Media and Globalization

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The Media and Globalization

Globalization contains many factors, which can be studied in a wide range of ways. It can be analyzed on a macro level or a micro level, with many contributors. Terhi Rantanen, in her book The Media and Globalization, explores the media as a contributor to globalization. While explaining the many level media’s impact is seen, she chooses to show the micro level of its impacts in relation to globalization. She explains several factors of the role of media such as the transformation of the media, time and space, nationalism, de-territorialization and also through several scapes. The scapes that I will be touching on, which are the micro level of the analysis, are ethnoscapes, financescapes, mediascapes and timescapes. Rantanen shows how the different scapes and media are involved in globalization through time and place. She does this through studying and interviewing three families and their four generations.

In order to fully understand the micro level of Rantanen’s studies we must understand the macro level of globalization. She explains the progress of studies starting with the first emergence in the U.S. after World War I, when they realized that media and communication are an important role in war. Later media was used in the form of propaganda to manipulate behaviors and attitudes. The studies then began to develop into how nations communicated with each other with an emphasis on politics. At this point it could be seen that media has a large impact in globalization. The macro level of media and globalization can be studied in terms of the relations it has as a whole, in any manner, such as politically. One concept that Rantanen explains on a macro level, later explored on a micro level, is the concept of time, place and space. First focusing on time, clocks and calendars can be seen as the first steps to globalization. Through the mass standardization of time everyone is brought together. Thomas Friedman gave an excellent example of this in his book, The World is Flat, by telling his experience of walking into an office where there were many clocks hanging on the wall, all have times of different places around the world. This act showed the connection that the company had with all its clients spread out over the globe. The next development in the changing of time and space is the telegraph. This invention created a faster way of getting news to the public. Progressing from there, the radio was introduced. The radio broke many boundaries in the world of communication. A radio program could be turned on at any time of the day, reporting never stopped. Rantanen emphasizes the emphasis that the medias overlapped to enhance the effect of globalization. With the development of the media not only time was changed but the concept of place and space. Place can be defined as a geographical location whereas space is not tangible, it has no boarders. In the book there is no definite concept on how the two relate. One concept is that through media the world is stretched further apart though these medias. The other concept is that the world has become closer and is on an even level all over. An example that makes you think about both of these concepts would be, when you are watching television can it be seen that you are being connected to the rest of the world through space; or are you being taken away from being out in the world to making you stay in one place? Rantanen chooses to leave the answer to the reader and explores the concept of place and space through the experiences of the families, the micro level of this concept.

Rantanen is interested in how individuals all over the world and across time are affected by globalization primarily through media. She does this through the study of scapes, the direct contributors to the changes in people’s lives. Through the study of the families the role of scapes can further the understanding of the micro level of...
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