The media and globalization.

Author:Hardenbergh, Margot

Rantanen, T. (2005). The media and globalization. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 180 pages.

Finally, we have a book about globalization focusing on the role of media. Most globalization theorists only acknowledge that media has played a crucial role in the acceleration of globalization. Terhi Rantanen uses media as the fundamental starting point for a discussion of the theories of globalization and offers a systematic method of studying how lives have changed. She considers questions concerning the impact of globalization by studying in detail the lives of three families over four generations.

Rantanen, director of the Master of Science Programme in Global Media and Communication in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, has written also about the role of media in Russia and Finland, her home country. In The Media and Globalization, Rantanen brings her understanding of communication theory and globalization together with her teaching experience to formulate a most unique, seemingly easy, study of the effects of media on people's lives.

First, the book lays out the theories of globalization, pointing out how many theorists assumed that developments in our communication technologies have changed people's lives, their environment, and their understanding of time and space. The theorists discussed include Harold Innis, Anthony Giddins, Roland Robertson, James Lull, John B. Thompson, John Tomlinson, Walter Ong, Herbert Schiller, and Marshall McLuhan. Drawing on the work of Giddens and Lull, Rantanen identifies six stages of globalization, with a complementary list of six stages of media and communication. For each of the stages, various categories of study are identified. The categories range from demographics such as education and family structure, the way time is measured, types of media available, travel, conflicts or wars, and languages spoken, to the more complex categories of ideology and resistance. These categories offer a framework for the study of four generations of each of the families. Rantanen's methodology is similar to ethnography, but because she is motivated by mediation, how people interconnect through media and communication, she calls the methodology "mediagraphy."

Rantanen successfully merges the micro and macro levels of study. Her...

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