Explain what you understand by the concept of 'globalisation' and, with reference to relevant examples, assess the role and impact of the mass media in this process.

Essay by cherrycoolUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, November 2009

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Globalisation itself means, quite literally, to 'create the globe'. One of the most quoted definitions is that of Anthony Giddens; "(Globalisation is) … the intensification of worldwide social relations, which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa"[1]. Definitions can vary, depending on the source, but ultimately, globalisation refers to the process of a capitalist world system spreading across the actual globe, and the expansion of a network of relations between countries. This is often for wealth and trading purposes, and can at times come at the expense of culture. Francois Bourricaud said, 'Modern societies are characterised less by what they have in common, or by their structure with regard to well-defined universal exigencies, than by the fact of their involvement in the issue of universalization'.[2] In globalisation we see the dissolution of old structures and boundaries of national states, representing the magnitude and increasing impact of social interaction and organisation.

This links distant regions across the globe, economically and socially, and often through the medium of the media.

The definition of globalisation can also include cultural and social references. Globalisation is not always considered a particularly new phenomenon; it can be compared to the structure of the world systems theory, which, according to Immanuel Wallerstein, is 'quite simply as a unit with a single division of labour and multiple cultural systems'.[3] Indeed, many believe globalisation to be an extension of the world systems theory, rather than simply based on it. The modern world system reached its peak during the twentieth century, with all corners of the globe being reached and affected by capitalist markets, thus completing the idea of globalisation.

Quite often a question arises as to whether globalisation can be considered the homogenisation of the...