Effects of Globalization Towards Our Culture

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Intercultural Communication Studies XVII: 2 2008

Babran

Media, Globalization of Culture, and Identity Crisis in Developing Countries
Sedigheh Babran, Iran Islamic Azad University
This article focuses on the globalization of culture and the role of media in the ensuing identity crisis (both individual and social) resulting from this process. The article tries to display the basic concept of the process of globalization with all of its effects, threats, challenges,and opportunities and will illustrate its interaction with the media in developing countries. The essay will show that the main components of power structure in today’s world can be linked to these two complimentary processes –globalization and the information era. The interaction between these two phenomena has changed the quality of communications which, in turn, is creating new personal and social identities (personification and personifying). According to survey results, it is clear that in societies which are not efficient in reinforcing and strengthening their communication infrastructures and which are unable to compete with the new methods of communication and information exchange, identity formation gains political, economic and culturally adverse and asserts an unrepairable damage. In conclusion, the article tries to present some proposals for developing countries’ media –as the active player of this era – and offers ways to deal with the unavoidable process of globalization and identity crisis. Globalization, the New Phenomenon

Globalization, which also has been called global construction, global orientation and global expansion by various schools of thought, is the latest phase process in an old process rooted in the expansion of modern capitalism and encompassing the political, economic and cultural realms worldwide. Modern capitalism that first emerged in the sixteenth century is a far more complex phenomenon embracing a broader economic spectrum and a more detailed definition than the concept of common market. Thus, some experts view it as “contraction and condensation at the global scale coupled with ever-increasing expansion of awareness” (Robertson, 1992, p. 8).

Many have expressed different and even contradictory definitions of globalization in their discussions over the past few years. According to British sociologist Anthony Giddens, some social sectors are utterly pessimistic about globalization and reject it in its entirety. On the other hand, there are those who perceive globalization as an undeniable reality with profound and inevitable consequences.

Yet there are others, who are generally referred to as Global Expansionists. They view globalization as an inescapable development developing ever-increasing momentum due to the intensification of global interactions and the waning importance of national boundaries. They believe that national economies, cultures and policies will integrate into a global network and that local and national authority and hence dominance will diminish in favor of a homogenous global economy and culture (Held, 2000).

On the other side of the spectrum, there are opposing arguments against the virtues of

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Intercultural Communication Studies XVII: 2 2008

Babran

globalization. Giddens (1999b) refers to them as the pessimists, and they include a gamut of those from the traditionalists to those challenging the dominance of capitalism. They perceive globalization as synonymous to westernization and Americanization. They even include the environmentalists.

This school of thought argues that globalization will create a world of winners and losers along with the global conquest and economic domination of specific political groups, especially in the wealthy nations like the U.S. These groups are strong enough to resist any pressures to alter the new world-order and could impose their desires and goals as global agendas and work plans. The promoters of this school of thought point out to the waning...
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