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Monash 2008 Terry Flew


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Presentation on media globalization arguing for more insights from cultural and economic geography.

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Monash 2008 Terry Flew

  1. 1. Beyond Globalization: Rethinking the Scalar and Relational in Global Media Studies Presentation to International and Intercultural Communication in the Age of Global Media , Monash University, Melbourne, 11-13 April, 2008 Professor Terry Flew Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
  2. 2. <ul><ul><li>As the 20th century entered its closing decade, the concept of globalization became ever more seen and heard as “a key idea by which we understand the transition of human society into the third millennium” (Waters, 1995: 1), but with ever-decreasing precision of meaning (Sinclair, 2004: 65). </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Globalization as Scalar Shift <ul><li>Globalization of modernity (Giddens) </li></ul><ul><li>Transformational globalization (Held et. al.) </li></ul><ul><li>Irresistable and irreversible globalization … Empire (Hardt and Negri) </li></ul><ul><li>Spread of an increasingly unfettered global capitalism (Herman and McChesney) </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><ul><li>The informational economy is global. A global economy is a historically new reality, distinct from a world economy. A world economy, that is an economy in which capital accumulation proceeds throughout the world, has existed in the West since at least the sixteenth century … A global economy is something different: it is an economy with the capacity to work as a unit in real time on a planetary scale . While the capitalist mode of production is characterized by it relentless expansion, always trying to overcome limits of time and pace, it is only in the late twentieth century that the world economy was able to become truly global on the basis of the new infrastructure provided by information and communication technologies (Castells, 1996: 92-93 (author’s emphasis)). </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Strong globalization Thesis <ul><li>Markets are global, and dominated by transnational corporations (TNCs) </li></ul><ul><li>TNCs operate on a global scale, and are less constrained by nation-states </li></ul><ul><li>Power of nation-states is in decline </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization generates a ‘global media culture’ </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization is central to separation of place and space </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to a ‘race to the bottom’ among nations for TNC investment </li></ul>
  6. 6. Counter-propositions <ul><li>Majority of world’s largest corporations are not truly transnational </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Home base’ remains vitally significant </li></ul><ul><li>Limits to power of supra-national organisations/ shifting of nation-state priorities and capacities </li></ul><ul><li>Technological determinist reading of culture (culture = media technologies) </li></ul><ul><li>Relativization of scale generates a ‘spatial ontology of social organaization’ (Amin) </li></ul><ul><li>Two tendencies of globalization: cost-driven deterritorialization of production, and quality-driven search for value-adding resources (Storper) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Types of globalization (Michael Storper, The Regional World , 1997) <ul><li>DETERRITORIALIZED </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flow-based production models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost-based ‘off-shoring’ of production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standardized commodities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-specialzed labor and other inputs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TERRITORIALIZED </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concentrations and clusters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locationally-specific knowledge (‘untraded interdependencies’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Destandardized commodities </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Two types of product/service globalization Rising consumer expectations about product/service quality; rising average consumer incomes More sensitivity to price than other factors Consumer demand High; tendency for specialist knowledge to cluster in particular regions Low; few location-specific resource or knowledge requirements Significance of territory Skilled and specialist; unique bundle of skills often sought Generic; unskilled and semi-skilled labour Labour inputs De-standardization and variety as drivers of non-price-driven demand Generic and substitutable; highly price-sensitive demand Nature of product Quality-driven globalization Cost-driven globalization Factor
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>Geographical theory … has been concerned with the spatiality of the contemporary world, and is interested in understanding whether places – cities, regions, and nations – are perforating as geographically contained spaces, how the insertion of places into geographically stretched relations matters, and how new geographical scales of organization and influence associated with globalization are challenging old scales of identification and action (Amin, 2000: 6271). </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Relational Globalization <ul><li>Spatial dimensions constitute social relations and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Critiques of world systems theories </li></ul><ul><li>Cities as ‘cluster of overlapping network sites’ (Amin) </li></ul><ul><li>Online interactions and face-to-face are mutually constituitive (Slater, Woolgar) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Cultural Economic Geography of Production <ul><li>From vertical integration to global production networks </li></ul><ul><li>Economic advantages of geographical proximity (spatial agglomeration) </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation through interaction - clustering, learning regions, untraded interdependencies </li></ul><ul><li>Path dependency in technology development and design </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing returns to economic scale </li></ul>
  12. 12. Two types of globalized production
  13. 13. Assumptions of Global Media Studies <ul><li>‘ The … global media is dominated by three or four dozen large transnational corporations (Herman & McChesney) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ the global cultural flows of our time are generated and directed by global media empires’ (Steger) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ there can be little doubt that … a group of around 20-30 very large MNCs dominate global [media] markets’ (Held et. al. ) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Worldwide … the mass media are controlled by between 70 and 80 first- and second-tier corporations’ (Sussman) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Jeremy Tunstall, The Media Were American (2008) <ul><li>Five levels of media: dominant is the national level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Global level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional level (pan-European, pan-Asian, pan-Arab) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National-regional level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local level </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Global Production Networks: The Latest Form of Cultural Dependency? <ul><li>New International Division of Cultural Labour (NICL) (Miller et. al. , 2001) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separation of ‘hand’ and ‘brain’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global dispersal of production but not ownership and control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Core/periphery relations increasingly based on control over IPRs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nation-states engage in ‘race to the bottom’ for footloose media investment capital </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. Drivers of foreign investment (the OLI ‘eclectic’ paradigm) <ul><li>Ownership advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>derive from being multinational and vertically integrated across the supply chain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Locational advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>availability of particular primary resources in certain markets, access to new markets, availability of low-cost labour, or incentives offered by governments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internalization advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the ability to capture more localized sources of knowledge and apply them across global markets </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. Types of Global Production Network <ul><li>‘ Hub-and-spoke’ industrial district (outsourcing) </li></ul><ul><li>Satellite platform (export production zones) </li></ul><ul><li>Little knowledge transfer in these models </li></ul><ul><li>Global production network (GPN) </li></ul><ul><li>Considerably more scope for knowledge transfer with variables being </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Absorptive capacity of host nation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Externalization and internalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State policy as a key variable </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. Global Media Production Source: Allen Scott, ‘Cultural-Products Industries and Urban Economic Development, Urban Affairs Review 39 (4), 2004, pp. 461-490.
  19. 21. New Production Centres of East Asia (Michael Keane, Created in China: The New Great Leap Forward , 2007) <ul><li>World factory/outsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Isomorphism and cloning </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural technology transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Niche markets and global hits </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural/industrial milieux and creative clusters </li></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><ul><li>Although Hollywood’s supremacy is unlikely to be broken at any time in the foreseeable future, at least some of these other centres will conceivably carve out stable niches for themselves in world markets, and all the ore so as they develop more effective marketing and distribution capacities … This argument, if correct, points toward a much more polycentric and polyphonic global audiovisual production system than has been the case in the recent past (Scott, 2004a, p. 475). </li></ul></ul>