A global imagination now plays a crucial role in how people engage with their everyday lives, consider their options and make decisions within the new configurations of social relations that are no longer confined to local communities but potentially span, either directly or indirectly, across national boundaries (Rizvi 2009 in Mills & Green 2013, p. 115).
This subject, BCM288: Transnational Media and Culture Industries, has expanded my knowledge of Australian media industries, but has also expanded my understanding of international culture and media flows. Throughout the semester we have studied the production, distribution and cosmopolitanisation of media, looking in detail at topics such as the translation of popular culture, film co-productions, film and media policy, global hegemony vs. diasporic audiences, and film festivals.
I found cosmopolitanisation to be the most challenging concept in this subject, but also the most interesting. Moreover, I believe that it is applicable to everything we have explored this semester, and is central to the future of the global media landscape. To clarify, cosmopolitanism refers to the capacity to appreciate and understand different values and ways of living (Beck, 2011). Alternatively, cosmopolitanisation is an ongoing process that refers to a) the erosion of clear borders, separate markets, civilisations, and cultures, which b) implies the involuntary inclusion of the global other (Beck, 2011). Cosmopolitanisation by no means indicates a cosmopolitan society.
Cosmopolitanisation is primarily concerned with experiencing and accepting the ‘other’, however I don’t think this is limited to culture… In regards to global media flows, I think that cosmopolitanisation is fundamentally about challenging creative and cultural flows from the US, and opening up perspectives to, and dialogue about, other cultures, but also different genders, sexualities and religions.
In this subject we have examined how content, audiences and industries are all evolving and diversifying, as a result of a changing media landscape. Content creation is occurring across national borders and media is being re-created for different cultures; audiences are becoming more interested in untold stories and learning about the ‘other’; and industries are being compelled to challenge the hegemony of Hollywood and include more diverse storytellers and stories. Furthermore, one of the most important parts of cosmopolitanisation is the “rediscovery and redefinition of the local” (Beck 2006, in Mills & Green, 2013, p.115). Global media flows and human mobility affect local media and culture in both positive and negative ways, and I think this is a particularly significant, but often overlooked aspect of globalisation.
Overall, this BCM subject has been very interesting and eye-opening. I have become more informed and intrigued about how culture and media interact and how they are changing as we move into the future.
Beck, U. 2011, ‘Multiculturalism or Cosmopolitanism: How Can We Describe and Understand the Diversity of the World?’, Social Sciences in China, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 52-58
Mills, J. & Green, B. 2013, ‘Toward a New Pedagogy of Cosmopolitanism’, Journal of Popular Film and Television, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 106-116