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OUGD501 - Lecture 6 - Globalisation, Sustainability & The Media



The process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and function together. This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces.


The elimination of state-enforced restriction on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex gobal system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result.

Both of these systems see globalisation as a positive thing but with separate ends.

‘Covering a wide range of distinct political, economic, and cultural trends, the term “globalisation” has quickly become one of the most fashionable buzzwords of contemporary political and academic debate. In popular discourse, globalisation often functions as little more than a synonym for one or more significant phenomena.'

George Ritzer coined the term “McDonaldisation” which describes the wide ranging sociocultural processes by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world.’

Another similar term “McJob” refers to a job that no one really wants to do but there are those who must have the job.

Marshall McLuhan:

'Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned’ (1964:p.3).

Rapidity of Communication echoes the senses. We can experience instantly the effete of our actions on a global scale.

Global Vilage Thesis:

"As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village. Electric speed at bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion has heightened human awareness of responsibility to an intense degree” (1964: p.5)

Centripetal forces:

Bringing the world together in uniform global society.

Centrifugal forces:

Tearing the world apart in tribal wars.

The problems of Globalisation:

Sovereignty: Challenges to the idea of the nation-state.

Accountability: Transnational forces & organisations: Who controls them?

Identity: Who are we? Nation, group, community.

Cultural Imperialism:

If the global villa is run with a certain set of values then it would not be so much an integrated community as an assimilated one.

Key Thinkers: Schiller and Chomsky.

Rigging the ‘Free Market’.

Media conglomerates operate as oligopolies.

Time Warner pretty much controls the vast percentage of the world’s media.

News corporations divide world into ‘territories’ of descending ‘market importance’.

1 North America
2 Western Europe, Japan & Australia.
3 Developing economies and regional producers (India, China, Brazil, Eastern Europe).
4. The rest of the world.

US Media power can be thought of as a new form of imperialism.

Local cultures destroyed in this process and new forms of cultural dependency shapes, mirroring old school colonialism.

Schiller - dominance of US driven commercial media forces US model of broadcasting onto the rest of the world but also inoculates US style consumerism in societies that can not afford it.

An example would be the biggest growth in India is skin whitening. This has happened because of the dominance on american culture enforced onto their culture which has turned around to make them see “American beauty” as better than their own.

As a process, it is incredibly difficult to challenge or change.

Chomsky & Herman (1998) Propganda Model - 5 basic filters.

  • Ownership.
  • Funding.
  • Sourcing.
  • Flak.
  • Anti Communist Ideology.


Ruper Murdoch, selected media interests.
  • News of The World.
  • The Sun.
  • The Sunday Times.
  • The Times.
  • NY Post.
  • BSkyB
  • Fox TV.

The things that are published and reported, are the things that the hierarchies will allow to be.


If the business who is funding the media doesn’t like what is being said, they will withdraw their funding.


The GCC - Global Climate Coalition.

Comprising fossil fuel and automobile companies such as Exxon, Texaco an Ford. The GCC was started up by Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest public relations companies, to rubbish the credibility of climate scientists and ‘scare stories’ about global warming.

Flak is characterised by concerted and international efforts to manage public information.

An Inconvenient Truth -  Film. Dir. Davis Guggenheim.

  • Release less CO2.
  • Plant more vegetation.
  • Try to be CO2 Neutral.
  • Recycle.
  • Buy a hybrid vehicle.
  • Encourage everyone you know to watch this film.

The development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

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