Globalisation can be briefly described as the international integration that comes from the various characteristics of culture. Interactions between cultures were once considered to be restricted by means of geography or ecology (Appadurai, A. 1996), however in todays society the media has managed to push the boundaries of traditional globalisation where a global community openly sharing culture exists. The most predominant issue with this in my opinion however, is the “over share” of culture. An over share of culture can lead to messages through media becoming offensive, exhibited by Katy Perry when she dressed as a Geisha for one of her music performances (Larkin, M. 2013). Members of the Geisha community were highly offended by their culture being linked with the ideas portrayed within the pop stars music.
The issue that arises from the over share concept in globalisation is the tension between homogenisation and heterogenisation. Homogenisations greatest argument is the “americanization” of cultures through globalisation. America has an ever-increasing amount of influence over other cultures with its cuisine, technology, etc. The American, or western, culture is becoming internationally dominant, proven by the fast food giant McDonalds making its way into countries such as Egypt where previously it would have never been accepted into their traditional cuisine. This ideology also links to Heterogenisation, which can be described as the fragmentation of cultural identities.
This weeks topic of globalisation through the platform of media hit home for me as I have travelled to countries that have almost the opposite culture of my own Australian heritage, making cultural differences seem even more apparent. The theory of globalisation through media and the ideas it portrays made cultural controversy commonly seen through media such as the 2013 Mountain Dew advertisement argument.
After the release of the 2013 Mountain Dew advertisement, created by the company’s co-founder critics labelled it the “most racist ad in commercial history” (Anthony, K. 2013). The ad, or more accurately mediascape, portrayed a beaten woman pointing out her abuser in a police line up of only black men and a goat. The ad painted black men in a highly negative light and reflected an appropriate racist label on the soft drink company. As a marketing student I can make the connection between both the terrible marketing decisions made and the globalisation consequences this would have had. This example is an instance of global media changing the connotations of culture and taking it out of context to become offensive.
Globalisation has much positive potential in today’s society creating a platform through media for cultures to communicate and share with one other, however I believe there needs to be more care taken to avoid further international and interracial tension.
Check out the Mountain Dew advertisement at:
Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47.
Global Education. 2015. Globalisation. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/global-issues/gi-globalisation.html>. [Accessed 11 August 15].
K, Anthony. 2013. Not Cool: 10 Brands & Companies Accused Of Racial Profiling (LIST). [ONLINE] Available at: <http://globalgrind.com/2013/11/18/brands-companies-accused-of-racial-profiling-list/>. [Accessed 11 August 15].
M, Larkin. 2013. Katy Perry accused of racism after dressing as a geisha at the AMAs Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2513107/Katy-Perry-accused-racism-dressing-geisha-AMAs [ONLINE] Available at: <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2513107/Katy-Perry-accused-racism-dressing-geisha-AMAs.html>. [Accessed 11 August 15].