Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lecture 2: Homogenization, Heterogenization

You can download the lecture slides HERE.

Today's lecture was kinda heavy, but I did think that it was provocative too. There's a lot of things to say about the changes in time, place, space, non-place, splace. Also, with the world being more similar AND more different due to complex interconnections. How do we describe what's happening in the world? In the home? In spaces cyber and human? With cultures and identities? And how do we (or should we) judge such novelties? What experiences do you have of time-space distanciation or compression? With the media connecting and separating the globe? Feel free to discuss any, or all, of these questions above. Or even the discussion questions below:
1) Have the media rendered space and time differences insignificant?
2) Why worth mentioning splaces/non-places?
3) Do shared and simultaneous experiences through the media integrate society?
4) BONUS: How do spaces become places? How can non-places become places?

Please read the Silverstone/Barnett reading for next week (Chapter 2 of Demanding World), available in the Filipiniana Section of the library.

Anonymous commenting now allowed! (But please always label your posts with your name!) Start posting!


guia_franco said...

I've always deemed globalization as a very loaded word. Back in high school, I've always associated the term with economic development and technological progress. Mass media theorists have created a plethora of definitions to encapsulate the phenomenon of globalization. I agree with Sir Jon's discussion that, with every concept or idea that we encounter, we should grapple with them paradoxically. For this reasoning, I agree with Held and McGrew's definition of globalization: that it is a collusion of multiple forces. It pulls and pushes society, it creates conflict and fosters cooperation, includes and excludes, etc.

With the advent of globalization, I believe that the world we live in is getting BOTH similar and different.

Similar, because varying cultures collide, creating a brand new culture altogether. When Starbucks first hit the Philippines shores, people united in their love for coffeee - it is what binded them. Drinking Starbucks coffee became that one similar experience that they shared.

Different, because through the trends mediated by globalization, the unique characteristic of a cultures is emphasized. Every nation in the world may have a McDonald's outlet, but each outlet offers a different flavor that shows the culture of the specific country. In McDonald's Japan, they have Teriyaki McBurger and Chicken Katsu burger. In Israel, they have McShawarma. In India, they have McMaharaja which is made of lamb or chicken meat. McDonald's is a really interesting case study that exemplifies how our globalized world is both homogenized and heterogenized. For more information on different McDonald's menus around the world, check out the following links:

stargirl_portia said...

I like Anderson's idea of imagined communities and how the media intensifies the need to identify with the "bigger" world because it pulls different nations to become concerned (or be aware at the very least) with events outside of their community/ country.

First, through local news programs "Imbestigador" or "The Journalist's Notebook", people here in Manila now know that Batanes is an aging society or that 10-year-olds in Sulu are being trained to become Abu Sayaffs or something. These media programs sort of make us sympathize with people we don't really know but we feel like we do largely because they're also Filipinos.

Second, through CNN or Oprah or The Tyra Banks Show, we get to see that our issues in life are somewhat similar to the issues that American teenagers have. We do not know them but we can identify with them. As Meyrowitz says, "Because of media, we increasingly come to have no sense of place".

So as long we have the same traditions, problems, or whatnot in life, it doesn't matter if I come from the East and you come from the other side of the world.

Jonathan C. Ong said...

Re McDonald's: Guia, I think it's a very good example. And it's not just the products that are different across contexts (top-down), from a consumer (bottom-up) perspective, McDonald's consumers and their practices vary greatly as well. I think the Philippines is curious in that going to McDonald's has come to be a ritual for families to go to for special occasions (which I don't see in European McDonald's stores). And McDonald's is way more vilified in cities that place great premium on a healthy lifestyle than here in Manila.

What Portia says is also interesting in that the media can facilitate a sense of oneness with people "like us" across space (see Portia's examples) and also: across time (e.g., historical writings and novels connect us to our ancestors).

Anonymous said...

Random Information:

Benedict Anderson is coming to the Philippines sometime this year. He's attending a conference.

- Margie Lim (IV AB POS)

Meggie said...

3) Do shared and simultaneous experiences through the media integrate society?

Off the top of my (possibly naive) head, I think the only thing that hinders the integration of society in media is the mediated experience of the medium itself (that was a lot of M's!). For example, I don't think communicating via cellphone necessarily separates people; in fact, I think it makes it easier for us to "connect," and for longer and more accurate periods of time (we are able to know what the person is doing at a certain time, and communicate with that person via SMS for practically the entire day). I think it's the fact that we aren't able to face the person we're talking to in using cellphones is what makes our experience so... un-integrated? Less personal. So in this sense, yes I do think shared and simultaneous experiences in media help integrate society, and don't necessarily have to separate us.

4) BONUS: How do spaces become places? How can non-places become places?

Spaces become places when people make something out of it. An example I can think of is when you build a new house from an empty lot. In building up a new home for a family, the lot is a space, turned into a place -- something more significant to the members of the family.

Talking about non-places and how they can become places reminds me about the new Comm Dept. Personally, as of now, it has become a non-place for me. My experience of old Comm Dept was that it was a place to hone relationships -- not just one of student to student, or teacher to teacher, but student to teacher as well. The openness and relaxed feel of the old Comm Dept allowed the students and teachers to have relationships outside the classroom -- something which the new Comm Dept I feel lacks. As of now, the new Comm Dept is just a splace for me -- somewhere I go to when I need to consult Sir Mark for my thesis, where I pick up copies of my syllabus, have myself advised for my classes, etc. In time, I hope the Comm Dept can become a place for me and the other Comm Majors, because we sure miss the sense of home the Comm Dept used to give us :p

Anonymous said...

Re: the Mc Donalds example, i read somewhere that this trend is called "glocalization".. it combines "globalization" and "localization" to emphasize that globalization of a product or service is more likely to succeed when it is adapted specifically to each culture or locality it is marketed in..


Kathryn said...

the term 'glocalization' was invented by Roland Robertson (1995, 27)to deal with the process of dynamic interaction that occurs when international, national and local agendas interface. It refers to both homogenization and heterogenization.

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Priyanka said...

i have a presentation on monday on heterogenization can you plzz guys send me the slides of that i really need it to do my presentation.plzz sean me on my id asap.
thank you