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Networking the World Mediatization and Globalization André Jansson MKAD 01 Fall 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Networking the World Mediatization and Globalization André Jansson MKAD 01 Fall 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Networking the World Mediatization and Globalization André Jansson MKAD 01 Fall 2009

2 Structure The universalist vision Means of Globalization The realms of mediatization Networks and power geometries Globalism and the future of network society Reponse papers + Group project

3 A universal society? Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) Universal association through industrialism - rational administration - infrastructure - trade From religion to modern communications

4 Communication and the shrinking of distances Geographical distances Social distances Cultural distances  ”Universal society” within a European/imperialist framework

5 The utopian outlook – World Expos Imperial and industrial power demonstrations The role of communications and media Early ’place wars’ Accentuated travel and tourism (e g Cook)

6 Universal exhibitions I London 1851 ’the Great Exhibition (of the works of industry of all nations)’ - Crystal Palace (cathedral of free trade) - Victorian empire - Miniaturization

7 Universal exhibitions II Paris 1889 (centennial of the revolution) - Electric communication (e g Bell exhibit) - Eiffel tower

8 Universal exhibitions III Montreal 1967 - ”Man and his World” - The last great expo – success story - Negotiated universalism: the abolishment of national pavilions vs Francophone power- struggle in Quebec - Advanced communication infrastructure – ”megastructure” architecture

9 Man the Producer pavilion with Expo Express tracks in the foreground (Montreal 1967)

10 Means of universalization GMT/UTC – Meridian conference 1884 Standard measurments (e g metric scale) Technological standards (e g for radio transmission, telegraphy)  Abstract systems for social disembedding (Giddens)


12 Schivelbusch (1981) The Railway Journey The spiral of universalization/disembedding in the late 19th century: Time zones (timetables) Technological standardization (tracks) Administration and synchronization of trade Wired telegraph networks (Morse code) Print industries (newspapers, literature) Tourism industry

13 The globalization triangle Connectivity  Networks Universality  SpacesMobility  Flows

14 The rise of network society From ”space of place” to ”space of flows” (Castells) E g cities are altered into nodes or exchange points New networks and nodes tend to follow old ones (Graham et al) Becoming a node is a crucial power resource (e g Sassen’s ”global cities”)

15 Realms of Mediatization Culture Politics EconomyTechnology

16 The case of the telegraph Optical telegraphy – late 18th century France (semaphores, light) Electric telegraphy – 1830s Preussia – cables and Morse signals International Telegraph Union 1865 – standards, rates, stations Atlantic cable 1866 London established as the hub of the world Radio telegraphy – Marconi around 1900

17 French foreign minister, ITU opening 1865: ”We are gathered here in a genuine congress of peace. If it is true that war, more often than not, is born out of misunderstanding, are we not removing one of its causes by facilitating the exchange of ideas between people and by placing at their disposal this amazing transmission system, this electric wire through which thought can travel across space at the speed of lightning, and which permits swift and uninterrupted dialogue between the scattered members of the human family?”

18 Influences of telegraphy Military (e g Krim war, 1853-56 – Black Sea cable) News agencies (e g Havas 1835, Wolff 1849, AP 1848, Reuters 1851) – news as commodity, information trade ”Yellow press” – Pulitzer vs Hearst, 1890s Altered world-view of citizens – immediacy and drama Acceleration of economic processes, e g stock-exchange, trade news Power balance: - control of colonies (railway, post, telegraphy) - world divided through news agencies and communication networks

19 Mattelart’s key point The ideology or utopia of networking – disembedding versus The social and political realities of networking – re-embedding

20 Media, networks and power geometries The media as an instrument of power – e g propaganda (cinema), imperial control (telegraph) The media as an object of power – e g technological standards The media as a symbol of power – e g brands, industries The media as the power – ’mediacracy’ and media empires.

21 The control of the media Pathé Frères, 1896 – patent on film French monopoly: from cinema ownership to manufacturing and sale of cameras, film International dominance/dependence before 1914

22 Geopolitics and competition 1919: 90% of films in Europe of US origin American film industry after WWI: world dominance through size and diversity. 1928: French decree of 120 US films annually Marshall plan after WWII: US demanded increased access – screen quota replacing export quota Crisis in French film industry 1948 a new agreement was signed and French film industry survived

23 Cultural imperialism Dominance of European and US news agencies American dominance in film and television – export of culture and ideology (1970s: Schiller, Tunstall, McChesney) UNESCO: New World Information and Communication Order (MacBride report 1980) Democratization of production, strengthening of national media, ’Communication for development’ 1984-1985: USA and UK left UNESCO in protest Few recommendations were realized The hegemony of ”globalism” – ”free flow of information”

24 Media as the power Media empires and the control of information: e g Randolf Hearst and Spanish-American war in Cuba (Mattelart p 25) Pseudo-events (Boorstin): press conferences, staged events, celebrity production… Simulations (Baudrillard) – ”The Gulf War Did Not Take Place”

25 How to understand contemporary network society? Cultural imperialism? Hybridization? Digital divide? Globalism?




29 Looking forward… What are the potentials of new digital media and participatory cultures?

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