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GS101 Week 9, Lecture 1.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Global Studies
Timothy Clark

Global Studies Week 9, Lecture 1 (week 8 lecture 2—cancelled) What is Culture? The cultural: the symbolic construction, articulation, and dissemination of meaning (Steger, 71). What kinds of things give meaning to your life?  Meaning and identity: the reciprocal functions of sharing and not-sharing cultural norms:  How is Culture constructed What is the ‘Globalization of Culture?  Culture and globalization: “Cultural globalization refers to the intensification and expansion of cultural flows across the globe” (Steger, 71) How does culture flow?: o Migration o Tourism o Education o Cuisine o Art o Media (television, film, internet) Thesis 1: Cultural Homogenization  Optimistic Hyper globalizers: Fukuyama and the End of History they think this is a good thing, that the world is moving to a world with better values than today o Two Basic Drivers of Human History  Desire for well-being, and technological means to satisfy  Technological advance necessarily adopted broadly and transforms economic organization towards capitalism  Desire for Recognition (Draws from Hegel) all humans have desire to be recognized by other humans as equal  Master-Slave Dialectic (human societies have been divided by those who rule the people and those who do work, but this struggle for equal has thrown away this dialectic) o French Revolution: self-mastery of the slaves (popular sovereignty) and rule and law/individual rights Fukuyama and the end of History  History as the “coherent and directional transformation of human societies”  Triumph of economic and political liberalism marks the end of history (of ideological conflict), because “we cannot picture to ourselves a world that is essentially different from the present one, and at the same time better.”  Does not say this is end of conflict, there are no other alternatives to liberalism democratic  Pessimistic Hyper globalizers o Americanization/ McDonaldization  American capital flows, embodied in transnational corporations (coke, Disney, McDonalds, Nike etc.) form the conduits for a cultural colonization of the globe: the commodity is in the culture and the culture is in the commodity (they are selling a way of life, a way you think of yourself and a status) Role of Communications Industry  From Competition to Monopoly o In 2006, 8 TNCs (Yahoo, Google, Warner, AOL/Time, Microsoft, Viacom, General Electric, Disney, New Corporation) controlled over 2/3 of the revenues generated by the communications industry  Advertising: Manufacturing demand via identity formation o 3 of every 4 women in the U.S. between 25 and 45 have an eating disorder; annual cosmetic surgeries in the US have risen from 7 million in 2000 to an estimated 55 million by 2015 and 90% of patients are female Modes of resisitance: Culture Jamming  People use forms of western media to create critical messages Thesis 2: Cultural Hybridization  Term taken from botany: crossing of two distantly related strains to produce a new plant with novel properties produced by the genetic mixing  Roland Robertson: “ alization”  how iconic global symbols are taken and adapted by each local culture (i.e. McDonalds in France, Italy, Canada, Costa Rica)  McDonalds at home: transformed or transforming Hybridization from the Bottom Up  The case of Otavalo, Ecuador Transforming Indigenity  Quechua culture in Otavalo has not been erased but it has certainly been transformed: o Culture as resource: tourism, artisan production, global trade in “authentic” ethnic weavi
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