New terms and ideas that I am being exposed to in the book Practices of Looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright.

] Globalization [

A term used to describe a set of conditions escalating since the postwar period. These conditions included increased rates of migration, the rise of multinational corporations, the development of global communications and transportation systems, and the decline of the sovereign-nation state, and the “shrinking” of the world through commerce and communication. While some theorists take the conditions of globalization as a given, others see them as ideological, in the sense that their direction and force are not inevitable but are shaped by vying economic, cultural, and political interests. The term “globalization” also works to extend the concept of the local, in that globalization’s advancement depends on the formation of new sorts of local communities not geographically bound.


] Convergence [

A term that refers to the increased combination of media together into one point of access. The potential combination of communication technologies such as computers, television, film, fax, and telephone into one interconnected multimedia system is the vision of media convergence of many proponents of new technology.

] Synergy [

A term used in industry to describe the ways that corporate conglomerates own aspects of cultural production, programming, and distribution across many media and into many geographic locales. Synergy thus refers to the capacity of corporations that own across many media such as broadcast networks, cable television, movie studios, film distribution companies, magazines and other publishing entities, to both vertically integrate across programming and distribution and horizontally market products globally.

] Global Village [

A term coined by Marshall McLuhan to refer to the ways that media can connect people from all over the world into communities, hence to give the collective sense of a village to groups that are separated geographically. McLuhan stated that the global village was created by instant electronic communication. He wrote, “the global village is at once as wide as the planet and as small as the little town where everybody is maliciously engaged into poking his nose into everybody else’s business. The global village is a world in which you don’t necessarily have harmony; you have extreme concern with everybody else’s business and much involvement with everybody else’s life.” It is a term that describes both the contemporary frenzy of media events and the connections created by people over distances through communication technologies.

] Imperialism [

Derived from the word “empire,” imperialism refers to the policy of nation that aim to extend their boundaries into new territories, for example through colonization. In Marxist theory, imperialism is one of the means by which capitalism extends its power by creating both new markets that it can sell its commodities to and new labor forces that it can use to make those commodities for low cost.

] Cultural imperialism [

Refers to how ways of life are exported into other territories through cultural products and popular culture. Because it is the center of the production of global popular culture and has economic power, the United States is often accused of cultural imperialism.

] Postcolonial [

A term that refers to the cultural and social context of countries that were formerly defined in relationships of colonialism (both colonized and colonizer), in the contemporary mix of former colonies, neocolonialism, and continuing colonialism. The term “postcolonial” refers to the broad set of changes that have affected these countries, and in particular to the mix of identities, languages, and influences that have resulted from complex systems of dependence and independence. Postcolonial contexts, for instance, can be identified both in former colonies of England and within England itself. Most theorists of postcolonialism insist that the breakup of older colonial models is never complete, and does not put an end to forms of domination between more and less powerful countries.

] Hybridity [

A term referring to anything of mixed origins that has been used in contemporary theory to describe those people whose identities are derived simultaneously from many cultural origins and ethnicities. Hybridity has been used to describe diasporic cultures that are neither in one place or the other but of many places.

] Diaspora [

The existence of various communities, usually of a particular ethnicity, culture or nation, scattered across places outside of their land of origin or homeland. There are, for instance, large diasporic communities of Jews throughout the world, and of East Indians in England. Work in diaspora studies has stressed the complexity of suck communities, who not only negotiate memory and nostalgia for original homelands, but have the shared histories of migration, displacement, and hybrid identity of other local diaspora communities.

Share →

Leave a Reply