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Globalization I: Postmodernism. Cultural Flows and Postmodern Forms in Postmodern Time and Space. Outline. Starting Questions From Modernity to Postmodernity : a Review Postmodern Culture (1): Time-Space Compression (2): Loss of Affect & History
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Globalization I: Postmodernism Cultural Flows and Postmodern Forms in Postmodern Time and Space
Outline • Starting Questions • From Modernity to Postmodernity: a Review • Postmodern Culture • (1): Time-Space Compression • (2): Loss of Affect & History • (3): Reflexive Postmodernism • (4): Globalization as Cultural Imperialism?
Starting Questions • What is Postmodernity? And modernity? • What are the examples of postmodernism that you know of? • Why did we analyze In Country last week? And Forrest Gump this week?
Postmodernism 2-1 From Modernity to Postmodernity
From Modernity to Postmodernity (2) Increasing emphasis on
Postmodernism 2-2 Cultural/Economic Flows in Postmodern Time and Space
Postmodern Time and Space • Separation of Time, Space and Place from each other; (thru’ • Disembeddedness of social relations and signs – and re-embedding: the re-definition of traditional signs/relations in a new context.
Postmodern Time and Space (2) 3. Compression: • 1) The pace of production and communication get accelerated so that boundaries are broken and “this world sometimes seems to collapse inwards upon us" (Harvey 240). • "The central value system . . . is dematerialized and shifting, time horizons are collapsing, and it is hard to tell exactly what space we are in when it comes to assessing causes and effects, meanings or values" (Harvey 298). • "The interweaving of simulacra in daily life brings together different worlds (of commodities) in the same space and time. But it does so in such a way as to conceal almost perfectly any trace of origin, of the labour processes that produced them, or of the social relations implicated in their production" (300)
Cultural and Economic Flows –Worldwide, but uneven • Transcultural flows –culture travels to us as ‘signs and commodities’ • Spreading of Western culture and technologies; • Disjunctive Flows –multiple “scape” (scene; e.g. landscape),. e.g. the disjunctive flows of ethnoscapes, technoscapes, finanscapes, mediascapes and ideoscapes • multiple cores, multiple semi-peripheries and peripheries.
Postmodernism 2-3 How are Postmodernisms related to Postmodernity? With Symptoms of Loss of Affect & History?
Van Gogh’s peasant shoes Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes Critique of Postmodernism: F. Jameson as an Example (1) Loss of Affect
F. Jameson’s Critique (2): Loss of History • Pastiche (大雜燴 blank parody--parody with no critical intent or humor) Eclipses Parody (critical of a norm)-- style becomes codes, reassembled playfully and without critical intent (e.g. Top Gun Hot Shot, Moulin Rouge, Ferris Beuler’s Day Off 蹺課大王) • Nostalgia Film -- the past becomes a composite of stereotypes, spectacles; no stars (with 'personality' in the older sense) (e.g. 1) historical films -- 大宅門、康熙、雍正、 2) Postmodern pastiche or sci-fi – Somewhere in Time, Back to Future, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, etc.)
Reflexive Postmodernism (chap 6 pp. 152-) • ‘the figural’ over the ‘discursive’ aestheticization of everyday life. • The readers or consumers thus get their choices in the aesthetic combination/interpretation of signs.
Postmodern Self-Reflexive Texts: the other types • Questioning Boundaries between reality and fiction • Vanilla Sky; Mulholland Drive • The Purple Rose of Cairo, 暗戀桃花源, Stuntman • Questioning Consumer Culture • Icicle Thief • Questioning History • Ararat and 阮玲玉 • Novels by 平路、張大春, etc. etc.
Postmodernism 2-4 Cultural Imperialism vs. Globalization
Cultural Imperialism argument(textbook chap 5:115- ) • --the dominance , worldwide, of a standardized, 'homogenized' consumer culture, emanating from western (and particularly North American) capitalism, represents a form of global cultural regulation. • Basic thesis: certain dominant cultures threaten to overwhelm other more vulnerable ones. e.g. America over Europe, "the West over the Rest," the core over the periphery, capitalism over more or less everyone.
Cultural Imperialism argument: two major strands: • 1. "anti-Americanism"--against American cultural and economic dominance, could be a form of cultural protectionism (e.g. the banning of importation or use of satellite dishes in Islamic states). • Danger of protectionism or nationalism: who are "we" that get represented in national culture?
Cultural Imperialism argument: two major strands: • 2. against transnational capitalism supported by communication systems-- • Examples of cultural domination: Disney, Hollywood Film [e.g. the film Evita], MacDonald's, Coca-Cola, Nike—and even Internet. • Hides the facts of exploitation; • Liking them (esp. those cultural texts such as Mu Lan andSex in the Cities), we absorb their ideologies, too.
Cultural Imperialism argument: Counter-Argument • 1.not predominantly American culture— The complex cross-cutting and overlay of communication paths and flows takes on a less benign aspect: now it appears as a 'web' which enmeshes and binds all cultures. the dominant culture as "the 'distanciated' influences" which order our everyday lives b. imports operate at a 'cultural discount'
Cultural Imperialism argument: Counter-Argument 2. Viewer reception: the viewers may receive dominant culture differently. -- patterns of TV viewing--a. 'primetime' scheduled for local shows -- A research done of the viewer reception of Dallas (朱門恩怨) in Holland, which shows indeed a diversity of more localized responses.
Cultural Imperialism argument: Counter-Argument • 3.the 'decentring' of capitalism from the West --against core-periphery argument: This structuring of the global capitalist system assures the continued economic weakness, cultural subordination and conditions for the exploitation of the Third World by the First. It does not adequately grasp the complexities of the operation of global capitalism. • But how about the influences of Japan and Korea here? • Multiple Cores and peripheries.
Cultural Imperialism argument: Counter-Argument • Globalization is a global project • Globalization is unlikely to produce an entirely regulated, homogenized global culture. A. 'indegenization' of Western cultural goods, localization B. deterritorialization caused by the capital; by the immigrants from Asia, Africa or Latin America
References • Mike Featherstone (ed.), Global Culture.Nationalism, globalization and modernity. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage, pp. 31-55 • Frederic Jameson -- http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/Literary_Criticism/postmodernism/jameson.htm