The Ever-Changing Global Environment

The ever-changing nature of individuals backgrounds and eventual transition in and out of world communities can be categorised by the term globalisation. Arjun Appadurai’s 5 dimensions of global cultural flows, describe the interactive nature of ‘Ethnoscapes’, ‘Financescapes’, ‘Technoscapes’, ‘Mediascapes’ to form ‘Ideoscapes’ in keeping up with globalisation. Depending on perspective these ‘scapes’ are moulded together to form imagined communities by which similar ‘Ideoscapes’ allow “the nation to always be conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship” (Anderson, 6-7).

As a starting point, the extreme innovation under the ‘Technoscapes’ umbrella has impacted all other dimensions and created linked needs and relationships between dimensions. Most notably, the ever-charging technologically dependant ‘Mediascape’ has flourished to enable differing cultures to telecast the traditions of their national communities, globally. One of the most common Australian examples of a globally inclusive media source enabled through technology, would be the ‘Special Broadcasting Service’ (SBS). ‘SBS’ is a network which prides itself on providing “…culturally-relevant Australian media.” (www.sbs.com.au), through numerous channels on free to air TV, radio and online. The network acts as a channel of expression when it comes to ‘Ideoscapes’ of varying cultures, a common ground is established among imagined communities whereby face-to-face interaction is unnecessary for the development of cultural bonds. However in some cases through this ‘Mediascape’ comes a presentation of cultural imperialism whereby negative, narrow-minded cultural views may be incorporated by the Westernised society?

These ‘Mediascapes’, enabled through new technology, have immense impacts on the way in which conclusions are drawn about certain issues within imagined communities. The relationship between ‘Ethnoscapes’ and ‘Financescapes’ see the need for integration of appropriate policies in order to suit newly introduced, globalised concepts such as, tourism, immigration and travel for employment, which enable capital flow through and between nations. An instance regarding the combination of ‘scapes’ is that of Asylum seekers. Technological advancements in the mechanical field enable the creation of transport for these asylum seekers (Technoscapes), who are fleeing countries in some cases, for hope of more prosperous future (Ethnoscapes- immigration/Fiancescapes). In turn they are encountering legalities with their entry into a nation, in this case Australia (Ethnoscapes). This issue is being televised on networks such as (SBS) (mediascapes), whereby, upon being conveyed by westernised media, has a negative effect on overall ‘Ideoscapes’ of these imagined communities.

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As illustrated in the example above, ‘Ideoscapes’ are no longer developed off face value or surroundings, but rather a combination of what is most commonly depicted in ‘Mediascapes’.  It can be seen however, that although some scapes subtly intertwine in a scenario, such as ‘Financescapes’ in the Asylum seeker example, these dimensions are never singularly depicted but rather act fluidly in all cases of globalisation.

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