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Cultural Deterritorialisation: Communications Technology, Provenance and Place

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Abstract:

The deterritorialisation, or uprooting from time and place, of culture through communication technologies can be explored through John Tomlinson's idea of globalisation as "complex connectivity". This paper aims to cover various areas of research to highlight the ways in which cultural deterritorialisation continually permeates cultural experience. The analysis is grounded in an understanding of globalisation as both a homogenising and differentiating force. Three aspects of communication's "complex connectivity" are looked at in greater detail: control, speed/ease, and the idea of a global village. These are discussed in terms of ownership and market concentration, and notions of "direct connectivity" and "indirect connectivity". Adapted from Tomlinson's "complex connectivity", "direct connectivity" focuses on interpersonal relations and deterritorialisation on individual scales through personal global contact, while "indirect connectivity" enlarges the scale with a focus on mass cultural production and global consumption. Finally, a discussion of possible kinds of reterritorialisation will consider the impact of these aspects of communication's "complex connectivity" on cultural flows. Rather than concepts such as transterritoriality which are not rooted and remain deterritorialised, reterritorialisation is explored as a means of balancing global trends in the cultural and communications sectors of global and local villages alike.

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