Cultural Imperialism Vs Cultural Diplomacy by lonyoo


									Cultural Imperialism Vs Cultural

                 LECTURE 7
                Philip M. Taylor
  Professor of International Communications
                     The Pertinent Issues
• Communications/Media scholars have been
  obsessed with ‘cultural imperialism’ since 1970s
• Part of the context of the Cold War – but did they
  miss the point because of ideological
• So is there any evidence about cultural
  dissemination by governments to foreign peoples?
• Yes! But the discipline has been looking in the
  wrong place – hence ‘cultural diplomacy’.
      The Obsession with ‘cultural

• Sees cultural transfer as negative,
  aggressive, unwanted and damaging
• Sees this as part of a ‘one-way’ flow of
  information from ‘north to south’
• Calls to redress the balance by a NWICO
  through UNESCO
                       OED Definitions

• Imperialism: ‘the rule of an emperor, espec.
  when despotic; the principle or spirit of
  empire; advocacy of imperial interests’
• Empire: ‘supreme and extensive political
  dominion’ (i.e. domination)
          OED Definition of Culture

• 'improvement or refinement by education
  and training; the training and refinement of
  mind, tastes and manners; the condition of
  being thus trained and refined; the
  intellectual side of civilization'.
• Cultural imperialism is thus a contradiction
  in terms.
                 The heart of the matter
• the issue can be summarised as the process by
  which communications are used to disseminate
  cultural products from one society to another with
  the effect that they displace or dominate
  indigenous cultural norms in the recipient country
• 'the use of political and economic power to exalt
  and spread the value of a foreign culture at the
  expense of a native culture' (Tomlinson, Cultural
          Wrong questions, muddle
    thinking, confused terminology

• Media Imperialism -’domination’ by films,
  tv, radio, video, news organisations & news
  agencies, advertising (i.e. the ‘software’)
• Communications Imperialism - embraces
  the hardware as well as the software (i.e. the
  equipment, maintenance and technical
   What is the ‘evidence’ for this?

‘Coca-colonialism’ and attempts to
Media and cultural ‘imperialism’
Predominance of western media products
Seeing the Third World through the eyes of
 the west – ‘coups and disasters’
Western values predominate
              What is wrong with this
                         ‘evidence’ ?
 Look around you
 Hollywood yes, but Bollywood no
 Local TV programming prevails in prime-time
 Western news values are about ‘bad news’
 Microsoft yes, but hardware?
 Japanese don’t suffer same assault
 Nor do Chinese restaurants!
               Globalisation and anti-
 Current ‘war on terrorism’ and a ‘war against
 Anti-capitalist, anti-modern, anti-western
 ‘imperialism of the mind’ vs. ‘imperialism in
 MNCs/TNCs rather than governmental driven (but
  WTO, G8 etc)
 The triumph of free-market, democratic capitalism
  at the end of the Cold War
              So what’s it all about?

The triumph of free-market, democratic
 capitalism at the end of the Cold War
Democracies and non-democracies
A ‘clash of civilisations’?
Have-nots and haves
But wait – there IS some evidence

Looking in the wrong place
Cultural ‘diplomacy’ and ‘public
International Public Information
What is the objective?
Who are the target audience?
            But wait – there IS some

Exchange of ideas in support of foreign
 policy, not imposition
Mutual understanding in support of peace
British Council, Alliance Francaise, Dante
 Allighieri Society, Goethe Institute, Tokyo
International Broadcasting
                       Target audience?

Elites not masses
Movers and shakers of tomorrow
Economic benefits?
Ideological benefits?
In light of the current ‘war on terrorism’, is
 this the wrong audience?

States do spend taxpayers’ money on
 exporting culture, values and products
Telling their ‘truth’, selling their values
Does this have a negative impact?
Is the ‘global village’ a bad thing?

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