Globalisation is characterised by O’Shaughnessy & Stadler as the “instantaneity, interconnectedness, interdependence and a trend towards corporate mergers and conglomeration”. All words to describe a world connected through economic and political ties, yet my Google Chrome browser recognises none of those terms.
Globalisation is a highly debated term. Many would assume its origin began with the exponential use of the internet and other communication technology and therefore as recent as the past few decades. If this were true, Globalisation could be argued as the instantaneity of the globe, applied through SMS, social media or other instant means of communication.
However, signs of globalisation are identified, as O’Shaughnessy & Stadler state, through the “introduction of newspapers, the telegraph and cable systems”, but also through the dependency of economic and political relations such as the WTO, media outlets, G20, Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations. This as such demonstrates the interconnectedness and interdependence of global communication. As Appadurai claims, “The world we live in now seems rhizomic even schizophrenic, calling for theories of rootlessness, alienation and psychological distance between individuals and groups on the one hand and fantasies (or nightmares) of electronic propinquity on the other”.
Nevertheless some dispute the idea of Globalisation as a commercial concept, such as Todd Gitlin, claiming that “If there is a global village, it speaks American”. This is depicted through the idea of Americanisation, where various and traditional cultures may homogenise into one, singular and arguably American-dominated culture. This is easily understood as, for example, McDonald’s operates in 119 countries on 6 continents.
This, however is argued by Appadurai as “…Indonesianization may be more worrisome than Americanization, as Japanization may be for Koreans, Indianization for Sri Lankans”.
Globalisation is a phenomena that humans have not experienced on such a level before. It is evident that global politics and economics are interdependent, instantaneous and interconnected – whether that is demonstrated through the two World Wars in the last century to the Global Financial Crisis of the current century, or the conflict between cultural homogenisation and heterogenisation. Globalisation is a concept continually growing and expanding.
O’Shaughnessy & Stadler; Media and Society (Fifth Edition); Oxford University Press: Melbourne, 2012
Appadurai; Modernity at Large: Culture Dimensions of Globalization; University of Minnesota Press
McDonald’s Graph – http://www.bme.eu.com/media/media-news/infographics/macdonalds.png