Monday, 1 October 2012

Final Essay: The Physical Flows of Globalisation.

Source: Click.
Globalisation and its flows; physical, cultural, media, capital and information intertwine and cannot be clearly categorised separate from each other. This item will be primarily discussing physical flows; however it would be impossible not to mention the other four flows involved that would impact the physical ones.

The physical movement of people and goods has proved beneficial for countries and continents that can share resources and minerals with each other (oil, fuel and many more). The convergence of technology and faster communication over long distances enables the knowledge of such trades to exist, let alone transactions being able to take place with mutual trust.

Source: Click.
Tourism and the physical flow of travellers impact both countries of origin and the host country. The need for tracking and documenting cross country travellers (by use of passport checks) determines their country of origin and citizenship, as well as important information on the individual (name, date of birth). Positive effects of tourism include economic help, and a negative effect would be pollution and inconsiderate behaviour from the tourists. Differing governments worldwide accepting passports could be considered crucial and significant in globalisation; multiple, imagined ‘cultures’ converging to accept the passport data.

Immigration, both legal and illegal, are also forms of physical flow regarding globalisation. Since the world is becoming more informed, more people start to prefer other countries to their own, in terms of economic standing, cultural, political, risk of persecution or other reasons involved. Sun (2002, p.115) best phrases this in the following.

Much has been written about how electronic media have transformed our understanding of temporality, spatiality, and a sense of who we are as individuals.
-Sun, 2002, p.115
The new sense of other countries and individuals’ understanding can contribute to migration from one country to another. Ideas of culture are not necessarily fixed, and are not necessarily defined by borders. The immigrated individuals unconsciously bring their local sense of culture with them. 

Source: Click.
The result of such movement to countries such as Australia is the diverse range of cultural representatives in the community. The phrase ‘hybridised cultural formations’ by Moore (2012) refers to immigrants who, by moving to a place such as Australia, bring their own culture from their own homeland and marries it with the new ideas of culture in the new country. Sometimes this can be quite literal with regard to offspring; immigrants can meet and marry into other cultures, resulting in bilateral children. These cultures, some of them conflicting in values and morals, can leave the children feeling confused about their sense of belonging. On the other hand, they have a variety of choice as to which culture they can choose, if they wish.

Australia is a particularly special case in that cultures are able to integrate and represent the population, whether they are of Australian origin or not. An individual is able to go to places such as Lygon Street in Melbourne, which has become commonly known to cater food of a variety of cultures for people to choose from. There is less restriction on choice of nationality, one can even recall an Ethiopian restaurant/grocery store in Adelaide.

Source: Click.
Transnational television, as discussed by Naficy (2003, p.52) is imported media from homelands. Television provided by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) channel includes news and other various programs from many different countries in their respective languages. This is helpful for the diasporic communities as they can keep an eye on their own homelands in their own language if they desire. Also provided in multiple languages are radio channels and newspapers. Foxtel in Australia, in particular, are well known for catering channels in certain languages on request. 

These avenues of media and technology enable the diasporic communities to maintain a (admittedly distant) relationship with their homelands. However, El-Nawawy (2003, p.52), in discussing ‘Western-raised’ Arabs brings up a valid point. Some diasporic individuals may have grown up not knowing the language, or have immersed themselves so greatly in the new country. These specific cases perhaps feel more inclined to take the word of the local news; it’s certainly easier accessed and placed foremost in programming.

Source: Click.
Keeping these availabilities in mind, a possible issue could be equal representation of all these communities. How can the variety (or sometimes lack of variety) truly represent the diasporic communities? There are multiple mediums available from the likes of Europe and Asia, and yet not as many from continents like Africa and South America. Being faithful to the population and representing each culture and their language equally is almost impossible because of the digital divide.

The phrase ‘global village’ was the hope when the World Wide Web came to fruition and people all over the globe could communicate to form a mass of organised ideas that could be shared. Nederveen Pieterse (2004, p.9) states that the technological advances made have contributed to globalisation. Distance had presumably been overcome. 

But there is still the issue of remote, young countries who do not have access to the same technology. Nederveen Pieterse (2004, p.13) also puts forward the idea that globalisation does not refer to an equal playing field, or equal international relations. Nederveen Pieterse also identifies and names a formed ‘Triad’ of the continents able to make the most of ‘contemporary globalisation’; North America, Europe, and East Asia. Since Australia was colonised by England and allied with some of the Triad during the wars, Australia could be included to a lesser extent. Australia is not as accessible to transport people and goods to, as opposed to continents like Europe; its countries and borders close together.

Source: Click.
In the case of illegal immigrants, travelling by boat is the most discrete and affordable way to leave the country. In some cases, travelling by boat is probably the only way. This is said considering each possibility; immigrants are possibly fleeing from persecution and/or execution, most likely with their families. However, Morrison (2003, p.474) discusses human trafficking and smuggling being labelled as an element of organised crime and the phrase ‘transnational crime’ (2003, p.475) is utilised in the text. Morrison goes on to explain the distinction eventually made between the words ‘trafficking’ and ‘smuggling’, the meaning of the latter is the applicable one here.

Trafficking involves exploitation that goes on after arrival in the country of destination, such as bonded labour or prison... ‘smuggling’ meaning an assisted illegal border crossing with no ongoing exploitation.
Morrison, 2003, p.476

There does appear to be a pattern involving current illegal immigration. Current countries involved such as Sri Lanka appear to be outside of the Triad of contemporary globalisation. Meaning they have a disadvantage of being accepted into Australia, unlike a legal immigrant from England; presumably able to obtain the appropriate paperwork to secure a visa and have the money for a flight.

El-Nawawy, M. 2003, ‘The battle for the Arab mind’, Al-Jazeera, the story of the network that is rattling governments and redefining modern journalism 2003, Westview Press, Boulder CO, pp. 45-69, 217-218
Morrison, J 2003, ‘“The dark side of globalisation”: the criminalisation of refugees’, in R Robertson & KE White (eds), Globalization: critical concepts in sociology, Routledge, London, pp. 474–7.
Nederveen Pieterse, J 2004, ‘Globalization: consensus and controversies’, Globalization and culture: global mélange, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., pp. 7–21.
Naficy, H 2003, ‘Narrowcasting in diaspora: Middle Eastern television in Los Angeles’, in KH Karim (ed.), The media of diaspora, Routledge, London, pp. 51–62.
Sun, W 2002, ‘Fantasizing the homeland, the internet, memory and exilic longings’, Leaving China: media, migration, and transnational imagination, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., pp. 113–36.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Week Eight: Celebrity Culture

Source: Click.

Professor David Marshall's guest lecture this week was quite an illuminating take on globalisation in terms of 'celebrity culture'. Examples included Prince Harry's leaked photographs and Catherine Zeta-Jones' anger appearing in paparazzi pictures. I was incredibly interested in the idea he introduced about private and public persona, and how the line has become finer and much more blurred with converging technologies.

Marshall (2008, p.498) talks about how it is personalities that the public are interested in, and personalities that are being bought and enjoyed. Marshall also discusses that new media are making possible what was thought impossible about fifty years ago. Media input has become more democratic, and the humiliating, unexplainable acts by celebrities are able to be posted, reported, broadcast and digested by audiences almost within the hour, within even minutes of occurring. 

Source: Click.
I personally do not understand this boom in 'celebrity culture'. and I barely care; especially when the celebrities involved have not earned their media coverage as others have. Celebrities are human and they are free to make their mistakes; but I don't support these mistakes splashed across covers of magazines and in big, bold headline font, by people paid to do it and apparently frame this as 'news'.

More recently people tend to explode with their media coverage; One Direction and individuals associated with Twilight come to mind. I have found that people either care religiously or not at all; both extreme polar opposites. There's the few people in the middle, but most tend to be one or the other.

Are your own experiences something like this? I'm interested to hear what you think!

Marshall, D, 2008The Specular Economy, Society. Vol. 47.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Week Seven: Protecting Culture.

As I previously mentioned in Week One, there has been an increasing awareness of culture and clash. Whether globalisation meant a loss of cultural identity for all countries involved. Being disadvantaged in this world of corporate giants can mean smaller scale countries are finding increasing difficulty in their representation.

However, there are some that manage to integrate multiple cultures to be heard. For instances, Sita Sings the Blues makes use of the late Annette Hanshaw's voice and recordings from her radio career in the 1920s and 1930s.

But the visual doesn't always necessarily match the audio material - culturally anyway. The film makes use of stories from the Ramayana, and there is a decided conflict of cultures. It defies audience expectations; combining 'Western' and 'Eastern' cultures in the one text.

Source: Click
This was taken by yours truly.
Also taken by yours truly.
Yours truly again.
Even making use of the concept of intermission, which my mother tells me was very common with Indian and Sri Lankan films at the cinema. She would always tell me that they would buy lollies and candy before rushing back to watch the film's second half.

With the above in mind, the intermission depicted in Sita displays characters from the feature taking bathroom breaks and visiting the candy bar as the clock counts down. I personally appreciated the nod to the traditions of cinema; it is a little ironic now as we watch from our computer screens and can simply pause the film if a break is needed.

The marrying of traditional and contemporary entertainment is one of joy. Having spoken of my own conflicting cultures before, I find this film can best contextualise how culture collides today.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Week Six: 'Alternative Media'?

Source: Click
What I think is the issue with people discussing Al Jazzera is that people are treating the programs and its content like it's 'alternative' to the Western media. Hence our problem again; we're still in the mindset of 'us' and 'them' in regards to the Middle East.

All media is subjective. All topic matter is subjective, and from whatever region is subjective. But we're still being steered in the direction of what is thought to be 'appropriate' news matter. We hear of shopping controversies on shows like A Current Affair that are not really news - but these stories are fast becoming the norm. Since when are we to absolutely judge television and its content?

There are even channels like SBS here in Australia that provide news from multiple countries and languages; Greek, Italian, Indian, Lebanese, the list goes on. Could these programs be judged as absolutely?

As Sun points out (2002, p.119), many diasporic groups in the contemporary global context use the Internet for community-building. Does this not apply to television programs? How can building a sense of community, for those who belong to a different country, be a bad thing?

And this is where another gap emerges, the 'race' gap. Even in trying to maintain all communities fairly, there will sadly be no room to deplete racism. Paradigms are difficult to shift for most people, and the one of race doesn't seem to be vanishing soon enough.

Sun, W 2002, ‘Fantasizing the homeland, the internet, memory and exilic longings’, Leaving China: media, migration, and transnational imagination, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., pp. 113–36.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Week Five: Diasporic Cultures and Nationalism

Source: Click.
Even when people have migrated from their 'homeland', nowadays the notion of homeland is only strengthened with the evolution of technology. The ability to hear how one's country of origin is faring is expanded via the internet/world wide web, cheaper international calls, and the ease of world news access.  However, El-Nawawy (2003, P.68)points out that this is not necessarily available equal globally, in regards to Iraq.

When Chris talked about nationalism in this week's lecture (as well as explaining diasporic cultures), it struck me that I have not, as yet, managed to find a proper balance between my family cultures.

To explain, I'm half Greek Cypriot on my father's side, half Sri Lankan on my mother's, and born/raised here in Australia. People often get confused by my physical features and ask my 'nationality' or 'family background'. The next question I'm asked is whether I speak either language (I don't) and their response to this is that 'it's a shame'. I have half Cypriot, half Italian cousins, but I feel this mix can be better explained geographically than my own family history.

It does get confusing as both cultures have a certain set of values that often contrast each other. Most people have a sense of community within their families, but I myself feel torn in this respect. The concept of having ALL of my family in the one room is but a daydream.

Fortunately, both sides flew here and migrated here legally. I am, by definition, a second generation Australian according to this report from the Department of Immigration (2002, p.iv).

In short, I have not experienced diaspora myself. But I am here because my ancestors have.

El-Nawawy, M. 2003, ‘The battle for the Arab mind’, Al-Jazeera, the story of the network that is rattling governments and redefining modern journalism< 2003, Westview Press, Boulder CO, pp. 45-69, 217-218
Khoo, Siew-Ean et al, Second Generation Australians, Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs publication, last accessed 8/8/12

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Week Four: Alternative Journalism and Blogging

It's no surprise to me that alternative forms of journalism and blogging have emerged, due to the apparent oliogopoly of mainstream media. Not to mention the social networking sphere and the desire to share information, regardless of fact or fiction.

Singer (2007, p.118) makes the distinction between journalists and bloggers. Singer acknowledges that blogs can range from individual diaries to political campaigns and more corporate uses.

Bloggers tend to have more of a bias approach, in my experience. I'm not acknowledging that journalists can as well, but bloggers have more freedom in that respect. Bloggers have the potential for a broader audience, can review products and events, and can be more relaxed about the process.

I'm trying to imagine my personal blog being more corporate and I shudder. Having blogged on and off for the past couple of years, I've developed a personal style that I find relates more to my audience (which is mainly people who want to keep up with me). I've never really thought of myself as journalistic; I've only presented my world view and opinions for others to read. Sometimes I tend to review books or music, and sometimes I simply rant about day-to-day happenings.

I'm well aware of Singer's idea that bloggers and journalists seek the truth in different ways (2007, p.121), and what I present is, effectively, my truth.

Source: Click.
Another parallel for you this week is Jude Law's character in Contagion. Without spoiling anything; the role:  his reputation as a journalist and a blogger with an audience of millions is very well played to the film's audience. It also brings forth the awareness of people having an agenda - even in the middle of a crisis - and just how powerful the opinion of one man can be.

Source: Here.
The suit that Jude Law wore in Contagion became an
iconic symbol in the film's promotion and marketing tools.
Singer, JB 2007, ‘Bloggers and other “participatory journalists”’, in C Friend & JB Singer (eds), Online journalism ethics: traditions and transitions, M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y., pp. 115–50.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Week Three: Dominant Media and Oliogopoly

Steven (2003) has a problem with how the term 'mass media' is used, and how it fails to define the media's ability to control and shape society's direction. Steven goes on to explain that 'dominant media' is a better term and describes how the United States model is commercialised. Many other countries have adapted this model as it appears to work effectively.

Steven also refers to the word 'dominant' to mean a 'global arena' of media on the globe (p.40). It's hard not to think about The Hunger Games at this point (and I know there'll be some scoffing at this) but all these individuals fighting for the most ownership and control over more media outlets (Rupert Murdoch comes to mind as well). The amount of differing owners of these outlets shrink as fewer companies can control more outlets and therefore wield more control in shaping the direction of society. Steven refers to this (groups of corporations as opposed to one individual) as oliogopoly.

Picture 1.1: Fighting - for survival or power?
Picture 1.2: Careers or corporate giants?
Considering it is well known that author of The Hunger Games series Suzanne Collins was inspired by reality television and the current war climate, the loom of terrorism currently hanging above our heads. There can be no doubt that the fictional, dystopian world of Panem with its bread and circuses (panem et circenses) can be interpreted as a fear of our current path. I say this with full awareness that every text is subjective.

Even the phrase panem et circenses, or bread and circuses, can be interpreted as our current awareness of the poverty. Do we need games and technology to distract us from our conscience? Alice Schroder discusses the history of the phrase in this article and its use in Roman history.

Is this what we are heading for?


Steven, P 2003, The no-nonsense guide to the global mediaNew Internationalist, Oxford, pp. 37–59.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Week Two: a 'global village'?

Source: Click here
"Globalization is a process in which worldwide economic, political, cultural and social relations have become increasingly mediated across time and space."
-Rantanen (2005: 8)

There's no denying that there's the gap. This gap is one I'm sure we're all aware of, one of poverty and 'underdeveloped' countries.

However, because of the severity and confronting nature of the issue, we learn and are taught to put it (the problem) "over there". Separate it from ourselves, as individuals, as groups, as societies, and put it away, where we can't see it. Put it over there. It's we and them. Because we are on the more fortunate side.It's still in the back of our mind, though.

There's no equal opportunity at the moment, as much as I hate to admit it. It's every country for themselves. Even in the early days of war, there were 'allied' countries - some alliances still exist from those times - but we're all still  very mistrustful of each other. By 'equal opportunity', I mean in technology. The type of technology we have; smart phones, MP3 players, you name it, isn't dominant over their - their main priority is to survive. Whereas our own survival in the 'more developed' countries is assured.

Even so, places like China are strictly governed by what information they can legally access. Of course we can talk to people - but to places like Europe and North America. If people in Africa or China had this freedom, what do you think they would say?

Rantanen's definition acknowledges economic relations, but are they on the same footing?

Rantanen, T 2005, The media and globalization, Sage, London, pp.1-18
Picture found at URL, last accessed 19/7/2012

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Hey there, I'm Michelle. Studying Media and Communication at Deakin. Decided to study it to learn more about the industry; everything about it fascinates me and I want to find my little niche and expand it.

I additionally waitress part-time and have done so for about a year. It's an interesting new perspective and hopefully it hasn't ruined me!

My less formal, more personal blog is My life just happens to contain crazy catastrophes, on which I discuss weird life stories that occur to me every now and then, if you so happen to be interested beyond the Globalisation and the Media unit.

Hence the blog name, Crazy Academic Waitress.

I also went to Thailand last April for two weeks and loved it; I'd never been overseas before then and the culture shock was amazing. Looking to travel some more. In the meantime, I hope to apply a couple of my experiences overseas when discussing aspects of the unit.


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Week One: My basic understanding of globalisation.

Taken by yours truly in Thailand - April, 2012
From my understanding of globalisation, in very basic terms, is there are many factors to consider if we were all to become one society, one planet, a uniformity. To become a uniformity would require a major paradigm shift for every individual involved - millions of people! - to think in the one mind set, as Pieterse (2004, p. 7) immediately points out in his discussion.

Which is impossible to me, because all people are subjective in their thinking.

And I acknowledge that the above statement I have made is entirely contradictory of itself, but that is my point precisely. I say this with the knowledge and view that each and every opinion, even on the same topic, is different. To become a uniformity would mean denying culture and language, and that's not something that people will willingly give up. There's the potential for more war right there. I'm imagining reactions from the United States of America if the dominant language were to suddenly become Swedish or Chinese. The bridge between "Western" and "Eastern" worlds has to be resolved.

Even if uniformity were possible, there are differing interpretations of the word uniformity. I'll use an example from a first year class debate - fast food (McDonald's). In each and every culture, countries generally have the same food McDonald's, but there's usually a cultural spin depending on the country. Australia are quite used to asking for sweet and sour sauce or tomato sauce with their food at . But France offers mayonnaise, Turkey offers onion rings, and quite a few European countries offer alcohol at McDonald's.

I myself was in Thailand for two weeks last April and found that KFC over there was a little more spiced - the locals would consider that mild.

Have any other experiences with fast food overseas? I'd love to hear!

Source: Nederveen Pieterse, J 2004, ‘Globalization: consensus and controversies’, 
Globalization and culture: global mélange, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., pp. 7–21.