Lecture 5: Globalization and the New Economy

  • By the end of the 1990s a major turning point occurred in the realm of media. Although media systems had been primarily national before the 1990s, there has been a rise of a global commercial media market in early 21st century
  • Specifically, there has been the creation of a global oligopoly, in which one must grasp the nature and logic of the global commercial system and then determine how local and national media diverge from the overall system. Unlike before where to understand any nation’s media situation, one first had to understand the local and national media and then determine the global market
  • Furthermore, the rise of a global commercial media system is closely linked to the rise of a significantly more integrated neoliberal global capitalist economic system. This is accelerated by new digital and satellite technologies that make global markets both cost-effective and profitable. It is also encouraged by the institutions of global capitalism such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Global oligopoly consists of multiple oligopolistic markets such as film production, TV show production, book publishing, and recorded music. Although there are important domestic companies in many of these industries, the global export market is largely associated with mostly U.S. owned or U.S. based firms. These not only remain important markets but are also tending to grow faster than the global economy
  • Prior to the 1980s and 1990s, national media systems were typified by nationally owned radio and television systems, as well as local newspaper industries. However, the rise of cable and satellite technology has opened up national markets to scores of new channels and revenue streams (Ex. The major Hollywood studios in which all part of global media corporations were expected to generate $11 billion alone in 2002 for global TV rights to their film libraries, up from $7 billion in 1998)
  • One way in which global media system is linked to the global market economy is ADVERTISING. Advertising is used by the largest firms in the world and is a major weapon in the struggle to establish new markets. For major firms like Procter & Gamble and Nike, global advertising is an extremely important aspect of their campaigns to maintain strong growth rates
  • Furthermore, the global media system becomes less abstract when examining the three major transnational corporations (TNCs). Time Warner, Disney and News Corporation
  • Time Warner and Disney are the two firms with the largest media and entertainment corporations. New Corporation is tied with Viacom for the status of fourth largest, with sales around one-half of those of Time Warner and Disney. However, these global empires were mainly constructed in the 1990s, and they are a long way from completion (Ex. Nobody understand branding better than Disney. Disney has over 600 retail stores as well as merchandising licensing deals with numerous manufacturers and retailers. It has evolved into the ultimate global consumer goods company. It has moved in multiple countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan and France, with established Disney parks. Furthermore, its animated films routinely generate vastly more income and profit from merchandising and other sources than they do from box-office receipts)
  • Overall, global media systems reinforce the notion of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating (neo meaning a new form of liberalism) individual business freedoms and skills within an institutional framework which includes strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade (open-borders, free trade, removal of trade taxes, NAFTA). In response to what was believed a crisis in global (Western) capitalism, by the 1990s, governments began to support and pass neoliberal policies that encouraged widespread deregulation, a lessening of governmental control over the economy, which led to the expansion of the free enterprise market. With the rapid globalization of the capitalist economy, neo-liberalism went global. Around the world, neo-liberalism has been enforced by powerful financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank


  • Karl Marx (1818-83)
  • Philosopher and radical
  • Understanding society through class relations and labour
  • Interested in Change (The Communist Manifesto with Engels)
  • Capitalism leads to
  • Labour as commodity
  • Commodity Fetishism: This was another concern of Marx, where individuals become addicted to commodities, leading to them becoming a fetish. Furthermore, this leads to giving the product greater value than its actual production (Ex. Nike shoes)
  • Alienation: According to Marx, humans under Capitalism experience four types of alienation. The first type is alienation from the product. This alienation refers to when the worker has no creative input into the products being made because there is too much division of labor and machinery. In result, the product is something alien and independent of the producer. The second type of alienation is one’s own productive activity. Marx states that extending labor and implementing new machines make paid work repetitive and meaningless. The worker loses satisfaction as he / she does not see the end product. The individual views him / herself as part of the machine, instead of viewing labour as something that is part of them or that they own. The third type of alienation is alienated from themselves. Man has the free ability to create a world to display their creative nature. But under Capitalism, this nature of creativity is taken away. Thus, workers produce as animals do and feel human when they are not engaged in paid work. The fourth type of alienation includes alienation from fellow workers. Workers are alienated from one another because they are in completion with each other. In times of recession, the competition is visible as who will be fired and who will be outsourced. The Capitalist system becomes individualistic and destroys shared experience or culture
  • Under industrial capitalism, Marx believes that a human being’s labour is alienated. He argues that humans by nature are creative beings because they create external objects from their internal thoughts (Ex. An artwork is a representation of an artist’s imagination, thus the artwork is an objectification of the artist. However, the object produced by labour is alien and is seen as a power independent of the producer. This same alien object, is sold by the Capitalist owner to maximize surplus value, in the course of business competition among industrialists)
  • Thus, creativity takes a back seat in the process and workers become imprisoned in the industry are alienated. Work becomes a source of pain instead of joy
  • Marx argues that labour is not simply at the level of idea, but also materialistic level. It is through work that humans transform nature, themselves, their consciousness, and society. This is the basis of Marx’s materialism. However, almost all humans work under a specific structure such as wages and livelihood. But in this way we are denied our freedom as we are bound by these structures. Capitalist mode of production causes alienation because men, women and children no longer have the right to control their own labour when they sell their labour power to the capitalist. Marx Claims industries are like prisons. Despite losing our social identity and being alienated, we are forced to continue work in industries. Writing in the early 19th century, Marx is correct about industries being like prisons because they had pollution, low working conditions, constant monitoring. Thus, Marx states that work shouldn’t be thought of as painful, since it reflects our capacity and we should invest in our abilities
  • Thus, he was interested in changing the capitalist system that exploited low-class through labour

Marxism: Ideology

  • Why are we complacent in a system where many are impoverished and few live in luxury?
  • Ideology: Ideas presented and hidden as truths (Ex. American Dream. It refers to the ideology that if an individual works hard enough, he / she will be successful, whether that is financially, socially, or politically. However, this is an ideology because it ignored other contributing factors such as class division, socioeconomic status and specific barriers)
  • A marking perpetuated through the practices and institutions of the superstructure
  • Whose ideas are presented as ideologies? For Marx, it is the ruling class. The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas (Ex. The class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force)
  • Why do we agree to it?
  • Ideology is taken for granted seen as natural and obvious

Neoliberalism as Ideology

  • McChesney views Neoliberalism as an ideology that is the real driving force of economic globalization
  • Neoliberalism is used to describe many things
  • A theory
  • A set of ideas
  • A political strategy
  • An historical period

Neoliberalism as a Political Project

  • Neoliberalism initially began with the rise of powers in the 1960s and 1970s against the elite and colonialists by the oppressed.
  • Thus, capitalist class attempted to curb
  • Strength of labour groups
  • Revolutionary movements in developing world
  • Rise of communist influence in Europe
  • The first step the capitalist class took was open borders to immigrant labour in the 1960s. This resulted to dissatisfaction and unrest
  • Within the same step, the second way was financing low-wage labour in the 1970s. This resulted to reduction in trade tariffs, softening of trade regulation
  • The second step consisted of privatization and deregulation, which created higher levels of unemployment at home among laborers
  • The third step consisted of technological change, which led to deindustrialization due to rise of technologies such as robotics and automation processes

Neoliberalism and The Global Media

  • Liberalising national services in the interests of global capitalism. This results to decentralisation and deregulation (refers to when the government does not have control over decisions (Ex. The CCIT program requires student to pay higher fees, in which there is no involvement of the government)
  • For media specifically
  • Oligopolies: Refers to when a few parties have control over decisions
  • Convergence, concentration, consolidation
  • Vertical vs. Horizontal Integration: Horizontal integration refers to the integration of related institutions and processes to gain control over the market (Ex. A music company buying out other companies to reduce completion and increase revenue. In contrast, vertical integration refers to gaining control over the market through integration of inferior institutions and processes)

Note Created by
Is this note helpful?
Give kudos to your peers!
Wanna make this note your own?
Fork this Note