Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ICT and Fostering Development

One similar point that both Hanson and Sinclair stressed in the readings was the fact that although there is a convergence amongst nations and globalization has greatly increased communication between them, audiences will always tend to prefer television programs from their own country that represent their own values and beliefs or at least those that are culturally and linguistically similar (Sinclair 76). As Hanson mentions, “as the world becomes more global, more people want their own culture.” I do believe that this is undoubtedly true and as she points out, MTV has even modified their content in order to appeal to the country in which their programs are being viewed.

This also reminded me of my last trip to El Salvador a few months ago; when I saw how excited my cousins were about a new show named “Bailando por un sueno” (Dancing for a Dream) which really seemed to be a knock off to me of the show Dancing with the Stars. I quickly realized that the show was incredibly similar, but nevertheless, was tailored towards the local culture which tends to be incredibly family oriented and religious. Although the show was an immense hit in El Salvador, I did wonder whether it would be as popular here in the United States.

I also found that Hanson finishes Chapter 5 on both a positive and negative viewpoint towards ICT and its use towards development. She mentions that one cannot ignore the fact that at least some have benefited from ICT access and that the internet has been able to provide both a medium for communication and also more educational opportunities for many who were once marginalized. Nevertheless, she does find that there is still unequal access and highlights this point using India as a case-study and finds that government policy must make some modifications in order to improve ICT access to those in rural areas.

1 comment:

  1. E, your comments on Salvadoran television made me think about how television frequently blurs the lines of "nationalism" and "the national" -- two words I may never be able to employ without air quotes again. Evidently it's a hazard in this field... At any rate, a lot of our readings have talked about how producers, distributors, and audiences have become transnational. This blurring is evident in your Salvadoran dance show and on sites like Japander.com, which compiles Lost-in-Translation-style advertisements featuring Western celebrities.

    All of this brings me back to the question we discussed in class tonight: Is there such a thing as global culture? I'm willing to admit that there are universal and uniting elements in life, but I'm not sure any of them are significant enough to supercede national, regional and local culture on a mass scale. Somebody (Marie?) made an excellent point in class tonight that sometimes it's easiest to define culture in terms of what it's not. And failing an Independence-Day-style assault on humanity, cosmopolitanism lacks an "other" against which to define itself. There are commonalities that transcend national boundaries, but I'm still not convinced that any of them (collectively or alone) constitute a "global culture."