Thursday, June 23, 2011

Transformational process at work (part 1)

In this era of rapid globalization, the exchange of information does not follow one path or abide by a set communication model. New media platforms surpass the limits of geographic distance and do not necessarily adhere to regulations and constraints set forth by the nation-state. Globalization’s “flattening” force, as described by Thomas L. Friedman, is profoundly liberalizing for the individual. As recent democratic uprisings explicitly depict, the sense of empowerment granted by new media platforms has grand implications for the citizen body. Innate within the convergence of personal computers, fiber optic cables, and work flow software is a strong revolutionary force.

In addition to the authority granted by new media platforms, academics have long examined the manner in which media offers a sense of collective identity to participants. In his work entitled Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson reflects on this notion and writes, “members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion.” In this ever-flattening world marked by diversity of thought, introspection and questions of identity in relation to such collective entities as one’s country and religion inevitably follow.

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