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Media Forms and Claims of Cultural Imperialism - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Media Forms and Claims of Cultural Imperialism,” the author discusses how might theories of economic power prove limited when exploring the relations between media forms and claims of cultural imperialism. By its very nature, a theory must simplify reality to fit within definable boundaries. …
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Media Forms and Claims of Cultural Imperialism
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Download file to see previous pages First, much of the theory was developed before the massive acceleration in change that has occurred since the development of computers. Second, different forms of media power create an overwhelming complexity that is difficult to fit within the theory. Third, the concept of “cultural imperialism” is ill-defined.
Before delving into the world of media forms and cultural imperialism it will be useful to exactly define how theory can and cannot help in an understanding of economic, cultural, political and social patterns. The concept of “cultural imperialism” moves well beyond any attempt at neatly defined disciplinary boundaries. It is perhaps the very ubiquity of western media in many parts of the world that is the key to its imperialistic nature. Whether this ubiquity is a deliberate or accidental attempt at imperialism will be discussed later, but theory needs to be placed within a firm context:
A theory is a model..., a description ... that is stripped of all inessential particulars — much like a road map of a city. How accurate should the theory be?... If the purpose is to drive through a town from one end to the other, a crude sketch of a few lines is often sufficient... [If the purpose is to install] a sewer system, [the map] must show elevations, street widths, power lines, and so on. Like road maps, models or theories of economic phenomena come in various degrees of detail — but all models describing the same set of phenomena are consistent with each other. No map or theory will be perfectly complete in every detail... So ask not, "Is the theory accurate?" but rather "Is the theory good enough for our purposes?" 2
So, to put it succinctly, are any theories of economic power “good enough” for the purposes of explaining the relationship between media forms and cultural imperialism.? What degree of detail is needed in an economic map of media/cultural imperialism? Can such complex and ambiguous a relationship be explained? ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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