Globalization. It affects us in all aspects of our lives whether we realise it or not – and it will continue to affect us in a seemingly continual, irreversible matter. It has been defined by O’Shaughnessy and Stadler as:
“an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political and military interests. It is characterized by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity and interconnectedness and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information“
‘The Global Village’ introduces us to a particular perspective of globalization which, in itself, triggers debate about its validity and effectiveness. This view may be considered utopian, but is it practical and attainable?
Marshall McLuhan has introduced today’s society to a concept known as ‘The Global Village’. This phrase illustrates the utopian viewpoint of globalization, suggesting that society can be brought closer together, figuratively, by the globalization of communication despite how far apart we physically live. The Global Village stands as a metaphor, representing a world where media surpasses the ‘nation-state’ and enables everyone to be heard and to share and access information freely and explicitly. This, in turn, allows us to exchange information as well as perspectives in order to spark discussion and debate on certain issues, ultimately, uniting potentially diverse communities.
In response to this perspective, Castells demonstrates a more ‘realistic’ approach to ‘The Global Village’ by suggesting that “we are not living in a global village, but in customized cottages globally produced and locally distributed” (Castells 2000, p.370). Thornton also implies that this seemingly interactive utopian experience is unrealistic. Both writers touch upon the notion of a widening gap between rich and poor nations and those within it, exercising the idea that it is getting worse. With this kind of reality, there are indeed people who do not ‘fit in’ to the Global Village. For those nations and individuals without access to the internet or other interactive forums, media globalization can be a powerful mechanism of social exclusion.
– O’Shaughnessy, M, Stadler, J 2012, ‘Media and Society 5th Edition’, Oxford University Press, Oxford
– Thornton, S 2002, ‘Let Them Eat IT: The Myth of the Global Village as an Interactive Utopia’, ctheory.net, 19/8/2014, <http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=327#note3>