Edited by Ruth Towse
Chapter 31: Globalization
Keith Acheson Thomas Friedman (2005) believes that we are now in the third period of globalization in which the individual is being directly integrated into a world setting. In his framework, countries became globalized in the first period and organizations in the second. Friedman concludes The World is Flat by contrasting the positive of globalization, represented by the peaceful and almost spontaneous dismantling of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 (11/9) with the negative, represented by the carefully planned destruction of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 (9/11). This chapter focuses more narrowly on the globalization of cultural industries and activities in the past quarter-century. Currently, individuals have unprecedented scope to distribute among themselves music, images, stories and videos through the Internet and have similarly wide opportunities to buy traditional books, CDs and DVDs on line. In addition they can access a wide range of films and television programmes from cable and satellite services and stream radio stations, television programming and recorded music from Internet sites. The impact of this globalization on cultural activities depends on the quality of national communications grids and their links to the Internet, and national policies governing copyright, spectrum allocations, subsidies, taxes, foreign investment controls, privacy and censorship. In particular, within Friedman’s second and third periods of globalization, a set of cultural policies subsidizing and protecting national companies and nonprofits producing and distributing traditional media was introduced and has evolved. National cultural policies have been typically mercantilist. They have protected traditional media...
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