John Tomilson and the Global Culture

Essay by Katya-azarUniversity, Master'sC+, November 2007

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John Tomlinson, a professor of cultural sociology, is a widely known intellectual and theorist of the cultural aspects of globalization. He has published many journal articles and book chapters on a broad range of topics including; cultural studies and media, sociology, politics, development studies, urban studies and geography. He has formed an academic research program in Culture, Media and Communications at Nottingham Trent University and in 2003 established the Institute for Cultural Analysis, Nottingham.

Professor Tomlinson has wide experience as a teacher and supervisor and is currently a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. His first book Cultural Imperialism (1991) has been recognized to have ’completely reshaped the debate about cultural and media imperialism’ (Appiah, 1994) and in 2003 it has been included in the American Council of Learned Societies ‘ History E-Book Project’. Tomlinson’s latest book called Immediacy: Speed/Media in Global-Modern Cultures is in printing progress. The book, I’m going to focus on in this essay, Globalization and Culture (1999), consists of six chapters, is widely cited and has been translated into ten languages.

In this book, Tomlinson discusses the relationship between globalization and culture.

Culture is perhaps one of the most forsaken aspects of the great globalization debate and unlike many, John Tomlinson puts Culture into the centre of this debate. He argues that there is much more to globalization than politics and economy. The aim of his work is to understand how Globalization affects everyday life and everyday culture as it is experienced: ‘ the lived experience of the Globalization’, as well as developing a theory of Cultural Identity and Cosmopolitanism. It is important at this point to clarify Tomlinson’s understanding of Globalization as a new historical situation which, in his own words, occurred in the last quarter of the twentieth century. This view is clearly stated in...