Globalization? Not today.

While reading Tanner Mirrlees piece on Global Entertainment Media,  I, was forced to reconsider the double bind which occupies the the creative industries. In the past weeks, my peers and I have studied the way in which the creative industries remain an extremely difficult field to broach.  Arguably the most challenging aspect aside from actually establishing oneself within the field is how one establishes themselves. When assessing what is wrong within the creative industries, it is clear that the issues lie at the core of the system itself. In entering the field, workers are forced to choose between establishing themselves within the structurally unchanging fired as it stands or be willing to potentially sacrifice our work and its success to force change upon that system.

The system operating within Hollywood is surely problematic. But the key to solving this problem is understanding the system not just as it effects the local system, but its detrimental occupation of the global marketplace as well. In their book, Unthinking Eurocentrism, and its focus on Eurocentrism and multiculturalism Ella Shohat and Robert Stam write,

It is written in the passionate belief that an awareness of the intellectually debilitating effects of the Eurocentric legacy is

Edward Said

Edward Said

indispensable for comprehending not only contemporary media representations but even contemporary subjectivities…”Western” civilization is usually taught without reference to the central role of European colonialism within capitalist modernity. So embedded is Eurocentrism in everyday life, so pervasive that it often goes unnoticed. The residual traces of centuries of axiomatic European domination inform the general culture, the everyday language, and the media, engendering a fictitious sense of the innate superiority of European- derived cultures and peoples. (Shohat and Stam 1)

Shohat and Stam reject ideas of globalization as a tool of exchange if for no other reason than its complete inability to form outside of a system which has benefitted from the hierarchal positioning of the people with which it claims a desire to “exchange” with.  Instead at every level there is a historical reenacting of Western privilege on a global scale.

Representationally accurate portrayal of  "globalization"

Representationally accurate portrayal of” globalization”

The idea that globalization within any industry allows for an equal cultural exchange fails to consider  those inequalities which lie at the core of globalization which establish the unbalanced representations, and the power structure which reestablishes the neocolonialist ideals.  The very  systems which established support the western tendency for consumption of culture rather than its exchange. The ideology supports every facet of the new system from the who, what, and how,  to the produced product.

Mirrlees, Tanner. Global entertainment media: between cultural imperialism and cultural globalization. Routledge, 2013.
Shohat, Ella, and Robert Stam. Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the media. Routledge, 2014.

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