Thursday, 26 July 2012

Week Three: Dominant Media and Oliogopoly

Steven (2003) has a problem with how the term 'mass media' is used, and how it fails to define the media's ability to control and shape society's direction. Steven goes on to explain that 'dominant media' is a better term and describes how the United States model is commercialised. Many other countries have adapted this model as it appears to work effectively.

Steven also refers to the word 'dominant' to mean a 'global arena' of media on the globe (p.40). It's hard not to think about The Hunger Games at this point (and I know there'll be some scoffing at this) but all these individuals fighting for the most ownership and control over more media outlets (Rupert Murdoch comes to mind as well). The amount of differing owners of these outlets shrink as fewer companies can control more outlets and therefore wield more control in shaping the direction of society. Steven refers to this (groups of corporations as opposed to one individual) as oliogopoly.

Picture 1.1: Fighting - for survival or power?
Picture 1.2: Careers or corporate giants?
Considering it is well known that author of The Hunger Games series Suzanne Collins was inspired by reality television and the current war climate, the loom of terrorism currently hanging above our heads. There can be no doubt that the fictional, dystopian world of Panem with its bread and circuses (panem et circenses) can be interpreted as a fear of our current path. I say this with full awareness that every text is subjective.


Even the phrase panem et circenses, or bread and circuses, can be interpreted as our current awareness of the poverty. Do we need games and technology to distract us from our conscience? Alice Schroder discusses the history of the phrase in this article and its use in Roman history.


Is this what we are heading for?

Sources:

Steven, P 2003, The no-nonsense guide to the global mediaNew Internationalist, Oxford, pp. 37–59.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Week Two: a 'global village'?


Source: Click here
"Globalization is a process in which worldwide economic, political, cultural and social relations have become increasingly mediated across time and space."
-Rantanen (2005: 8)

There's no denying that there's the gap. This gap is one I'm sure we're all aware of, one of poverty and 'underdeveloped' countries.


However, because of the severity and confronting nature of the issue, we learn and are taught to put it (the problem) "over there". Separate it from ourselves, as individuals, as groups, as societies, and put it away, where we can't see it. Put it over there. It's we and them. Because we are on the more fortunate side.It's still in the back of our mind, though.


There's no equal opportunity at the moment, as much as I hate to admit it. It's every country for themselves. Even in the early days of war, there were 'allied' countries - some alliances still exist from those times - but we're all still  very mistrustful of each other. By 'equal opportunity', I mean in technology. The type of technology we have; smart phones, MP3 players, you name it, isn't dominant over their - their main priority is to survive. Whereas our own survival in the 'more developed' countries is assured.


Even so, places like China are strictly governed by what information they can legally access. Of course we can talk to people - but to places like Europe and North America. If people in Africa or China had this freedom, what do you think they would say?


Rantanen's definition acknowledges economic relations, but are they on the same footing?

Sources:
Rantanen, T 2005, The media and globalization, Sage, London, pp.1-18
Picture found at URL http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/global-village.jpg, last accessed 19/7/2012

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Introduction

Hey there, I'm Michelle. Studying Media and Communication at Deakin. Decided to study it to learn more about the industry; everything about it fascinates me and I want to find my little niche and expand it.

I additionally waitress part-time and have done so for about a year. It's an interesting new perspective and hopefully it hasn't ruined me!

My less formal, more personal blog is My life just happens to contain crazy catastrophes, on which I discuss weird life stories that occur to me every now and then, if you so happen to be interested beyond the Globalisation and the Media unit.

Hence the blog name, Crazy Academic Waitress.

I also went to Thailand last April for two weeks and loved it; I'd never been overseas before then and the culture shock was amazing. Looking to travel some more. In the meantime, I hope to apply a couple of my experiences overseas when discussing aspects of the unit.

Thanks!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Week One: My basic understanding of globalisation.

Taken by yours truly in Thailand - April, 2012
From my understanding of globalisation, in very basic terms, is there are many factors to consider if we were all to become one society, one planet, a uniformity. To become a uniformity would require a major paradigm shift for every individual involved - millions of people! - to think in the one mind set, as Pieterse (2004, p. 7) immediately points out in his discussion.

Which is impossible to me, because all people are subjective in their thinking.

And I acknowledge that the above statement I have made is entirely contradictory of itself, but that is my point precisely. I say this with the knowledge and view that each and every opinion, even on the same topic, is different. To become a uniformity would mean denying culture and language, and that's not something that people will willingly give up. There's the potential for more war right there. I'm imagining reactions from the United States of America if the dominant language were to suddenly become Swedish or Chinese. The bridge between "Western" and "Eastern" worlds has to be resolved.

Even if uniformity were possible, there are differing interpretations of the word uniformity. I'll use an example from a first year class debate - fast food (McDonald's). In each and every culture, countries generally have the same food McDonald's, but there's usually a cultural spin depending on the country. Australia are quite used to asking for sweet and sour sauce or tomato sauce with their food at . But France offers mayonnaise, Turkey offers onion rings, and quite a few European countries offer alcohol at McDonald's.

I myself was in Thailand for two weeks last April and found that KFC over there was a little more spiced - the locals would consider that mild.

Have any other experiences with fast food overseas? I'd love to hear!

Source: Nederveen Pieterse, J 2004, ‘Globalization: consensus and controversies’, 
Globalization and culture: global m√©lange, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., pp. 7–21.