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The Impact of Media on Systems and Globilization

Updated on June 29, 2021
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Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics

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Processes of globalization, economic, political and social-cultural activities of a particular place do have a significant impact on people and communities that are in extremely different and far places. The present day globalized world is featured by high global consciousness, and intense connectivity. The media plays a critical function in globalization with both positive and negative impact on people (Tehranian, 2009).

Many news organizations have ventured into “global operations” owing to the trend of globalization. In most cases, global media are transnational firms, which generate programs, or messages aimed at reaching a number of people in many and different places of the world. This subsequently enhances the process of globalization alongside altering the social environment where adolescents and children live. The process of globalization has tended to affect the lives of children and youth, leisure, work, entertainment, food, language and so on. In recent times, technological developments in digital media, cable, the internet and satellite have helped to heighten the role of media, especially the global media in the process of globalization. The significant of media in the process of globalization may be explained in different perspective that related to the life of people. These include economic, social, political and cultural (Sreberny, 2006).

As Tehranian (2009), observes, globalization of the media and the communication industry in general, have made life to be more convenient, and have made people to understand their world more. Through a globalized media, people, information, trends, news, and culture can now reach the world faster and easier than it was so some years back. Globalization has led to time-space compression. Further, through globalization, media and technology systems have rapidly spread make it easier for access of information with disregard to distance or place.

This paper aims to discuss the relation of the impact of media in the globalization process.

Understanding the Process of Globalization

Parker (2003) defines globalization as a worldwide integration in all spheres, archived through markets. Other theorists such as Martin (2002) consider it a commercialization of life. There are those such as (Ritzer, 1993) who refer globalization as the “Americanization of the world”. Theroborn on the other hand, observes the current form of globalization as being a substitution of the global for the worldwide, and space for time. It is as well critical to note that what is increasingly referred as global is a production system that occurs in mass terms, which is essentially American, her politics, designs and products that seem to dominate the globe. This is irrespective of whether these designs and products were made by the Chinese, Japanese, Indians or other makers.

Hardt and Negri (2000) points out that it is better to think of globalization as a process and not a norm. Many aspects of the world’s economic and social life are being connected through various flows and processes that are connected in circuits of organizational consumption and production. Businesses and organizations that are transnational are coordinated by digital technology with dispersed branches and departments that coordinate the production and marketing capacities. These organizations are organized in such a way that they are able to conquer and exploit their market potential with the help of advanced communication, and digital media. The digital media such as the internet has made it less necessary for many business organizations to continue having a centralized form of organization.

Clarke, and Clegg (1998), postulates that globalization involves increased flows and networks around the world. It also increases the probability that an occurrence in one part of the world will have an effect to another part of the world. Actions and events do have a wider impact geographically. The implication for this is that events in particular part of the world will have a dramatic effect on circumstances in other parts of the world. Further, it also involves the growing pattern of interconnections, interaction patterns and flows between states and societies. Globalization also relates to speed changes where global processes and interactions occur. Velocity is chiefly a consequence in communication and travel technologies (Held, et al 1999).

Impact of Media On Systems

McLuhan (1994) in his work Understanding Media pointed out the potential impact in which the development of media could have on Western Civilization and general life of individuals. The author opined that media development were poised to bring with it benefits such as aestheticized subjects. These were incorporated in sights, sounds and media spectacles such as radio, film, advertising and television. Since globalization and prorification of the new media seemed to go hand in hand, McLuhan observes that the medium presents the message of this development. He went on to emphasize that global media had really transformed the lives of many individuals. Because of this media proliferation, individuals were now able to comprehend and interpret the world, thus opening up new insights on the power of sounds and the power of images that were heavily circulating during the media age. McLuhan strongly appraised the power of media on both culture and subjectivity.

Baudrillad (1975) on his part opined that the presence of media images and symbols in the global consumer culture has established a distinctive consumer experience of hyperriarity whereby, the continuum of time space has been condensed by means of mass media dissemination. For Baudrillad, commodities create a hierarchical system of organized products and services that serve to point an individual’s standings within a specific system. Therefore, luxury products have significance that is more prestigious and needed by many, thus providing appealing social satisfaction. Baudrillad’s articulation provides an insight on the relation of media and global consumer culture. He does this through his emphasis of how needs; wants, uses, as well as the sign value of goods are construed in social perspectives as part of the consumption and production systems. The emergent worldwide characters, and swift movement of cultural symbols and signs by means of global organization channels have created a new reality where the increased media globalization have reduced the society to what Debord (1967) terms as the “the spectacle”.

The increasing development of media and global culture has led to a production and dissemination of the attitudes, rationality and values of a capitalistic consumer culture at alarming levels. Horkheimer and Adorno (2002) supports this notion by postulating through their essay the “culture industry” on how the development of media technologies such as the radio, film, television, magazines and newspapers have presented a powerful novel sources for the realization of the capital in a new system of social control. For these authors, harnessing of communication and media technologies have allowed the capitalistic forces an unequaled impact on the culture forms within the society.

How Media Enhances Globalization Process

The quick and enhanced flow of information through the media have improved connectivity, and facilitated the process of globalization. Development of novel communication and information technologies have empowered individuals that had been previously disenfranchised, marginalized, and peripherized communities. The velocity at which the media has been developing in the past few years can be described as phenomenal. The high rate of connectivity, alongside the emergency and development of new communication infrastructures, electronic devices, media content have dramatically altered the way in which individuals experience and interact with media (Jenkins, 2006).

Tehranian (1999) regards media as a double-edged sword, with a penchant of being labeled as an empowerment force. However, this media can also be used as a means of subjection. Though there are many instances where media has fostered solidarity among individuals and established commonness, the same media have also induced divisions within the global societies, reinforced prejudices, distorted realities and deepened misunderstandings. The author continues to say that this media has been a valuable instrument in identification of otherness, promoting cultural awareness, and embracing differences. However, media can also have a divisive impact through their difference to indifference. Stating it differently, Media is able to put in perspective individual and a group’s diversity with a great sense of frequency, and authenticity, thus facilitating intercultural communication. On a negative noted, this media can also act as a tool of dismissal, marginalization, function and effacement as a source of estrangement and divisive polarization.

Communication facilitates equal and free exchange of information, emergence of epistemic communities, development of social responsibility, thus creating harmony, and peace among groups and individuals. On the other hand, media can be used to distort perceptions by manufacturing consent aggression, establishing phantom enemies while targeting and stereotyping specific groups or nations.


In conclusion, Media has played and continues to a significant function in the globalization process. There are however, negative implications caused by global media in this process.


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