AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES
6 Contra flow in Global Media
Lecture by Dr. Mohammed Ibahrine
based on Thussu’s International Communication
Structure of the Lecture
•
•
•
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1. Seeing the big world on a small screen
2. Global culture’s discontents
3. Global counter flow of television
3.1 Cultures of Diaspora
 3.1.1 Case: Middle East Broadcasting Centre
 3.1.2 Case: Phoenix Chinese Channel
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2
Structure of the Lecture
•
3. Media exports from the South to the North
 3.1 Case 1:
TV Globo
 3.2 Case 2:
The other Hollywood: the Indian
film industry
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1. Seeing the big world on a small screen
•
Television has come to dominate the media scene
in virtually every part of the world
•
Icons of global television such as CNN and MTV
have become ubiquitous
•
Global television has helped promote American
consumerist culture
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1. Seeing the big world on a small screen
 Governments
 Transnational corporations
 Terrorists
•
have harnessed the power of television to put
across their case
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1. Seeing the big world on a smell screen
•
The globalization of such a powerful visual medium
has tended to increase Western cultural influence
but other models exist
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1. Seeing the big world on a small screen
•
US-led media conglomerates have used an array of
strategies, including
•
Regionalization
•
localization of their content to extend their reach
beyond the elites in the world and to create the
global popular
•
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1. Seeing the big world on a small screen
•
Global television has created a new phenomenon
of “media events” the live broadcasting to historic
events around the world



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Olympic Games
The Gulf War
Natural or human disasters
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1. Seeing the big world on a smell screen
•
Western-inspired television has benefits
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
It has contributed to the creation of jobs in media and
cultural industries

It has contributed to strengthening liberal democracy

It has improved media quality products (professional
journalism, Mohammad Ayish, 2000)
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1. Seeing the big world on a smell screen
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The expansion of Western publishing houses in
the global South has some positive impacts:
 Mexican writer become popular in the USA,
with many more being translated into
English
 Can this lead to what a Mexican scholar
called “Latinization of the United States”
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“Latinization of the United States”
•
Can this lead to what a Mexican scholar called
“Latinization of the United States”
•
Huntington, S. (2004). Who Are We?: The
Challenges to America's National Identity.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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2. Global Culture Discontent
•
The expansion of Western cultural presence in he
developing world has negative impacts:
•
In the Islamic world: Iran “Westoxination” is the
adoption and flaunting of superficial consumerist
attributes of fads and commodities, originating in
the USA
•
Iran banned Western television on the grounds
that it was culturally inappropriate in an Islamic
nation
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2. Global Culture Discontent
•
Why has Western liberalism its most robust
resistance in the Islamic world
 Political discourses (ideologies,
Weltanschaungen)
 Anti-Western
 Islamo-phobia
 Symbolism of interactions with Western
cultural artifacts
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JIHAD VS. McWORLD
•
“Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two
possible political futures -- both bleak, neither
democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths
of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened
Lebanonization of national states in which culture is
pitted against culture, people against people, tribe
against tribe -- a Jihad in the name of a hundred
narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of
interdependence, every kind of artificial social
cooperation and civic mutuality. McWorld tied together
by technology, ecology, communications, and
commerce” (http://www.benjaminrbarber.com/)
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2. Global Culture Discontent
•
In the McWorld, culture is being commodified to the extent
that it impacts on religious sensibilities of various communities
•
American individualism, mediated primarily through television,
is seen as undermining traditional values
•
As a reaction to perceived Westernisation of their cultures
•
As a reaction to the alleged misrepresentation of non-Western
cultures in the global media
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2. Global Culture Discontent
•
The result is a cultural revival
•
The world is experiencing the “revenge of the sacred”
•
The cultural revival is reflected in the use and production of
media content
 India: The Hindu epic Ramayan 1998
 China: Beijing opera 1998
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2. Global Culture Discontent
•
Although Western domination (television forms and
formats) of the global media and communication
remains overwhelming, the cultural interactions
between Western media products and non-Western
societies are deeply complex
•
People prefer entertainment in their own language,
catering to their cultural priorities
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2. Global Culture Discontent
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 Obvious unfamiliarity
 Limited and often distorted understanding of
 History
 Traditions
 Languages
 Cultures
of many developing countries leads to such
undifferentiated view of the “majority world”
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3. Global Counterflow of television
•
A more nuanced understanding of the complex
process of international cultural flow will show that
the traffic is not just one way
 From South to North
•
Southern media organizations are becoming visible
across the globe and
•
Feeding into the emergent “diasporic public sphere”
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Discourses of Globalization
•
Arjun Appadurai specifies five “spaces”:
–
–
–
–
–
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Ethnospacess
Technospaces
Finanspaces
Mediaspaces
Ideospaces
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Discourses of Globalization
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Ethnospacess:
denotes the flow of people
– Tourists
– Immigrants
– Refuges
– Students
– Professionals
From one part to another
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Discourses of Globalization
•
Arjun Appadurai specifies five “spaces”:
–
–
–
–
–
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Ethnospacess
Technospaces
Finanspaces
Mediaspaces
Ideospaces
22
Discourses of Globalization
•
Ethnospacess:
denotes the flow of people
– Tourists,
– Immigrants
– Refuges
– Students
– Professional
From one part to another
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Discourses of Globalization
•
•
Technospaces:
includes the transfer of technology across national
borders
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Discourses of Globalization
•
Finanspaces:
•
deals with international flow of investment
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Discourses of Globalization
•
•
Mediaspaces:
refers to global media, especially its electronic
version both its hardware and the images that it
produces
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Discourses of Globalization
•
Ideospaces: suggests ideological contours of
culture
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3.1 Cultures of Diasporas
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The Southern presence in the metropolitan
centers of the world has caused the “loss of the
natural relation of culture to geographical and
social territories”
 Diasporas are living “between cultures”/dual
identity
 Identity of imagery “homeland” # identity of
host country
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3.1 Cultures of Diasporas
•
= Cultural hybridity ->
•
The cultural mixing can lead to a hybridization of
cultures (Martin Barbero)
•
Think of the “diasporic public sphere” and the role
of international communication (read handout,
Arab communities in Europe)
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Discussion
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Counter flow of cultural products in no way show
that the Western media domination has diminished


Their output is relatively small
Restricted to the diasporas communities
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Key Terms
•
Please do supply a definition of one of the following
key terms:
 Nationalism/Regionalism/Internationalism
 Colonialism/Empire
 Capital/Capitalism
 Regime (not politics)
 Communication/Propaganda
 Technology
 State
 Convergence
 Globalization
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