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Globalization is a process of transformation of a local phenomenon into a planetary one. It is a process of a world economic and political integration and unification. The main result of globalization is the international division of labour, migration of capital, human and productive resources. It is also a standardization of legislation, technical and economic processes worldwide. Moreover, it is a process of drawing different cultures together. As a result of globalization, the world becomes more connected and dependent on all its subjects. Today, many people ascribe the word “globalization” to the professor of Harvard University, Theodore Levitt (1983). He was first who used it in his work “Globalization of Markets”. Although globalization is an objective process, there exists a severe political struggle around it. It has both supporters and opponents. On the one hand, the supporters of globalization predict a further development of the society but only on conditions of creation of the global information society. On the other hand, the opponents of globalization warn of a danger for the national cultural traditions and deepening of the social inequality.
The media has always played a vital role in different processes and events. It is the most powerful instrument of influence on people’s thoughts, believes and opinions. It can easily press different norms of behaviour, values and attitudes. After the World War I, the United States of America realized an important role the media and communication might play in a war or post-war period. Since these times, the media is constantly used as a form of propaganda in order to control and manipulate people’s behaviours and attitudes.
It is not a secret that today, the vast majority of the media flow is controlled by the ruling class, who are mostly the supporters of globalization. Besides, most of the journalists are not only providers of information, but also economic and political ideologists. As a result, one may constantly see the slogans, which call for globalization and unification.
Nowadays, the media controls almost the whole process of globalization. Scholars even consider it as the main player in this process. Globalization is mostly imposed by the “media event” method. It means that the media has always used some political events and processes to propagandize the national togetherness. Good examples are Michael Jackson’s trial (2008), inauguration of Barrack Obama (2009), etc. It is evident that constant presentation of some events and processes may lead to social unification and discussion. “The experience, shared primarily through television, is for everyone’ as media events tend to integrate societies: they dissolve or de-emphasize social divisions, and bring members of a community together around shared values and a shared sense of identity” (Hallin 1994, p.153).
Furthermore, nowadays, many scholars emphasize that the process of globalization has the only aim to develop and create a single cultural world. In most cases, the culture is popularized by the western (American) media. Different movies, radio songs, video clips and glossy magazines cannot but attract people. Being sponsored by the US media, American culture, in most cases, dictates what to think, what to wear and even how to live. The minority of individuals simply become ordinary people and obedient customers that are unable to control their lives and even desires. Tomlinson states, “The cultural globalization that we are witnessing today is not the net result of human endeavours and experiences and even it has not equitably benefited from cultural diversities. Rather it is the manifestation of dominance of a certain overpowering culture” (Skelton, Allen 1999, p. 23).
Some scholar state that the media has taken away the intellectual capacities and flexibility of a mankind, destroyed personal identity and turned it into an isolated entity.
Babran (2008) claims “These institutions tend to remove spatial and temporal boundaries in order to eliminate identity barriers. The successful implementation of this task would pave the way for the strategic goal of the capitalist tycoons and giant industrials to conquer the world market through of exploitation of minds, the draining of brains in the developing countries and injecting a superficial sense of happiness and harmony of audience”(p.218).
Not so long ago, many people talked about Americanization of the world, and especially the media. Nowadays, all are talking about globalization, as it is evident that the American media plays a key role on the global scene. Today, several American firms dominate in the media world, including Time Warner, AOL, Disney, Viacom, Gannet, etc. Hollywood films and some other popular American motion picture studios have long become global. Furthermore, a number of American TV channels have also rather quickly became global, including ABC, CNN, MTV, Discovery, NBO, etc.
“Cultural imperialism is defined as the cultural aspects of imperialism. Imperialism, here, is referring to the creation and maintenance of unequal relationships between civilizations favouring the more powerful civilization” (Johnston 2000, p. 375).
Today, many scholars agree that American imperialism is a thread to other cultures. One should never forget that diverse in cultures makes the world rich and different. Every person on the Earth has the right to study and belong to a certain culture, the extinction of which will definitely create a heavy loss. Nevertheless, the USA is constantly trying to impose their culture and view of life to the whole world. Often, it leads to serious effects, and people forget about their local heroes when they hear such names as Superman, Spiderman, and Batman. Even local drinks and food are replaced by such brands as Coke, Pepsi and McDonald’s. It is also not a secret that the USA is the leader in selling information, but the problem is that it is so cheap that any country in the world cannot compete with America.
Thus, the media plays a vital role in popularizing and expanding the process of globalization. By unequal flow of music, films, literature and news Americans are trying to impose their own views on life and culture.