Discuss the significances and effects of globalization/global cultures on contemporary television.

Essay by tinyjazUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, June 2006

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Globalization is defined as a concept which reveals the compression and intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole (Robertson, 1992 cited in Barker, 1999). It is a phenomenon that gives people worldwide, immediate access to other cultures, making it practically impossible for societies to exist in complete isolation (Cunningham et al. 1998). Through globalization, television creates the "armchair traveller"; it allows people from different parts of the world to visually experience a radically different culture without having to be physically situated in that location.

The relationship between globalization and culture construction has been fraught with complexity; some critics view it as cultural imperialism - the key framework of power that exerts a great deal of control over other nations around the world. Through its imperial power, whether directly or indirectly, it seeks to culturally invade other nations, resulting in homogenization across the worlds. Whereas others believe that the product of globalization on television is a collection of volatile, disordered and multidirectional cultural flows (Barker, 1999).

However, the cultural imperialism discourse has some shortfalls; global dissemination is a two-way flow and globalization should not be discounted as a simple process of homogenization (Barker, 1999). The multiple Emmy Award-winning television series Lost (ABC, Inc. 2004) effectively illustrates the concept of globalization; the plot of the show revolves around the survivors of a plane crash, who are forced to live with each other on a remote island. The cast of the show includes people from different races and nationalities; A white, middle class American doctor, an Iraqi who used to be an Iraqi Republican Guard, a non-English speaking Korean couple - a male chauvinistic and his meek submissive wife and an Australian single pregnant woman among others. In Episode 2 of Season 1, Michael (Harold Perrineau Jr.), an African American approaches...