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Acs crossroads cult econ geography

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Presentation to ACS Crossroads Conference, Hong Kong, 17-21 June 2010

Presentation to ACS Crossroads Conference, Hong Kong, 17-21 June 2010


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  • 1. Cultural Economic Geographyand Global Media Studies: The Rise of Asian Media Capitals?Professor Terry Flew, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and InnovationQueensland University of Technology,Brisbane, Australia
    ACS Crossroads 2010
    Lingnan University, Hong Kong
    June 17-21 2010
  • 2. Issues for Global Media Studies
    2
    Is the influence of “Global Hollywood” increasing or decreasing in the early 21st century?
    Are the number of internationally significant “media capitals” increasing or decreasing? What makes for a sustainable media capital?
    Is the literature on “creative clusters” a help of hindrance in understanding the dynamics of media capitals?
    Is there a tendency towards policy convergence between national media systems (e.g. the neoliberal globalization thesis)?
  • 3. Global Media Studies: The Uneasy Stand-off Between Political Economy and Cultural Studies
    1990s: cultural studies tended to critique political economy esp. around active audience theories
    No singular cultural studies approach to global media – “bower-bird” approach to the field
    2000s: cultural studies has tended to accept political economy approach to production/economy
    Stand-off has been arising from focus on production or consumption
  • 4. Questioning the Political Economy of Global Media
    DOMINANT CLAIMS
    COUNTER-CLAIMS
    Hegemony of “Global Hollywood” has strengthened and extended to digital media domains
    IP provides the new basis of dominance and dependency relations
    Media policy convergence has been occurring under the sign of neo-liberal globalization
    Global media markets have become more competitive and national systems have been strengthening
    International media and cultural landscape is becoming more diverse and decentralised
    National media policy and regulatory frameworks remain highly diverse
  • 5. Cultural Economic Geography
    “Cultural turn” in economic geography
    Following the Marxist turn on economic geography (70s-80s)
    Regulation School and new institutionalism
    Consumption as a socio-economic driver
    Discursive construction of economic categories
    5
  • 6. Rise of Cultural Economy
    Incursion of sign-value into ever-widening spheres of productive activity
    Culturalisation of economic life
    Management of culture and organisational performance
    Growing reflexivity of consumption
    Economy of qualities/relations (Callon)
  • 7. Cultural Construction of Economic Categories
    Culture as variable source of competitive advantage in context of globalisation (Yúdice)
    Three “big ideas” of cultural economic geography (MericGertler)
    Flexible global production networks - changing significance of geographical proximity
    Shift in innovation models from ideas-push to geographical clusters and sustained interaction – why do some regions develop path-dependent untraded interdependencies?
    Cumulative advantage of path-dependent innovation and increasing returns to scale
    7
  • 8. Actor-Network Theories and New Modes of Governance
    Rise of network relations and network governance
    Internet promotes complex topologies rather than core-periphery models
    Network governance challenges state/market and public/private divides
    Rise of soft capitalism (Thrift)
    Travelling theories (Pratt, Gibson & Kong, Gibson)
  • 9. Rise of creative industries
    9
    Rise of the CI sectors: 7-9% of US GDP, and 3-6% for other OECD economies (Australia 5% in 2006)
    Shifting of lines between ‘symbolic’ and ‘material’ goods
    Design-intensity of products
    Sign-value and competitive advantage
    “Engel’s Law”: consumer affluence and symbolic consumption
    Agglomeration tendencies in CIs:
    Just-in-time specialist labour
    Dense networks of SMEs
    Project-based work
    Synergistic benefits of concentration
    Associated soft infrastructure
  • 10. Two Trajectories of Economic Globalization
    Deterritorialized economic production
    Generic, cost-driven production models
    “race to the bottom”
    Standardised commodities
    Territorialized economic production
    Location-specific resources (esp. skills and tacit knowledge)
    Clustering and path-dependent innovation
    De-standardised commodities and importance of untraded interdependencies in particular locations
  • 11. Problems
    Problem with neo-Marxist dependency models (e.g. NICL) is that they only see the former occurring
    Problem with amenities-based growth models (e.g. creative clusters, creative cities) is that they believe everyone can achieve the latter
    Ignored tendency of capitalism towards both dualistic and uneven development
  • 12. Michael Curtin, Playing to the World’s Biggest Audience (UC Press, 2007)
    12
    • Rise of “Greater China” as a centre of media production and consumption
    • 13. Is this developing an independent dynamism in a fast-growing market?
    • 14. Hollywood today is nevertheless very much like Detroit forty years ago, a factory town that produces big bloated vehicles with plenty of chrome. As production budgets mushroom, quality declines in large part as a result of institutional inertia and a lack of competition. Like Detroit, Hollywood has dominated for so long that many of its executives have difficulty envisioning the transformations now on the horizon. Because of this myopia, the global future is commonly imagined as a world brought together by homogeneous cultural products produced and circulated by American media (Curtin, 2007: 4).
  • Variables shaping the spatial dimensions of media/formation of media capitals
    Logic of accumulation: centripedal forces of production/centrifugal tendencies of distribution
    Trajectories of creative migration
    Forces of socio-cultural variation
    Role of national media and cultural policies
    13
  • 15. The rise of Asian media capitals?
    Are Chinese media industries really on a “Hollywood” trajectory?
    Regionalization rather than globalization – inclusions (Singapore?) and exclusions (Japan, Korea?)
    Issue of lack of policy coherence in media policies across East Asia
    14