Clash of the Titans: Who is right and who is wrong?

clash of civilizations

As mentioned in previous posts the effect of globalisation has impacted cultural, technological spheres. In this, power is presented to new emerging powers, these newer demographics are referred to as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). It is also necessary to highlight that with this growth and intense spread of information and cultural influence a clash will occur. This is known as the Clash of civilisations vs Media flows.

The very basis for a clash in civilisations comes from a basis of differences in both cultural understanding and technological advancement/acceptance. The very view of this notion is negative however as it places emphasis on the boundaries and the distance, enhancing stereotypes shown in global news and film.

However, enabling this global identity, and not challenging or facilitating a change will not support a stable condition for many reasons, but the most important being that it fails to acknowledge media flows and how they facilitate this concept.

  • The reason the clashes appear, is strongly related to the identity of globalisation- in that more material and content is spread to a wider audience, disseminating an idea or identity to new cultures that are not familiar with an idea.
  • It is also due to the differences in techno and ethnoscapes between cultures, with some adapting or changing more readily than others, hence there are inequalities across borders and misunderstanding of perspectives.
  • A clash will occur when one culture is firmly grounded in the belief that humans are ‘cultural’ beings and cannot move outside of their territory. It is needed in order to define and differentiate them. (Grilo, 2003, p.158)
  • It will occur when there are anxieties surrounding a culture

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The beside image is a screen shot from the Youtbue Video, ‘Stop the Clash of Civilisations’, and at its heart, this is what the video seeks to challenge. It identifies that across borders there are innate similarities between societies as much as the media pushes for cultures to believe they are worlds apart.

However, there is the idea that certain societies are creating the clash, deliberately. As seen in the following video, by one culture holding the identity that they are superior, there is no space left for growth and collaboration of ideals.

There is a flip side to this debate however, with the identification of Media Capitals which do not simply look at the differences in cultural identities, but looks at similarities. It explains that contemporary tv is no longer a tangiable, cultural element, it is not bound to a fixed location and thererfore breaks conventional structures of flow. This flow comes from centres of development, whether that be production, content, financing or distribution of these programs. Media Capitals are a site for mediation, a location for the complex channels to interact and information to flow. It is for that reason that a pattern emerges with new formats circulating around these locations creating a mass culture. In line with the identity presented in one of my past blog “Hollywood who?” through utilising a movement of contraflows, Asian industries are shifting values away from a Westernised ideological space developing a stronger take on the war against civilisation clashes.

References:

Grillo, R.D. 2003, “Cultural Essentialism and Cultural Anxiety”, Anthropological Theory, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 157-173.

YouTube 2014, ‘Clash of Civilisation Summary’, Accessed 14th of October 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWwCvds7xNk

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