Sunday, April 26, 2009


(1) In “Global and the Local”, Sreberny talked about “reverse cultural imperialism. It says “in another region and medium, the Indian film industry has an international reputation as the most productive…with an extensive export market…creating movies that reflect and reinforce different elements of India’s rich cultural past as well as indigenizing invasive foreign elements into a distinctive Indian style.” It reminds me of the film Slumdog Millionaire. How can we understand this “reverse cultural imperialism” in the globalization era? I feel like “culture” of non-western countries are always exploited by film industry. They use exoticness to target audiences in the west. However, the focus on culture always serves to obscure other things. The same thing applies to Chinese martial art. Appadurai regarded as a reinforcement of masculinity and violence. But I consider it as a selling point frequently used by Chinese movie industry to target overseas market. Does such “reverse cultural imperialism” exist?
(2) Sreberny also said that “another point of direct relevance to the ‘localism’ claim, is that the level of this media production is at the level of the nation, either through state supported or national corporate networks. Thus in such arguments the “local” is really the “national”, while the truly local (sub-cultural, grassroots, etc.) is ignored.” In my view, the so-called “national” culture is established to construct national image to other countries. For that reason, it is hard to include “truly local” mentioned here in the national image construction. On the other hand, an interesting phenomenon is that people from other countries tend to look for “truly local”. For example, people from western countries are always interested in subculture and grassroots culture in China, such as underground rock. In this sense, are national and local somewhat constructed as contradictory in a global scale?
(3) “The apparent triumph of late capitalism in 1989-90 and the demise of the so-called second world of state socialism, suggest that ideological politics in the classic sense is going to be less important than the revival of identity politics in the future.” (p621) I am wondering whether this conclusion is true. Based on Herman & Chomsky and other scholars, the west-east ideological difference is still dominating the global cultural exchange. Since ideology is embedded and consistent, can ideological politics be replaced?
(4) I like the point proposed by Kahn and Kellner that “it would be more accurate to say that the movement embodies a globalization-from-below and alternative globalizations that defend social justice, equality, labor, civil liberties, universal human rights, and a healthy planet on which to live safely from the ravages of an uncontrolled neoliberal strategy.” I think it is right that there are all kinds of versions of globalization. In most cases, when we speculate on globalization, we understand it as “how corporate and governmental behavior are intertwined in the name of ‘globalization’. In other word, we always tend to think of political economy in the name globalization. I buy the point of “alternative globalization”. But I feel worried that to what extent can it be alternative as regards to digital divide and omnipresent consumerism?
(5) An interesting point in Roessler’s discussion of magazines is that “the migration of individuals as a driving force behind the emergence of transnational social spaces”. But I find it depends. Between two countries with huge political and economic power difference, the power of migrating individuals is very likely to be invisible. In terms of globalization, how much power can individuals have? This concern echoes my understanding of globalization. There is huge difference between within-developed-country-globalization and developed-developing country-globalization.

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