Lecture Notes (pptx 4664k)

Globalisation, nationalism,
multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism
Dr Ian Woodward
School of Humanities
Globalisation: definitions
“ the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant
localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events
occurring many miles away and vice versa ” Giddens, The
Consequences of Modernity, p.64), and “…action at a distance…”
“globalization as a concept refers to both the compression of the world
and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole…both
concrete global interdependence and consciousness of the global whole
in the twentieth century” (Roland Robertson, Globalization, p.8)
“a social process in which the constraints of geography on social and
cultural arrangements recede and in which people become increasingly
aware that they are receding” (Malcolm Waters, Globalization, p.3)
Globalisation can represent a personal, economic and
social opportunity. But, it also threatens the perceived
integrity of the nation. Belonging to a nationality is a key
aspect of identity, but belonging to a stable, wealthy
nation is a privilege.
The hidden stuff that makes globalisation work?
(according to Anthony Giddens, In Consequences of Modernity)
‘symbolic tokens’: e.g. ‘money’ - these permit the interchange of things
without regard for the specific characteristics of individuals and groups
that handle them at any particular juncture; money bridges time &
space through electronic transfer
‘expert systems’ : although we may think we consult specific experts
irregularly, many aspects of our lives are influenced by them, because
you cannot know about all the things that you must trust in, e.g.
engineering systems, airplanes, internet security, surgeons/therapists,
financial controllers – when we can’t deal with people personally we
must trust systems, protocols & security measures; has there recently
been a questioning of experts in some fields?
Different ‘globalisations’: five theories
(from John Urry, Global Complexity)
Globalisation as structural change
increased density of global interactions, compared to local or
national ones: liberalisation of world trade, internationalisation of
economic production, globalising consumption, declining cost of
transportation, national economies ‘open up’ (eg. Australia, China)
development of transnational capitalist class who are ‘more or less’
in control of corporate globalisation (eg. Rupert Murdoch, Richard
2. Globalisation as flows & mobilities
the increase of flows along various ‘scapes’: mediascapes, financescapes,
technoscapes, ideoscapes, ethnoscapes
includes systems of transporting people by air, sea, rail, motorways…
what flows? people (for work, education, holidays); objects & goods (that
are sent & received by companies & individuals); information, messages &
images, capital/money
flows run through spaces unequally, flows can be blocked and/or reversed,
eg. the passport & visa are important
flows ‘create’ culture - depending on their source they can create a
homogeneous culture, rather than a hybrid, cosmopolitan culture, eg
McDonaldisation processes on later slide
See: http://www.flightradar24.com/
3. Globalisation as ideology
neo-liberal view of globalisation - focus on the inevitability, naturalness
and inherent goodness of globalisation, where corporations operate on
global basis, lacking any commitment to place, labour force or nation
nation-states & national interests: really play minor role relative to MNC
(and deservedly so…the rhetoric suggests)
globalisation allows for the creation of a borderless, cosmopolitan
utopia… those who are mobile & rich in capital benefit most
4. Globalisation as performance
globalisation is not so much a cause but an effect glob. Is not a
‘thing’, but is is something that is made, and re-made continuously
through various material & symbolic processes
many individuals & organisations mobilise around & orchestrate
phenomena that demonstrate & possess a global character (eg. Global
nature, tourism, economy, big business, war on terror), ‘ making
globalisation’ as much a semiotic process (ie. an image) than anything
e.g. a significant part of the tourist industry is based upon global
pilgrimages to visit ‘global nature’ – iconic natural features & authentic
wilderness experience, eg. see:
e.g. idea of a ‘global nature’ comes from our ability to see, map &
measure environmental processes around the globe, including satellite
images like the (iconic) one on the following slide taken on the Apollo
17 flight, 1972
View of Earth, from Apollo 17, 1972
 allows people to identify their
‘smallness’ & their planet’s
 what was regarded as ‘separate’
is now seen as interconnected
 the image fuses idea of ‘global
nature’ that needs to be
protected, and indeed, have
looming problems reversed
5. Global complexity
formed around the morphology of networks, which constitute the
structure of society and which the individual constitutes & is constituted
by…(after Manuel Castells)
in the contemporary world, such networks are radically contingent,
chaotic, fast-moving & black holes, eg internet, which nation-states
cannot realistically fully control - making globalisation constant process
of chaos & order
the global is made by a variety of clusters (eg cities), networks (eg.
telecommunication, international air flights) & fluids (money, people,
information skills)
do the structures of such global complexity inevitably lead to certain
types, models & cultures dominating? How might this change over
time? (consider the process of McDonaldisation…)
Theories of globaliation#1: Wallerstein’s worldsystem theory: a radical precursor to
globalization theories
• attempts to account for global inequality through an
analysis of the relative economic positions of nations
• a pioneering theory in that development was understood
as a function of global processes, rather than internal
features of nations: unit of analysis in not nation, but
‘capitalist world economy’
• world economy began in 16th C. Europe, where commodity
chains extracted wealth from ‘peripheral’ nations and
returned it to ‘core’ nations
• world economy expanded as much since 1945 than it did in
the period 1500-1945
Theories#2: Robertson: principal early
theorist of globalization
Robertson’s idea of the ‘global field’
• ‘ individualization ’ : the global redefinition of each person as a
complete whole, rather than as a subordinate part of any localized
collectivity, eg. ‘we are part of a global community’, ‘we are all part
of a global ecosystem’ (e.g. globalisation of environmental risks)
‘internationalization’: the multiplication of inter-state dependencies
‘societalization’: the establishment of the modern nation-state as the
‘humanization’: the global establishment of the view that humanity
and arrangements, eg. UN, EU, FTA’s, military agreements,
likely form of society, nation-state retains influence over populations
(little/no chance of true global government)
cannot be differentiated by race, class or gender in terms of rights &
possibilities, eg. ‘ we are all human ’ – (anti-war justifications),
development of idea of human rights
Robertson: general points about
the world is not necessarily more harmonious or
integrated, but is more unified and globally systematic
(Iraq conflict, UN role, ‘coalition of the willing’)
a globalized world is not without conflicts, only that any
conflicts will commonly be interpreted as part of a
global order (USA as ‘global police officer’, cricket
boycotts in Zimbabwe, Australia ’ s treatment of
indigenous people, forest clearing in Sth America,
Group task (in group of 2 or 3)
Who or What best symbolically represents ‘Australia’ &
‘Norway’ in the following domains?
• People
• Events & activities
• Places
• Values and beliefs
What is ‘Australian’?
General findings:
• Relative homogeneity of meaning across social
• represent ‘old’ Australia, even NESB women seem to
have a common language of Australian icons
• symbols are self-sustaining & mutually supportive,
eg. the surf lifesaver embodies multiple meanings,
including ?????
• against social and economic elites, against ‘traitors’
who go to America, for camaraderie & mateship, for
Playing with representations of Australian icons:
• Chinese-born, and now Canberra-based, artist Hou
Leong focuses in his work, on the idea of cultural
appropriation and perceptions of identity and
tradition. He raises questions of identity, for example,
by combining and contrasting familiar Australian and
Chinese photographic images - both of people and of
landscapes - in confronting and amusing ways.
• In his painting, he fuses Western tradition and Asian
styles, such as in a recent series based on Leonardo da
Vinci’s famous “Mona Lisa”.
• As Melissa Chiu writes in the catalogue for the 1997
touring exhibition “Paradox”, Hou Leong “...juxtaposes
different cultural imagery, daring us to question his
images and in turn question our own assumptions and
“An Australian (Wood chopper)”
digital photograph, 1994.
In this series, Hou Leong replaces key
figures within well-known Australian
images with an image of himself,
creating stark cultural contrasts and
demonstrating “an intention to
disrupt deeply-held cultural
(from the catalogue for the touring
exhibition “Paradox” by Melissa Chiu,
“An Australian (Outback Pub)”
digital photograph,1994.
What does it mean to be “an
This is the question Hou Leong poses
in this series, where he places himself
into familiar images, which contain
“an essentialised idea of Australianness personified by Anglo-Celtic
(from the catalogue for the touring
exhibition “Paradox” by Melissa Chiu,
“An Australian (With the Flag)”
digital photograph, Hou Leong, 1994.
In this series, Hou Leong questions
what it means to be an Australian.
“The exclusion of other cultures
within the myth of Australian identity
is inverted by the inclusion of Leong
himself in each image.”
(from the catalogue for the touring
exhibition “Paradox” by Melissa Chiu,
“An Australian (Crocodile Dundee)”
digital photograph,1994.
Is the character Mick Dundee from
“Crocodile Dundee”, as
quintessentially Australian as the
film’s makers might like to think?
This seems to be the question Hou
Leong poses - and answers, in his
own original way - in this work from
the series “An Australian”.
“An Australian (Ampol)”
digital photograph,1994.
Placing himself into this familiar
Australian advertisement, Hou Leong,
as he does throughout this series,
prods us into questioning what the
term “as Australian as...” should
really mean in today’s multicultural
“An Australian (Surfers)
digital photograph,1994.
By placing himself into a photograph
depicting one of the “typical”
pastimes of Australians, Hou Leong
raises questions about the blond,
blue-eyed image often associated
with the sport of surfing and indeed
all too often, with Australian identity
“Shells on Li River”
digital photograph,1995.
In this work, Hou Leong places the
Sydney Opera House on China’s Li
River, surrounded by spectacular
mountain ranges.
It’s part of his landscape series,
which draws “attention to the
symbolic and cultural value that
landscape holds in the definition of a
sense of place”.
(from the catalogue for the touring
exhibition “Paradox” by Melissa Chiu,
Australian national identity:
What is considered to be ‘Australian’ and what
is ‘Un-Australian’?
Why study such cultural keywords?
• the idea of a nation is constructed by myth, discourse and symbol
• people use simple, single words to refer to complex assessments and
judgements, so ‘Australian’ & ‘Un-Australian’ reference/hide
complex ideas about Australian collective national identity
• struggles over the meaning of words are symbolic of broader social
struggles for power
• there are widely shared common conceptions of ‘Un-Aus’,
suggesting commitment to common conceptions despite social
What are the principles of being ‘Un-Australian’?
• behaviour seen as contrary to the spirit of equity and fair play, eg.
unsporting behaviour, under-handedness
• a desire to be outside mainstream culture, eg. migrants living in
• embrace foreign influences, Americanisation, ‘ethnics’
Key point: these are anxieties about what is happening to Australia in the
face of globalisation – Australians are obsessed with the policing the
nation’s borders – a result of our relative global isolation & island
Globalisation and everyday life
‘glocalisation’ (Robertson):
refers to intersection of global and local, esp. the way local
cultures are integrated with global processes, eg. adjustment of
McDonalds meals to local tastes, pre-packaging of exotic tourist
experiences for westerners, the way local economic conditions
are effected by economic imperatives far away
Everyday domains of engagement with globalisation:
 Media and cultural consumption
 Travel
 Personal consumption, eg. food, clothing
 Communication technologies, eg. internet, telephone
 Membership of global and international communities, eg.
worldwide discussion groups
 Attitudes towards global environment issues
 International relations and politics
 Personal and professional networks
George Ritzer, rationalisation & McDonaldisation:
• McDonalisation is: ‘the process by which the principles of the fast-food
restaurant are coming to dominate more & more sectors of American
society as well as the rest of the world’ … the globalisation of cultural
sameness & homogeneity
• McDonalds is metaphor for leakage of instrumental rationalisation from
within organisations to all social relations
• Application of routinised, instrumental, goal-oriented rationality to areas
of human life which have aspects not conducive to goal-directedness,
standardisation, routinisation or calculability, & bureaucratic
Dimensions of McDonalisation
• making organisations more efficient has involved shifting labour to consumer,
eg. service stations, salad bars, ATMs
• quantifiability, measurability & calculability are dominant paradigms of the
contemporary world – eg. in judging whether or nor to finance creative projects
such a movies, music or tv shows; or in the realm of education
• Ritzer uses example of Disneyland where employees must maintain weight, not
have facial hair, long hair or wear jewelry, women must not wear short skirts, nor
‘too much’ jewelry or makeup
• involves standardisation processes, eg. McDonalds food, international hotels,
furniture chains like Ikea, some University curricula (eg, vocational degrees)
Reactions to McDonaldisation: embrace of ‘anti-consumerist’ consumption: local,
organic, small-scale, vintage ….
3 basic views on globalisation
• The Advocates - Enthusiasts: Globalization is good and
creates a better world based on free trade and beneficial
• The Sceptics: Globalization is driven by national governments
following neo-liberal agendas of economic restructuring and
fearful of losing ‘international competitiveness’
• The Opponents and Critics: Globalization destroys local
communities and identities. Citizens should collectively organize
at a grassroots level to resist.
Australian views on globalisation – personal opportunity vs
loss of local culture
1. Culture – something lost or diluted by globalisation
(from focus groups, 2007, Woodward & Skrbis)
local culture is destroyed by global business interests
globalisation homogenises cultural experience, causing local expressions to
lose distinctive qualities, eg. McDonalds & food, US movies, shopping malls
& global brands, western pop music, cities
“Jenny had a point - the imports we’re bringing in are putting all our small business out.
Like the corner shop, how long since you saw a corner shop? They cannot compete
with the globalisation of the markets. Coles and Woolworths buy in bulk, thousands
and thousands of items, but you’re little old corner shop keep can only buy 5. It has
affected the Australian economy. In the time I’ve been alive I’ve seen it just go down
and down.”
2. Globalisation as personal opportunity
(from focus groups, 2007, Woodward & Skrbis)
Individuals endorse possibilities allowed for by globalisation: employment,
consumption, tourism & travel, economic benefits
Philip: “I wrote a book, I breed parrots for a hobby, and I published a book on parrots
and through the internet I’ve sold 2000 copies, all around the world through the
internet from Finland to Brazil. Unbelievable.”
----Steve: “the lady I live with and I run a biker web site which is international. We’ve made
several friends and a couple of them are going to relocate to Australia from America.
Before they do so they need to have guaranteed jobs in Australia, if not they must be
sponsored by an Australian, and we intend to sponsor these people , so that they can
move to Australia and experience good riding…..I’ve got people sending me over
parts for the bike that I’m building. I’m currently in the process of building a Harley
Davidson. Through Australian sources it would cost me well over 50000 to build, it’s
going to be just under 20000 when you source the parts from America and a few other
Reflexive deliberations on the global ….
From Woodward, Skrbis & Bean, 2008: summing up on social cleavages &
cosmopolitan disposition
Features of cultural diversity in
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Look
Compared to Norway:

similar documents