Globalisation – a concept that is at once the past, present and future.
The concept is spoken about as something that has happened – is happening – and will continue to happen.
But how does this concept navigate? – the scapes.
In his chapter ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’ Arjun Appadurai explores the concepts of the ethnoscape, mediascape, technoscape, financescape and the ideoscape. The “…five dimensions of global cultural flows” (A. Appadurai, 2010) examine the movement of people, money, culture and technology and how each are interconnected.
The interconnected nature of the scapes is further emblematic of life’s dependencies and the ways in which humanity, culture, money and the media are each intrinsically linked to make up our ‘global village’ (M McLuhan). As the world evolves and homogenises each of the scapes becomes further dependent upon each other to fuel the flow of our global village.
Focusing on the mediascape – “…the distribution of the electronic capabilities to produce and disseminate information … and the images of the world created by these media” (A. Appadurai, 2010) – one begins to piece together its role in our modern society, and the further this scape is unpacked the more each of the other scapes need it to generate their given role.
Let’s focus on one aspect of the mediascape – music.
Through globalisation music has been given an influential political and cultural voice and is utilised by musicians for activism, awareness and at times, exploitation. While there are a range of conflicting perspectives within and about modern popular music there is no doubt in its powerful interaction with the global cultural economy. Within the music itself there is a exploration of a range of ideologies, beliefs and concepts that navigate throughout the ideoscape, within the vehicle of music. A strong example is that of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ ‘Same Love featuring Mary Lewis’ where the struggle of homophobia is explored. This song, which advocates for individuals that “…would rather die than be who they are” peaked in the top twenty of twenty countries including Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Canada. This is pure evidence that the song, within the mediascape aided the travel of ideologies within the ideoscape.
(Image Source: M. Fawcus Twitter)
With over two million sales in the US alone, the song did exceptionally well financially with consumers all over the world buying the song – circulating capital within the financescape.
These short examples are only the beginning of how each of the scapes aids each other through our globalising world – as globalisation and homogenisation is on the rise, so too is the scapes interdependence.
Appadurai, A 2010, Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy, University of Minnesota press, Minnesota.
RL, Mary Lambert, Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, 2012. Same Love ft. Mary Lambert. United States of America: Macklemore LLC.