outside of the borders they currently inhabit,
and through diasporic media create a sense of a larger identity and community, whether
imagined or real. In scholarly work about diaspora in communication
studies, the view of nation and culture as interchangeable terms is no longer prevalent. Stuart Hall theorized of hybridity, which
he distinguished from “old style pluralism”, “nomadic voyaging of the postmodern”, and
“global homogenization”. Hybridity is the retention of an original
identity and strong ties to an original country and tradition, but with the understanding
that there is no unchanged, ideal nation of the past that they can return to. To be hybrid is to also adapt to a new culture
and tradition without simply assimilating in it, but rather negotiating a place between
the “original” and “new” cultures. In Communication studies, diaspora is discussed
as the identity that unifies people across time and space, sometimes existing in physical
spaces and other times existing in imagined ‘non-spaces’. However, it has been argued that the concept
of ‘diaspora’ implies ethnic homogeneity and essentializes identity to only ethnicity. One of the most cited and well-known works
in the field of diasporic media is Hamid Naficy’s work on exiled Iranian Americans’ creation
of cable television in the United States.Diasporic media refer to media that address the needs
of particular ethnic, religious, and/or linguistic groups that live in multicultural settings
. Diasporic media can be in the diaspora’s traditional language or in another language,
and they can include news or media from the “origin” country or they can contain the diaspora’s
local news or media. Diasporic media can be created in radio, television,
film, music, in newspapers, magazines, and other publishing, as well as online. It can be argued that the development and
spread of satellite television is an instrumental element of the growth of diasporic media today. Satellite television allowed migrants to access
the news and popular culture from their homeland, as well as allowing people who speak the same
language to access the same channels that might be produced outside of the “homeland”Contemporary
studies of diaspora show that diasporic media are part of the change in the tendency Immanuel
Wallerstein described in his world systems theory. The world systems theory postulates that much
of the flow of people in the world has been from the ‘periphery’, or economically-developing
states, towards the centre; which are often metropolitan, economically-wealthy states
that grew their wealth in colonialist entrepreneurship. However, contrary to the movement of people,
the flow of information (including media products), has tended to be from the centre to the periphery.===Technology and media===
The advancement of media and technology have played the pivotal role in process of globalization
and global communication. Cable television, ISDN, digitalization, direct
broadcast satellites as well as the Internet have created a situation where vast amounts
of information can be transferred around the globe in a matter of seconds.During the early
20th century, telegraph, telephony, and radio started the process of global communication. As media technologies developed intensely,
they were thought to create, in Marshall McLuhan’ s famous words, a ‘‘global village.’’ The launch of Sputnik, the world’ s first
artificial satellite, on October 4, 1957, marked the beginning of technologies that
would further interconnect the world. The first live global television broadcast
occurred when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon in July 1969. In November 1972, pay TV caused expansion
of cable when Service Electric offered Home Box Office over its cable system. By 2000, over direct broadcast satellite,
a household could receive channels from all over the world. Now with the World Wide Web, smart phones,
tablet devices, smart televisions and other digital media devices, billions of people
are now able to access media content that was once tied to particular communications
media (print, broadcast) or platforms (newspapers, magazines, radio, television, cinema).===Justice===
Justice in communication studies includes, but is not limited to, the concern with democratic
process and fostering democratic publics . Jurgen Habermas theorized of public sphere (in The
Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere) as the space that is created whenever matters
of common concern are discussed between the state and civil society. Thus, public sphere includes not only the
media, but also public protest in the form of marches, demonstrations, et cetera. There are, however, critiques of political
economy in whose view it is impossible to work within the current system to produce
democratic publics. Such a critique is that produced by Karl Marx,
who saw institutions such as parliament, the state, the ‘acceptable’ public sphere, economic
enterprises, and so on as structurally produced and perpetuated by a capitalist system, and
thus they can not be mobilized to change it. In such a system, there can only be illusory
justice, which is fair only within the logic of the system. This illusion of justice is produced through
dominating ideology.Another issue of justice in communication studies is the question of
decolonizing research methods and theoretical discourse . The idea of decolonizing research
comes from a rejection of the functionalist approach, which assumed that research can
be conducted in a vacuum, free of ideology or the researcher’s biases. This approach assumed cultures to be unchanging,
homogenous, and isolated from each other. The purpose of decolonizing research and discourse
is to ‘uncloak’ research as an unbiased power structure, and produce research that is more
self-aware. The approach in decolonizing research methods
attempts to create methodologies that treat the people in the study as participants or
partners, rather than subjects – which is a term that in itself carries strong connotations
of colonialism. Decolonizing research also involves moving
away from Eurocentric models that are assumed to work anywhere else, and instead to create
work that is more useful in local contexts. Decolonial approaches specifically seek to
produce knowledge about the mechanisms and effects of colonialism. These approaches allow former subjects to
‘talk back’, which is a reflection of independent agency, on the colonizer’s own terms of research,
rather than to be ‘given’ a voice, which is an unequal power structure

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