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Media History in a Global Age

Tonight's discussion about globalization generally, and the question of the media in a global age specifically, raised some of the best questions of the semester. Thanks to everyone who spoke tonight. I hope to hear from more of you in the comments section.

To re-hash questions from class: Do we live in an era of globalization? If so, what defines it as such? (Canny folks will note here how this definition--of living in a certain historical "age"--goes very much against what I said last week about envisioning the present not as part of long and deep historical eras, but rather as a shifting field of questions and problems. Perhaps someone wants to engage with my own gaps in logic.) Is globalization good or bad (or more complicated than simple good or bad discussions)? Is "globalization" simply a cover for US imperialism, as one student suggested, or is it something else? (and, if so, what?)

In short, this question opens up a plethora of crucial topics...


I would say that globalization is a interesting concept it can be good or bad it is just the way a person looks at it. Globalization homogenizes the world around us but at the same time it adds variety to the small world where we live. For example the many different restuarants such as Italian, Mexican, etc.. These idea of globalization globally is homogenizing it while locally it is adding variety

Yeahhh, I don't usually post on here usually do to lack of strong opinion on any of the subjects really discussed in class, and I felt if I had posted it would be just an empty response to get points, but I remember that discussion last period when the question was asked why Americans don't know much about what's going on around the world really bugged me. Most of the students, predictably, went with the stereotype answer which was to the tone of "American's don't care" or "Ignorance is bliss", as if to go hand the popular culture that American's are elitists. But I think that condemning the common American for not having a vast knowledge of worldly affairs is as dumb as expecting somebody in California to know the name of the governer in Rhode Island, just because most people in Rhode Island know the governer in California is Arnold Schwarzenneger (sp?)

I'll give a better example. Take a guy from America, a guy from Mexico, and a guy from France. The French and the Mexican probably know all about Bush, the Iraq war, 9/11, yada yada... but before you blast the American about not knowing the slightest thing about what news events are occurring in France or Mexico, ask the French and the Mexican what are going on in each others countries as well, they probably won't have the slightest clue. People follow events that are newsworthy, and that attain to themselves (or are of great magnitude, such as the Iraq war), so you should be careful before tossing a cookie cutter response to something that has more to do with correlation, not causation (Americans don't know of worldly affairs in addition to being pompous and arrogant, not because of).

I believe globalization has both pros and cons. The positives are that it spreads culture and promotes new options to different parts of the world be it food venues or products. The problem lies in when do you force globalization and assimilation. Before we know it every nation could look more and more like the next with the expansion of places such as Mcdonalds. Each nation should have its own unique things to offer and globalization can negatively force industry and technology on nations not ready to accept it. The question can come up with where is the line drawn on imperialism. Is the U.S. still trying to help Iraq or are we to the point where we are forcing them to become just like us? What is best for one nation is not always best for the next. These arguments need to be thought through with regards to globalization. I believe globalization is a postive if it constitutes helping improve conditions and commerce in other countries, but we must not cross the line to imperialism and force our political or religious systems and values on other countries.