Global Media: Generic Homogeneity and Discursive Diversity

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Continuum, 2004, 18 (1), pp. 99 - 120
Issue Date:
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This paper forms part of a larger study in which we investigate the notion that the formats of global media output are increasingly homogeneous while the discursive construction of their content is increasingly localized. In other words, the strategy is that of McDonalds. McDonalds may sell sushiburgers in Japan and curryburgers in India, but burgers remain burgers, and it is in their burger-ness , in the burger format, that the essence of their global cultural significance must be looked for. Like burgers, media formats are not value free, not mere containers, but key technologies for the dissemination of the global corporate ethos. In this paper we will concentrate mainly on the issue of global generic homogeneity. In a companion paper, to appear in the Journal of Sociolinguistics, we will explore the local aspect, discursive diversity. But the relation between the two is crucial, and will be stressed in both papers. We are aware that even if, in this paper, homogeneity will receive somewhat more emphasis than diversity, that local inflections are equally as relevant.
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