Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A good literature review on globalization and culture

If you're looking for a good lit review on globalization and culture, clarifying some of the major trends in looking at the relation between globalization and nations/ nation-states/ national cultures, then you may try Kevin Archer, M. Martin Bosman, M. Mark Amen and Ella Schimdt (Eds.) (2008) Cultures of Globalization. Coherence, Hybridity, Contestation London & New York: Routledge.

In the introduction, the editors lay out the contemporary debates on globalization and culture, which they divide into two major lines of argument:

- culture-of-globalization (also called 'cultural turn'), focusing primarily on how culture is being co-opted and deployed by capitalism.

- globalization-of-culture (also called 'global turn'), focusing on the flow of cultural products (images, symbols, lifestyles etc.) via mass media.

The final recommendation - which I find quite pertinent for anyone interested in the alleged dissolution of the nation-state under global pressures - is to move away from simply looking at the economic and cultural dynamics on macro scale, and to rather focus on "the response - or impact - side of globalization; that is to say, how it is actually understood, interpreted, employed, reshaped, resisted, or even rejected by the targeted consumers of its material and symbolic content" (pp. 9-10).

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