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Lecture 5

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Communication Studies
Hayward T

LECTURE 5 Digitalization and Globalization Digitalization and Globalization: What’s the connection? - Discussions of contemporary media often link transformations in media technology to the changing experience of the world that media allow us to have - The classic formulation of this is part of what is called “medium theory” - Medium theory argues that each new media change: o The scale at which society is organized o The way in which individuals experience the world  McLuhan and Innis  Sometimes known as the Canadian School of Media Studies - Example: o The television:  Changes the experience we have of the world, the “global village” (McLuhan)  Changes our experience, by shaping what we are able to see  Changes how we see things  Slow motion has come about because of television and has drastically changed how we look at things differently o The general trend, up to our present moment, has been one of increasing scale - Contemporary digital media, in all of its forms ranging from the internet through to the digitalization of music (CDs, mp3s), television, and films (on DVDs) is often seen as essential to globalization: o Rapid, if not instant, movement of large amounts of information o Mobile o Versatile, allowing for multiple forms of content  Doesn’t matter what the content is, it can be integrated and broadcasted through one network - One way of visualizing the internet is looking at it as a universe on its own - Three concepts that help to understand globalization: o Media and Cultural Imperialism o Diaspora o Glocalization - Globalization and Media Theories, I: Cultural Imperialism - The thesis that economically dominant countries are able to shape the culture and politics of less powerful countries through cultural and media exports - Media is global, yet the content and the technology are owned by a handful of countries - More than half (58%) of creative goods exported come from developed economics (Japan, North America, and Europe) - Of the remainder (41%) almost half of the creative goods shipped from these countries originate in China (19%) - Less and 2% of creative goods originate in Africa. Although it has about 15% of the world’s population. 5% of the world’s population lives in the US, nearly 10
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