BCM 111

Confessions Of A Square-Eyed Generation

Media Grows and Culture Flows

TV. The box. The tube. We love television but do we think about how TV connects us around the world at a global scale and how it shapes us as individuals? Before the introduction of Australian TV in 1956, we were unenlightened to the power of globalised media and how cultural capitals can influence our viewing habits and view of the world in general. Television has grown over the past 20 years and can’t easily be defined anymore. With all of the options available to the average person, from Foxtel to Netflix, TV is a gargantuan force that intertwines generations of people at a transnational range. The movement from traditional local life to modern interaction with mass media has “produced identities that are already multilayered with elements that are very local, regional, and national” (Straubhaar 2014, p 77). Specifically, the way in which we consume TV and the options available to us create a flow of cultural interactions. Think about the last show you watched. For me, it was Euphoria. A show based in the US, but it’s cultural identity and influences such as lifestyle, age and relatable gender images make it a global success, thus improving communication across cultures and sparking a conversation. Euphoria provides a sense of escapism while still maintaining a grip on reality and common issues amongst it’s audience. 

Straubhaar, Joseph, D. ‘Choosing National TV: Cultural Capital, Language and Cultural Proximity in Brazil’ in The Impact of International Television: A Paradigm Shift, edited by Michael G. Elasmar, Oxford: Routledge, 2014, pp. 77-110

Media on the Move!

So where does the TV we love come from? Surprisingly so many countries still import much of their programming, it no longer primarily coming in a one-way flow from the US. For example, the Dominican Republic is now importing genres, such as comedies, variety shows, and news from Mexico, a dominant producer for the Latin American cultural linguistic market, capitalising on the cultural proximity and language similarity. This ideology of global flows is so apparent and tells us so much about the world we live in today, especially within pop culture phenomenas. One success that I cottoned on to was Black Mirror, a British show that has flowed through cultures to become an international success. Black Mirror utilises it’s start-studded cast and cultural zane to entice it’s viewers worldwide. The show’s ability to form a new plot every episode, in a new country and even in a different language has all contributed to it’s fanfare. Although this show is primarily English, the episodes with linguistic differences are capitalised on to reach more people and become global sensations. Black Mirror also overcomes being too culturally jarring through the use of a different time and lifestyle with it’s Sci-Fi feel transporting people to a new place and time. Bielby (2005, p 38) reinforces this theory when stating that a “culturally diverse media presence allows a wider variety for flow amongst the world’s television viewers” Thus, flow can benefit the average individual due to the increased hybridity of programming and what we can now experience through all of the platforms available. However it’s does challenge the world due to the nature of the unknown and the vast differences in religion and values it may present.

Bielby, D 2005, ‘ Television in the Global Market’ ‘Global TV: Exporting Television and Culture in the World Market’, viewed 15/8/2019, p 37

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