Thursday, October 14, 2010

Popular Culture, Youth and Education

- Popular culture and children in the globalized societies of the English speaking countries discussed

- Comparisons between popular culture in Sweden and nations of the Commonwealth

- The Internet and popular culture

- Using popular culture in the classroom

Popular Culture and Youth


Blue Water High
"The advent of Professional Surfing in the 1970's saw a string of new Australian surf heros that were international stars such as Michael Peterson, "The Bronzed Aussies", Mark Richards and others (Brown 1997). This changed the nature of surf culture is causing a rift between the soul surfers and the new clean cut money oriented surfers promoted by business interests to sell more clothing and equipment especially in urban areas. This has produced surfing mega stars such as American Kelly Slater who has been mobbed in Australian Shopping centres by fans (Brown 1997). "Back in the 1960's they say, the surfing ideal was a fluid and graceful attempt to match the flow of the wave. But today professional surfers use shorter and quicker boards in an aggressive, thrashing, teeth gritting display of advanced technique. . The jargon is telling: they "slash" and "rip" the wave or get "hammered" trying." (The economist 1995)"

Puberty Blues is a 1981 Australian film directed by Bruce Beresford. The film is based on the 1979 novel Puberty Blues, by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette, which is a proto-feminist teen novel about two 13 year-old girls from the Sutherland Shire in Sydney, Australia. The girls attempt to create a popular social status by integrating themselves with the "Greenhill gang" of surfers.

Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker than Water
The Bra Boys are an Australian gang founded and based in Maroubra, an eastern suburb of Sydney, New South Wales. Dating back to the 1990s, the gang has gained notoriety through violent clashes with members of the public and police. The Bra Boys achieved national and international attention in 2007 with the release of a feature-length documentary Bra Boys: Blood is Thicker than Water that was written and directed by members of the gang.

Watch more Jeffrey's Bay videos at


Australian Youth parliament

Mobile Phones
Today's mobile phone is a pervasive tool. It has become such an important aspect of a user's daily life that it has moved from being a mere 'technological object' to a key 'social object'. This paper explores the societal and human implications of advances in mobile technology, and notably the increasingly personalized nature of the mobile device. It argues that human and identity and social interaction have not been untouched by the mobile phenomenon. India, Australia, South Africa and Sweden each have a vibrant youth culture centered on mobile phones.

After 60 years of freedom, while India races towards super power status; its children are trapped in a maze of imbalance that deprives, excludes and exploits.

We are all proud of India's unprecedented economic growth. More Indians than ever before own mobile phones, computers, cars, household and personal durables, travel within India and overseas. Most cities today have more flyovers, more malls, more coffee shops. Middle class consumers have more brands to choose from than ever before. IT, financial services, bio-tech and retail employ many more young Indians at ever-increasing salaries. Indian corporates are making more overseas acquisitions and alliances.

What is often not known is that 60 years after independence, in the worlds largest democracy, millions of Indian children continue to have their very survival threatened on a daily basis -- malnutrition, illiteracy, child labor, preventable diseases, abuse and exploitation. India is home to 400 million children. 46% of Indian children are underweight. We have 17 million child laborers. 88,000 schools (nearly 8%) still do not have a blackboard in their classes.

These figures are shocking. But can this situation change?

CRY -- Child Rights and You America Inc has proven that it can...

To enable people to take responsibility for the situation of underprivileged children, especially Indian, and so motivate them to confront the situation through collective action thereby giving the child and themselves an opportunity to realize their full potential.
To enable people to take responsibility for the situation of the deprived child especially Indian and so motivate them to confront the situation through collective action thereby giving the child and themselves an opportunity to realise their full potential.

Salaam Bombay

Slumdog Millionaire

The child actors’ parents have accused the hit film’s producers of exploiting and underpaying the eight-year-olds, disclosing that both face uncertain futures in one of Mumbai’s most squalid slums. Slumdog

Rubina Ali, Slumdog star, evicted by Mumbai police
A second actor in the film "Slumdog Millionaire" has lost her home in a slum clearance drive by the Mumbai authorities.

Rural Youth

The Year My Voice Broke

District 9

a Sf film, but also an analogy for discrimination, media, otherness, and immigration.

Empowering The Girl Child in South Africa

HmMTV Pilot: Empowering The Girl Child from Sarah Van Borek on Vimeo.

Eastern Cape Province on School and Education

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Matjiesfontein, where only those whose parents can afford the bus fare will get to high school.

This fast-paced documentary series follows a remarkable year in two contrasting schools in Pune, one of the world's fastest growing cities.
Cyber Genius is the 3rd episode in this series.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Popular Culture and the Commonwealth

Popular culture (or pop culture) can be deemed as what is popular within the social context - that of which is most strongly represented by what is perceived to be popularly accepted among society. Otherwise, popular culture is also suggested to be the widespread cultural elements in any given society that are perpetuated through that society's vernacular language or lingua franca. It comprises the daily interactions, needs and desires and cultural 'moments' that make up the everyday lives of the mainstream. It can include any number of practices, including those pertaining to cooking, clothing, consumption, mass media and the many facets of entertainment such as sports and literature. Popular culture often contrasts with a more exclusive, even elitist "high culture,", that is, the culture of ruling social groups.

Popular (1490), "public," from L. popularis "belonging to the people," from populus "people." Meaning "well-liked, admired by the people" is attested from 1608. Popularity "fact or condition of being beloved by the people" is first recorded 1601; popularity contest is from 1941. Popular Front "coalition of Communists, Socialists, and radicals" is from 1936. Popularize "to make a complex topic intelligible to the people" is from 1833
pop (adj., n.) "having popular appeal," 1926, of individual songs from many genres; 1954 as a genre of its own; abbreviation of popular (q.v.), earlier as a shortened form of popular concert (1862), often in the plural form pops. Pop art first recorded 1957, said to have been in use bconversationally among Independent group of artists from late 1954.

Those few elements of popular culture we will be discussing in the Cultures of Commonwealth English course will be taken from the areas of Film, Sport, Literature, Art and Communities. The first four areas are self-explanatory but the final one is a bit less clear. By communities I mean the cultures expressed through groups, be it the rave culture of the illegal dance party, the dress up costume play of Cosplay or the underground adventures of the Cave Clan of Melbourne, Australia. The so called 'Schoolies Week' which celebrates the end of High School for thousands of teenagers in Australia is one example of community as popular culture. There are many examples throughout the Commonwealth.

Popular culture does not sit under a single heading such as film, literature or music. Take the example of India, which is a huge subcontinent made up of thousands of different groups of people who speak different languages, have different religous beliefs (Hinduism is not a organised religion in the same way the Christian church is, but is a very complex system of practices and groups centered around a number of books, traditions and teachers). In India the culture of Kolkata is dramatically different from Mumbai, with different languages spoken, different types of food eaten, different music played. In the south of India (the Deccan) very few people speak Hindi and in the north Hindi is spoken by most people on the Ganges Plain. Likewise in South Africa popular culture depends on where you are and who you are talking to. The cultures of Cape Town are different to those of Johannesburg. In Australia there is some variation on cultures depending on where you are, however the predominance of English and a well established national media network assures that what is popular in Melbourne is usually also popular in Sydney but perhaps with its own local variation.

The degrees of variation in popular culture dependant on region and language groups can be traced back to the colonial history and earlier in each of the 3 former colonized nations discussed in this course. Both India and Southern Africa were divided into states and regions according to historical events (e.g. Kolkata - formerly Calcutta and the capital of India during the British Raj until 1911 - is the capital of West Bengal. What was once known as East Bengal during the colonial period is now Bangaldesh). Australia, because it is an island and has never been transfered back to be administered by its former occupants, is a the most unified nation in terms of culture and language of the three. The former coloniser, England has had to approach popular culture from a totally different direction, with the arts and cultures of the former colonies now making up mainstream culture in England. From Australian pop stars such as Kylie Minogue, Natalie Imbruglia and Nick Cave who all live full time in England now, to the many South Asian artists who live and work there, the citizens of the Commonwealth have all made England a more diverse cultural community.

There are examples of popular culture through out each of the sections of this course but in this section devoted to it I want to look at how the histories of each of the regions have contributed to the unique mix that it found there today. There is much I am missing out of course but I hope the concept of hybid or mix is clear from the examples of popular culture I have chosen from each area as well as what they all share with each other. What is common here is that popular culture in each area is unique and very mixed. In fact, as this series of lectures has progressed there has been a lessening of what can be spoken about as being common between South Africa, Australia and India. In popular culture this diversity or hybridity comes to the fore. For this reason the section of Popular Culture is not so much comparative as merely a brief overview to give you some idea of the depth and breadth of cultural production in each area.

Southern Africa

The fifty years during which the apartheid system was in force in South Africa and the divisons created by colonialism in other southern African states (such as Zimbabwe) had the intended effect of keeping cultures seperated. For European South Africans to learn from and adopt musical and poetic forms from the Zulu or Xhosa traditions was extreamly diffficult. However, since 1994 it is no longer illegal for different ethnic and cultural groups to mix, although the harsh realities of economic and social divisions can make this sometimes a dangerous and difficult thing to do. The life and recent death of South African artist Lucky Dube is an example of the struggle that many South African artists had to go through in order to cross boundaries of style and tradition and the harsh environment which forces many South Africans into violence.

Lucky Dube - Prisoner

Counting Headz: South Afrika’s Sistaz in Hip-Hop.”
“I wanted to do a documentary on inner city youth culture in Johannesburg, where I live. Then we shot a lot of footage of hip-hop, because the music has become such a big part of South African youth culture,” Magubane says, explaining the genesis of his film, which was co-directed by a producer based in Canada, Erin Offer. Voice of America

[ ]
House of Hunger poetry slam in Zimbabwe
In August 2006 the House of Hunger poetry slam in Zimbabwe showcased young artists who performed their inspirational work on issues ranging from corporate power to child soldiers. The event was filmed by organisers Pamberi Trust and this excerpt features four of the poets.
South Africa v Australia - Tri Nations 2009

Nadine Gordimer (born 20 November 1923) Nadine Gordimer is a South African writer, political activist and Nobel Prize in literature laureate. Her writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. She was active in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress during the days when the organization was banned. She has recently been active in HIV/AIDS causes.

[ ]
Cricket is very very popular in England, India, Australia and South Africa. It is a complicated game and to the uninitiated it can appear to be boring but trust me it isn't. Cricket is a bat-and-ball sport contested by two teams, usually of eleven players each. A cricket match is played on a grass field, roughly oval in shape, in the centre of which is a flat strip of ground 22 yards (20.12 m) long, called a cricket pitch. A wicket, usually made of wood, is placed at each end of the pitch.
The bowler, a player from the fielding team, bowls a hard, fist-sized cricket ball from the vicinity of one wicket towards the other. The ball usually bounces once before reaching the batsman, a player from the opposing team. In defence of the wicket, the batsman plays the ball with a wooden cricket bat. Meanwhile, the other members of the bowler's team stand in various positions around the field as fielders, players who retrieve the ball in an effort to stop the batsman scoring runs, and if possible to get him or her out. The batsman — if he or she does not get out — may run between the wickets, exchanging ends with a second batsman (the "non-striker"), who has been waiting near the bowler's wicket. Each completed exchange of ends scores one run. Runs are also scored if the batsman hits the ball to the boundary of the playing area. The match is won by the team that scores more runs.
Cricket has been an established team sport for hundreds of years and is thought to be the second most popular sport in the world. More than 100 countries are affiliated to the International Cricket Council, cricket's international governing body. The sport's modern form originated in England, and is most popular in the present and former members of the Commonwealth. In many countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia, cricket is the most popular sport. It is also a major sport in England, New Zealand, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean, which are collectively known in cricketing parlance as the West Indies. Many countries also have well-established amateur club competitions, including the Netherlands, Kenya, Nepal and Argentina.
The sport is followed with passion in many different parts of the world. It has even occasionally given rise to diplomatic outrage, notoriously the Basil D'Oliveira affair (which led to the banning of South Africa from sporting events) and the Bodyline Test series in the early 1930s (which led to a temporary deterioration in relations between Australia and the United Kingdom).

Kwaito is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa in the early 1990s. It is based on house music beats, but typically at a slower tempo and containing melodic and percussive African samples which are looped, deep basslines and often vocals, generally male, shouted or chanted rather than sung or rapped. DJ Diplo described kwaito as "poor South African kids' form of slowed-down garage music." More recently, kwaito artists like Zola have rapped their lyrics in a hip-hop style, while others such as BOP and Oskido have sped up their beats and toned down the male chants to create a softer form of kwaito or african house. Other prominent kwaito artists include Arthur, Mandoza and Mzekezeke. Kwaito's lyrics are usually in indigenous South African languages or in English, although several languages can be found in the same song. The name kwaito itself is derived from the Afrikaans word Kwaai, meaning "angry". This Afrikaans word is derived from the Isicamtho, South African township slang, word amakwaitosi, meaning "gangster". Arthur Mafokate, one of the founding fathers of kwaito describes the relationship between kwaito and "gangster" being because it is "all about the ghetto music". Kwaito was born in Soweto, one of the townships where blacks were forced to live during the time of apartheid. Similarly, kwaito has been referred to as the "sound of the ghetto", and emerged from the most economically depressed areas of South Africa. Therefore, kwaito "opened up an economic avenue for a lot of young people as well as a creative avenue". Older musicians looked down upon this new music, calling it the music of gangsters, while current kwaito musicians tended to interpret this relationship of the word "gangster" to their music as it being "hot and kicking". Other listeners describe kwaito as “a mixture of all that 1990’s South African youth grew up on: South African disco music, hip hop, R&B, Ragga, and a heavy, heavy dose of American and British house music.”

Athol Fugard
Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard (b. June 11, 1932, Middelburg, South Africa), better known as Athol Fugard, is a South African playwright and actor. His wife, Sheila Fugard, and their daughter, Lisa Fugard, are also writers.

Television review of Athol Fugard

Athol Fugard: An Episode in the Life of Hildegard of Bingen
Athol Fugard, the distinguished South African playwright, has written Boesman and Lena, Sizwe Bansi is Dead, A Lesson from Aloes, and Master Harold and the Boys, among other acclaimed plays. He recently completed a play about Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth century German abbess, mystic, naturalist, composer, and author, who is considered one of the most remarkable women of the medieval period. Fugard reflects on Hildegard of Bingen and his own research into her life and work. Series: Burke Lectureship on Religion & Society

David Kramer (born Worcester, South Africa in 1951) is a singer, songwriter, playwright and director. During Kramer's stay in Worcester he had some music lessons with the classical composer Cromwell Everson. He played in a South African band called The Creeps (Band) in the 1960's, and moved to England in 1971 to study textile design at Leeds University. His first release was a half live/half studio album Bakgat issued by Mountain Records in 1981, most of which was banned by the SABC. His follow up album Die Verhaal van Blokkies Joubert came later that year and produced the singles Hak Hom Blokkies and Die Royal Hotel both of which topped singles charts on various South African Radio stations. The album reached number 11 on the South African LP charts. His only other singles chart success was with Stoksielalleen from the Kwaai album, however he did chart with Delicious Monster, Hanepootpad and Kwaai in the albums charts. In 1986 he collaborated with Taliep Petersen on the highly acclaimed stage musical District Six It was also with Petersen that he produced Fairyland and Kat & the Kings all to critical acclaim, the latter having successful runs on Broadway and in London's West End. With his trademark red velskoene shoes, bicycle and guitar, he has been an enduring figure on South Africa's music scene. His songs are mostly stories about ordinary life in South Africa life

Television Advertisement for Volkswagon Bus featuring David Kramer

Official Website of David Kramer

Interveiw with Koos Kombuis, who is actually a musician who sings in Africaans but is here speaking in English about the cultural scene in South Africa

The Power of One by Bryce Courtaney
The Power of One is a bildungsroman (novel of personal development) written by Bryce Courtenay (born 14 August 1933 South Africa/Australia), first published in 1989. Set in South Africa during the 1930s and 1940s and later on in the story, Northern Rhodesia, it tells the story of an English boy who, through the course of the story, acquires the nickname of Peekay. (In the movie, the protagonist's given name is Peter Phillip Kenneth Keith, but that is not mentioned in the book.)

South African Literature and Arts


Australian Television
Australia is a federated nation and therefore is made up of states and territories, Each state has its own television stations, which often are run under a nation wide brand and organisation. The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) is the main public service media network for Australia with representative radio and television stations in each state and territory and online. A brief introduction to how television was introduced into Australia in 1956 (the year of the Melbourne Olympics) can be found here: Launch of TV in Australia and From Wireless to Web (Note. Wireless being radio)

Triple J
Triple J is a nationally-networked, government-funded Australian radio station (a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), mainly aimed at youth (defined as those between 12 and 25). Music played on the station is generally more alternative than commercial stations with a heavy emphasis on Australian and live music. In metropolitan rating surveys Triple J usually has less than one third the market share of its major commercial rivals, but its influence on Australian popular music belies the modest ratings, having provided a launchpad for numerous Australian recording artists and announcers. It is streamed over the internet and it would be good if you could listen to it at least 3 or 4 time during the course. Be aware of the 8-10 hour time difference between Sweden and Australia (Australia being ahead).

The Chaser's War on Everything is an Australian television comedy series broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television station ABC TV. The series is produced by the Australian satirical group, The Chaser, consisting of Chris Taylor, Julian Morrow, Craig Reucassel, Andrew Hansen, and Chas Licciardello. Fellow Chaser members Dominic Knight and Charles Firth are not part of the regular on-screen cast. However, Knight is a writer, and Firth compiled roving reports for the show from the United States, until he left the group to start a satirical newspaper in mid-2007.

Australian Hip Hop
Morganics: Australian Hip Hop artist, performer, director and community worker.

Combat Wombat: Activists, artists, DJs, break beats and hip hop.

Schoolies Week
Schoolies or Schoolies week (known as Leavers' or Leavers' week in Western Australia) refers to the Australian tradition of high-school graduates (known as "Schoolies" or "Leavers") having week-long holidays following the end of their final exams in late November and early December.

Australian Rules Football. A game based on Gaelic football and very popular in the southern states of Australia. Here an Aboriginal team plays the Melbourne Bombers.

The Doof Scene
A doof is a type of outdoor dance party in Australia, generally held in a remote area and similar to raves or teknivals, but with a different, more empathetic atmosphere. Doofs generally have live electronic artists and DJs playing a range of electronic music, commonly Goa and psychedelic trance, now days there are clans like the Tribots that operate Trip Hop and a couple of groups that also do DJ Performances in Industrial, Punk Rock & Gabber. The word is used with an ironic liberality and can be used to describe the music, the event at which it gets played, and the dance that happens there. Example: "let's go to a doof, listen to some doof, and have a bit of a doof.", When one of the original members suggested Food Clan, it was revisited as 'Doof' Clan derived from the onomatopoeic sound of the kick drum used in electronic music frequently played at these events (as in "doof doof music") and the reversal of the word Food. One feature of the doof is the extravagant artwork and use of UV lighting. Fire twirling and toys are generally common at doofs.

Videos from Australian Alternative Culture

Australian Hip Hop artists and political activists Combat Wombat, with Police Brutality (Its a Reality)

Australian Film Industry Australia's film history has been characterized as one of 'boom and bust' due to the unstable and cyclical nature of its industry; there have been deep troughs when few films were made for decades and high peaks when a glut of films reached the market.
Australian film has a long history. Indeed, the earliest known feature length narrative film in the world was the Australian production The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906).
Arguably one of the world's first film studios, The Limelight Department was operated by The Salvation Army in Melbourne, Australia, between 1897 and 1910. The Limelight Department produced evangelical material for use by the Salvation Army, as well as private and government contracts. In its 19 years of operation, the Limelight Department produced about 300 films of various lengths, making it the largest film producer of its time. The major innovation of the Limelight Department would come in 1899 when Herbert Booth and Joseph Perry began work on Soldiers of the Cross, arguably the first feature length film ever produced. Soldiers of the Cross fortified the Limelight Department as a major player in the early film industry. However, Soldier of the Cross would be dwarfed when the Limelight Department was commissioned to film the Federation of Australia.

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) leads the development of elite sport and is widely acknowledged in Australia and internationally as a world best practice model for elite athlete development. The AIS is a pre-eminent elite sports training institution in Australia with world class facilities and support services. The Institute's headquarters is situated in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. The 65 hectare site campus is in the northern suburb of Bruce, but some of the institute's programs are located in other Australian cities. The AIS is a division of the Australian Sports Commission. The AIS has 35 sport programs in 26 sports.

Gallipoli by Peter Weir(1981)
When Australian film director Peter Weir, perhaps best known to American audiences for Witness and The Truman Show, was planning his next film after completing Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), he wanted a story set in France depicting the big battles of 1916-1917. A friend suggested he make a film about the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) attack on Gallipoli. Unconvinced, he nevertheless traveled to Istanbul in 1976. After spending two days climbing the hills and wandering the trenches, Weir was struck by what he found: buttons, old leather belts and other items left behind by ANZAC forces. He decided then and there that he would indeed make a film about Gallipoli, saying, "I felt somehow I was really touching history."
His original idea was to tell a comprehensive story from enlistment in 1914 though the evacuation of Gallipoli near the end of 1915, but after several drafts, he was unhappy with the results. Instead, he decided to write a tale about two friends and their journey to war. The result is the outstanding anti-war film Gallipoli (1981).

Aboriginal Hip Hop (BBC Radio Documentary) Rap's the No1 sound for young Aboriginal people in Australia. They've connected with US rappers not only for their lyrics but also because they share the same colour skin. And now young Aborgines are using hip hop to tell their own stories. 1Xtra travels from the projects of Sydney to the outback in search of the new sound of Australia. It's rare to hear Aboriginal voices in mainstream Australian music, so can any of these MCs break through?

The Kranksy Sisters
The Kransky Sisters come from Esk, a real rural town in Queensland. The two eldest sisters, Mourne and Eve Kransky, are full biological sisters, and have lived together all their lives. Mourne and Eve's father was a travelling salesman for the (fictional) Asbestos Cookware Company. Their mother left their father to be with his brother, who is Arva and Dawn's father. The two brothers haven't spoken since, and Mourne and Eve ostracise Arva and Dawn, using their guilt over the affair to dominate them. The Kransky Sisters are an Australian musical comedy trio created, written and performed by Annie Lee (Mourne) and Christine Johnston (Eve) in collaboration with Michele Watt (Arva) and Carolyn Johns (Dawn). The Kransky Sisters tell offbeat and occasionally macabre stories and accompany these stories with strangely relevant covers of popular songs.


Chitra Ganesh - Tales of Amnesia detail (Godzilla) 2002-2007

Contemporary Art of India
The Empire Strikes Back: Art in India Today

A Passage to India
Passage to India is the fourth exhibition at Initial Access and will present new Indian art from the Frank Cohen Collection. It will showcase a selection of important painting and sculpture by a new generation of artists from India who are starting to take centre stage in the international contemporary art world.

Sunil Gupta

A Dance Party in Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai
The best part of the whole night was how everyone, like everyone of every color danced their ass off. I had a couple people from workshop say they haven't danced in years and they danced the whole night. So anyways at 10:30 we shut it down, we all ate samosas and called it a day. Damn, you can't capture that on camera or film (literally my camcorder showed up pitch black) it probably the craziest party i ever played and it was drugless and alcoholess.
Download the DJ Mix

Sheela Gowda

India’s Art, Booming and Shaking New York Times
FOR an uninitiated Westerner, making your way to one of this city’s new art galleries can be a disorienting study in contrasts. In the crowded streets behind the Taj Mahal Hotel Palace and Tower, where the air is heavy with the smell of gasoline and flowers, you are approached by women begging for money and food. Men shout invitations to enter their carpet shops or purchase wares like watches, magazines, leather jackets and cigarettes.
Then, from a narrow thoroughfare, you enter a courtyard where an old man sits wearing a black security uniform. He speaks no English but, when asked for directions, points toward a flight of wood stairs so worn they are bowed in the middle. At the top, a door is opened by a barefoot woman in a scarlet sari. Behind her is an art gallery as white and sleek as any space in Chelsea.

Jitish Kallat

Indian Art Now
Over the last decade, contemporary Indian art has gained prominence on the world stage. Artists from Bombay, Delhi, and Bangalore travel the globe to participate in prestigious exhibitions and fairs, while curators and collectors flock to these cities to explore their flourishing artistic communities.

NDTV New Delhi TV Good Times A lifestyle channel from India.

Bollywood (Hindi: बॉलीवुड, Urdu: بالی وڈ) is the informal term popularly used for Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. Bollywood is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the Indian film industry. Bollywood is one of the largest film producers in the world, producing more than 1,000 films a year,[1] with ticket sales of 3.6 billion.[2] The name is a portmanteau of Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood, the center of the American film industry. However, unlike Hollywood, Bollywood does not exist as a real physical place. Though some deplore the name, arguing that it makes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood, it seems likely to persist and now has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. Bollywood is commonly referred to as Hindi cinema, even though Hindustani, the substratum common to both Hindi and Urdu, might be more accurate. Bollywood consists of the languages of Hindi, Urdu and English. The use of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is not uncommon to see films that feature dialogue with English words and phrases, even whole sentences. There are a growing number of English films. Wikipedia

The Cinema of India
Indian movies commonly include several song-and-dance routines. In high caliber movies, songs convey emotions and passions, ranging from love and pathos to triumph and celebration. In Indian movies, playback singers commonly sing the songs, and actors and actresses lip-sync them. The tunes of songs in an Indian movie strongly determine the extent of commercial success of the movie. Indian movies are usually two to three hours long, often with an intermission. They feature romance, comedy, action, and suspense. The Indian Censor Board oversees the contents of the movies.
Dance sequence taken from Devdas (2002) the most expensive production so far from Mumbai.

Bride and Prejudice is a 2004 Bollywood-style adaptation of Jane Austen's 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice.
Lalita: There's so much to see in India, Mrs. Darcy; you must come sometime.
Mrs. Darcy: (with slight hostility) Well, if I had a hotel I might have. But with yoga and spices and Deepak Chopra and wonderful Eastern things here, I suppose there's just no point in traveling there anymore.
Lalita: Well, I don't know about that. After all, people haven't stopped going to Italy just because Pizza Hut's opened around the corner.

The Hindu METRO PLUS throws the spotlight on what's happening in the city. Events, Music, Heritage, Lifestyle, People, Fashion, Dining Out and Sport are the broad categories finding expression on this supplement's pages. Capturing the pulse of the city and its changing lifestyle, it caters for the information and entertainment needs of a cross-section of readers. The site gets updated on days specified against each city.


Asian Dub Foundation: The Real Great Britain

Uploaded Image

SoulDeep is the artist name of Rav Dhillion from Essex and of Punjabi background. He sings and raps in English and Punjabi. Musical influences are R&B, rap, hip hop, and 'world music'. While not exactly famous Rav is a good example of someone who has blended elements of culture from numerous traditions and brought them into the contemporary culture of (post) modern England.

Talvin Singh - Devotion
Talvin Singh (Matharoo) (born in 1970 in Leytonstone, London, England) is a British DJ and tabla player, known for creating an innovative fusion of classical Indian music and drum n bass. Talvin Singh is generally considered involved with an electronica sub genre called Asian Underground.
Singh grew up in Leytonstone and began playing the tabla, breakdancing and listening to punk rock as a child. At the age of 15, Singh went to India where he studied tabla under Pandit Lashman Singh, but he returned to the UK after just one year. In spite of this classical training, Singh's tabla playing was not accepted by British promoters of classical Indian music, as he incorporated too strongly his western influences.

Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam (born July 17, 1975) is a British vocalist, songwriter, composer, record producer and visual artist, and a Tamil of Jaffna origin. Best known by her stage name, M.I.A., her work in music often features a range of elements of genres including grime, Funk Carioca, hip-hop, ragga, dancehall and electro.
An accomplished visual artist by 2002, M.I.A. came to prominence in early 2004 through file-sharing of her singles "Galang" and "Sunshowers" on the Internet. In 2005, her debut album, Arular, was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her second album, Kala, was released in 2007 and awarded the title Album of the Year by both Blender and Rolling Stone. M.I.A. was also included on USA Today's "100 Most Interesting People of 2007".

UK Black podcast
UK Black is 20 minutes of talk show highlights from African and Caribbean programmes on BBC Local Radio. Download your snapshot of contemporary Black Britain every Monday.

Hard Times of Old England Retold
by The Imagined Village (Billy Bragg)

For five generations my family have farmed
By horse and by tractor and by hoe and by hand
But that won't stave off the bank's latest demand.

Singing oh the hard times of Old England
In Old England very hard times.

Time was I could sell what I grew at the shop
Then Tesco's turned up and all that had to stop
Now I can't make a living out of my crop.


More and more of our village gets sold every day
To folks from the city who are happy to pay
But their halls and their cottages stand empty all day


The Countryside Alliance expects my support I suppose
When they're marching to bloody Blair's nose
But they said not a word when our post office closed.


The hedgerows my grandfather tended have gone
And with them the Lapwing and Corn Crake's sad song
No fear Ill be carring on before long.


And now to conclude and finish my song
Let's hope that these hard times they will not last long
And I may soon have occaision to alter my song
And sing Oh the good times of Old England
In Old England such very good times.
The Imagined Village
The Imagined Village was a 2007 project by a goup of performers based in England but coming from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The title is taken from the book, The Imagined Village: Culture, Ideology and the English Folk Revival by Georgina Boyes (1993). Performers in the group included

Benjamin Zephaniah
Billy Bragg
Chris Wood
Eliza Carthy
Johnny Kalsi
Martin Carthy
Paul Weller
Sheila Chandra
Simon Emmerson
The Copper Family
The Gloworms
Tiger Moth
Trans-Global Underground

Video and audio of the group are available online

Tam Lyn (retold) by Benjamin Zephaniah with The Imagined Village
Tam Lin is the hero of a Borders' legend about fairies and mortal men. While this ballad is unique to Scotland, the motif of capturing a person by holding him through all forms of transformation is found throughout Europe in folktales. Tam is the Scots pet-form of Thomas; one of several "Thomases" in myth, such as True Thomas also known as Thomas the Rhymer.

Rishi Rich (born Rishpal Singh Rekhi) is a British Asian music producer based in London, UK. He is internationally known for his bhangra tracks as well as Hindi remixes. He has also produced remixes for various mainstream artists such as Madonna and Britney Spears, Mis-Teeq, Craig David and Aqua's Lene Nystrøm. In the past, he has produced many remix albums, for example Love 2 Love. Recently, he has produced two solo albums, including his latest album The Project.

Mentor Kolektiv
Mentor Kolektiv are a British Asian, Bhangra group. The Mentor Kolektiv, headed by Mentor (born May 14) consists of punjabi vocalist Des-C, rapper MC A.C.,and DJ Mr Mak. Today the Mentor Kolektiv present 'The Jump Off' on the BBC Asian Network every Saturday from 5.00-8.00.

Jay Sean (born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti on March 26, 1981); is a British Asian R&B singer, best known for his hits "Stolen", "Eyes On You" and "Ride It". He has released two albums, Me Against Myself and My Own Way along with four top 20 hits in the UK singles chart.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Virtuality and Virtual Worlds

Virtual Lindellhallen, HUMlab Island, Second Life.

What are Virtual Worlds?
The concept of virtual worlds has been used in narrative fiction for a long time. Elements of virtual worlds have existed for a long time in literature, theater, performance arts, story telling, interactive cinema, architecture and town planning. For a more developed history of virtual worlds see an earlier blog post. In the contexts we are discussing today virtual worlds are online three (sometimes two) dimensional shared presistent spaces. A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact via avatars. These avatars are usually depicted as textual, two-dimensional, or three-dimensional graphical representations, although other forms are possible (auditory and touch sensations for example). Some, but not all, virtual worlds allow for multiple users. Virtual online worlds go by a number of names:

Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs)
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (commonly abbreviated MMORPG) is a genre of computer role-playing games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world.
Although modern MMORPGs sometimes differ dramatically from their antecedents, many of them share some basic characteristics. These include several common themes: some form of progression, social interaction within the game, in-game culture, system architecture, and character customization. Characters can often be customized quite extensively, both in the technical and visual aspects, with new choices often added over time by the developers. Many games also offer some form of modding in order to allow for even greater flexibility of choice.
Character abilities are often very specific due to this. Depending on the particular game, the specialties might be as basic as simply having a greater affinity in one statistic, gaining certain bonuses of in-game resources related in-game race, job, etc. MMOG or simply MMO are variations on the MMORPG theme.

Memorial Gathering in WW2 Online

Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE)
MUVE (plural MUVEs) refers to online, multi-user virtual environments, sometimes called virtual worlds. While this term has been used previously to refer to a generational change in MUDs, MOOs, and MMORPGs, it is most widely used to describe MMOGs that are not necessarily game-specific. The term was first used in Chip Morningstar's 1990 paper The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat. A number of the most popular and well-known MUVEs are:

Croquet Project
Neverwinter Nights
Project Wonderland
Second Life

Modern MUVEs have 3D isometric/third-person graphics, are accessed over the Internet, allow for some dozens of simultaneous users to interact, and represent a persistent virtual world.

A crowd in Second Life

"Created, simulated, or carried on by means of a computer or computer network: virtual conversations in a chatroom."

The avatar is the central point for life in a virtual world. An avatar (अवतार, from the Sanskrit word for "descent") is a computer user's representation of himself/herself or alter ego, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games, a two-dimensional icon (picture) used on Internet forums and other communities, or a text construct found on early systems such as MUDs. It is an “object” representing the embodiment of the user. The term "avatar" can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.
The research on avatars across academic and industry settings is broad and extensive.

People and Their Avatars, from the book, Alter Ego: Avatars and their Creators by Robbie Cooper.

For the purposes of cultural study and analysis what is perhaps most interesting about virtual worlds is that they are social. Millions of people meet in online virtual worlds and share ideas, virtual objects, art, secrets, passions, work and languages. How these people meet and communicate is a fascinating area of knowledge. Questions that are relevant here include, What does it mean to 'meet' someone in a virtual world?, How does a person represent or construct a self in a virtual world?, How can terms such as author, player, user, reader, identity, viewer, narrative, participant, sender and receiver can be used in relation to virtual worlds?

Culture and Virtual Worlds
Wherever there is social activity there is most likely to be cultures. Virtual worlds are useful when it comes to cultural studies and criticism for a number of reasons. While we must always be aware that we are dealing with highly mediated spaces (that are in themselves cultural artifacts) in engaging with virtual worlds, they are at the same time sites of highly complex human interactions, with all its accompanying strategies of representations, depictions, simulations, communications and architectures.

In virtual worlds the role of participation has been added to simulation and representation as part of the signifying elements. It is possible in virtual worlds to enact financial transactions, to attend religious rituals, to engage in sexual acts, to build and create things, and of course to communicate with other people. In the movements between simulation, representation and participation, a very large number of cultural and social references are made. Included in these references are aspects of social stratification, or class.

An Australian filmmaker produced a video asking MMORPG (Massive MultiPlayer Online Role-Playing Games) users to discuss their gender-bending behavior in the online world. His video received 993 responses (far more than most of the related surveys conducted up to that point) relaying users’ personal experiences in gender-switching. The responses were incredibly varied, but many males admitted to playing females, and often offered one of two similar motivations:

“Well as for me, I like playing as a girl because looking at the back side of a woman for 12 or more hours is nicer then looking at a dude for that long.”

“I chose to make my character female because they seem to have some more perks. Free stuff and being treated more kindly.”

Some admitted to playing female avatars with a twinge of self-consciousness. Others clarified that "While I do sometimes play female toons, I'm up front about player gender." These respondents seemed to acknowledge, on some level, a moral complexity within the act of gender-switching. Perhaps this moral complexity arises from the reality that many users feel strong emotional attachments within virtual communities. As Julian Dibbell writes in his article “A Rape in Cyberspace,” "...What happens inside a MUD-made world is neither exactly real nor exactly make-believe, but nonetheless profoundly, compellingly, and emotionally true." Gamers and Second Life users know this fact better than anyone.
Social and economic Class take on global dimension in virtual worlds. If we take Second Life for example the majority of signifiers in the virtual world present an elite vision of society. Avatars dress in designer labels, houses are large, cars are all expensive models.

The Villa Piazza was designed by Style Jackson to be an Italian Palace, of the kind seen off the Amalfi Coast or on the island of Capri. From June, 1007 through May, 2008 it served as the key building for Eddi Haskell's Eddiland estate which spanned over 2 1/2 sims. The music is Resphigi's Pines of Rome. Faith Maxwell sculptures can be seen in the outside sculpture garden.

The home of rap star 50 Cent as featured on MTV Cribs

The representation of class is not so stratified in Second Life. Poverty, like old age, disease and ugliness, is not a general feature of a social world such as Second Life. In game virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft or Runescape social class is programmed into the game. The statement by a Runescape resident on income and money in the virtual world is one example of this;
i have massive drop partys where i drop like 120k of rune and stuff just for fun of makin people happy. ive never had more than even 400k i only got 378k before and still drop 100k on some drops.its not fun when people lvl 23 that cant lvl for beans say i have a phat so i own u noob.
im like wtf?u own me? im lvl 71 noob!ur lvl 23! and then they go to bank and put it on talkin about AHAHAHA im rich and ur a poor noob…
then ur all like ‘huh?’ ‘im the noob??? are u sure????’and they go showing off sayin ‘i could own every1 in this room’

In each of these examples a single class culture based on capital accumulation and commodification is being referenced. The extent to which this culture is predominant in virtual worlds is illustrated by the virtual world for children, Club Penguin and how it rewards participation.

As a research object Virtual Worlds can be approached from many different angles. As games, as social fields of experience and representation, as New Media artifacts, as interactive design tools. The list is potentially very very long. Here are some recent research ventures into the world of Virtual Worlds:

Beware, Your Imagination Leaves Traces by Bruno Latour
Imagination no longer comes as cheaply as it did in the past. The slightest move in the virtual landscape has to be paid for in lines of code. If you want your avatar to wear a new golden helmet or jump in the air, gangs of underpaid software engineers somewhere in Bangalore have to get out of bed to work on your demands. The fancies of our brains have shifted so little from the real to the virtual that tens of thousands of children in China are earning a living by causing avatars to graduate to higher levels in various digital games before reselling them for a good prize to boys in America who like to play those games but have not the time nor patience to earn enough “points” for their aliases. When Segolène Royal, the French presidential candidate, bought a piece of real estate on Second Life to start a campaign headquarters there she paid for it in hard cash.

We'll all be citizens of virtual worlds By Victor Keegan (The Guardian)
Most people still look askance if you admit to using virtual worlds where you move around with an avatar or 3D version of yourself. It recalls the technophobic reactions in the early days of the Internet. But attitudes may now change for two reasons. First, children are piling into their own virtual worlds, so their parents can get a glimpse of what it is all about. And second, a huger user base is being created, one that is accustomed to virtual worlds and is ready to trade up to more sophisticated ones as they grow older.

Gender Swapping and Socializing in Cyberspace: An Exploratory Study
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are one of the most interesting innovations in the area of online computer gaming. Given the relative lack of research in the area, the main aims of the study were to examine (a) the impact of online gaming (e.g., typical playing behavior) in the lives of online gamers, (b) the effect of online socializing in the lives of gamers, and (c) why people engage in gender swapping. A self-selecting sample of 119 online gamers ranging from 18 to 69 years of age (M = 28.5 years) completed a questionnaire. The results showed that just over one in five gamers (21%) said they preferred socializing online to offline. Significantly more male gamers than female gamers said that they found it easier to converse online than offline. It was also found that 57% of gamers had engaged in gender swapping, and it is suggested that the online female persona has a number of positive social attributes in a male-oriented environment.

Avatars and the Invisible Omniscience: The panoptical model within virtual worlds.

"This Exegesis and accompanying artworks are the culmination of research conducted into the existence of surveillance in virtual worlds. A panoptical model has been used as a probe, and its premise tested through extension into these communal spaces. Issues such as data security, personal and corporate privacy have been investigated, as has the use of art as a propositional mode.

In producing this Exegesis, I have drawn on existing and new theoretical arguments and observations that have aided the development of research outcomes. These include a discussion of action research as a methodology and questionnaire outcomes designed to assist in understanding player perceptions and concerns.

A series of artworks was completed as part of the research to assist in understanding the nature of virtual surveillance. They have been used as a method to provoke and examine outcomes, and as an experiential interface for viewers of the research. The artworks investigate a series of surveillance perspectives including parental gaze, machine surveillance and self-surveillance."

Sex Lies and Reality (Myths and Truths of Virtual Worlds)
The way the article(s) talk about the issue, the difference is not really on the virtual world itself, but how the mainstream perceives the virtual world. Maria João Lima, writing for the online Portuguese magazine “Meios & Publicidade“, expands on this point: the media is still attached to fabricated myths and stereotypes that label and tag virtual worlds as the place where freaks and borderlines spend their time because they’ve got no other thing to do. This image is still very strong and sells newspapers. However, media agencies are here to help brands and their corporations to sell their own services and goods, and they have to follow their customers — and these are communicating inside virtual worlds. It’s time to dispel the myths, look at what really happens in virtual worlds, and exploit this medium for better communication with the customers.

Meeting in the Ether
Virtual worlds, shared graphical spaces on the Internet, are an exciting new medium of human presence for the 21st Century. This article explores the origins, evolution and future of the virtual world medium from their humble beginnings in multi-player games to their use in education, business, science and engineering. Our focus will be on the development of social virtual worlds including environments such as Habitat, Active Worlds and Second Life.

Evaluating Cultural Learning in Virtual Environments. PhD thesis, University of Melbourne by Eric Champion

Living in Virtual Worlds
30 Days in ActiveWorlds – Community,Design and Terrorism in a Virtual World.
Chapter 8 in the Social Life of Avatars.
The idea behind ‘30 Days in ActiveWorlds’ was to fully document the development of a virtual environment from beginning to end, as a plot of virgin virtual land which, it was hoped, would develop into a community and a fully-fledged new virtual world. The aim was not to create a dialog of life in the virtual environment, such as the well-documented “My Tiny Life” by Julian Dibbell or “The Cybergypsies” by Indra Sinha, yet the events that unfolded over the 30 Day period led to just such a documentation, and with it my conclusions about not only community and design in a virtual environment, but also views on the increasingly blurred boundaries between what is real and what is virtual.

My Virtual Life
A journey into a place in cyberspace where thousands of people have imaginary lives. Some even make a good living. Big advertisers are taking notice.

According to the lore on forums, an avid WoW player, who was an officer in a Horde guild on the Illidan server, suffered a fatal stroke. Her friends decided to organize a virtual funeral to say farewell. It was said that she enjoyed fishing, and the snow. So the meeting place was set in Winterspring and posts advertising the event explicitly requested that attendees be left alone out of respect.

This is where things got out of hand. Once Alliance guild Serenity Now got word of the event, they decided to crash the Horde e-Funeral, earning many honorable kills for their most dishonorable attack. Some have argued that while Serenity Now’s actions can’t be described as right, they didn’t really do anything wrong. This may have been a funeral for a friend, but it was an “in-game” funeral on a PvP server where slaying players from the opposing faction is a big part of the game. In this sense, Serenity Now’s raid on the Horde funeral didn’t break any rules.

But rules were broken on that day, social rules that fall outside the artificial boundaries of “in-game” rules. These are the same rules that separate us from savages – and they’re the reason why most of you wouldn’t gather a group of friends together to piss on a stranger’s grave at their funeral. Games Radar Blog Post

Watch Wonderland: Virtual Adultery and Cyberspace Love

Carolyn is a 37 year-old mother of four in the midst of a passionate affair that is tearing her family apart. She's spending up to 18 hours a day with her lover, and her husband is in despair. But the extraordinary thing about this affair is that Carolyn's lover is a man she has never met. Because he's not a human being. This is a film about those who've become so disillusioned with their real life that they've sidelined it in favor of a virtual life. It's about people who've cheated on their life partners and risked losing everything, for the promise of a life that's so far only been experienced in the pixels of a computer screen and the dream world of their own fantasies.
The reality of virtual worlds is apparent in the Wonderland documentary. People's lives are changed and challenged by what occurs through the mediation of Second Life. In a similar way, culture is enacted and produced through the use of virtual worlds´.

The key to studying virtual worlds, like computer games, is participation. You have to be in it to understand it. So my final bit of advice it that if you are interested in studying virtual worlds more, join one. Make an avatar, look around, meet others, create a project. Good luck. It is a wonderful metaverse out there. Here is a list of hundreds of virtual worlds you may want to explore.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The teaching notes for this lecture can be downloaded here: Document IconRealia English A Lecture 5.doc These notes are more than is needed for the section.

The reading for this section is the chapter in Oakland with the title 'International Relations'.

This is a two part video of a lecture given as part of the campus course for British Realia on globalisation. There is more information in this lecture than is presented in this section but it is a good support if you need it.




Like colonisation, globalisation is not easily summarized in a few paragraphs of text and a couple of images. As you have probably noticed the (post)modern world is complex, changing, and networked. Similarly to colonisation, globalisation is not a totally new phenomenon. The Ancient Greeks has a globalisation of their own. Reading Herodotus (5th century B.C.E) you can gain an idea of what the globalised world of 2500 years ago looked like. Today, globalisation is truly global but there are both similarities, variations and total differences in how different local cultures respond to transnational forces and influences that affect us all. You must be able to briefly discuss the concept of contemporary globalisation as:

- Cultural

- Economic

- Historical

- Social

These four aspects of globalisation are the basis for this section. Simply be able to define each and give some examples from those given on this page.

1. Cultural

  • The global media system (which includes education) is one part of cultural globalisation.
  • "Technology has now created the possibility and even the likelihood of a global culture. The Internet, fax machines, satellites, and cable TV are sweeping away cultural boundaries. Global entertainment companies shape the perceptions and dreams of ordinary citizens, wherever they live. This spread of values, norms, and culture tends to promote Western ideals of capitalism. Will local cultures inevitably fall victim to this global "consumer" culture? Will English eradicate all other languages? Will consumer values overwhelm peoples' sense of community and social solidarity? Or, on the contrary, will a common culture lead the way to greater shared values and political unity? This section looks at these and other issues of culture and globalization." (Global Policy Forum)
  • A central term often used in relation to cultural globalisation is multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is government policy in South Africa and Australia, and is valued in the formation of policy in Britain. It has not emerged as a dominant concept in India outside the major urban areas. Although this could be a challenge for India over the next few decades as more and more people will want to share in the economic prosperity of the nation from outside its borders. Multiculturalism generally refers to a state of racial, cultural and ethnic diversity within the demographics of a specified place, usually at the scale of an organization such as a school, business, neighbourhood, city or nation.

2. Economic

  • The economic side of globalisation gets a lot of attention in western media, and this is understandable. Economic globalisation can be defined as the process of increasing economic integration between nation states, leading to the emergence of a global marketplace or a single world market. Depending on the paradigm, globalisation can be viewed as both a positive and a negative phenomenon.
  • Whilst economic globalisation has been occurring for the last several thousand years (since the emergence of trans-national trade), it has begun to occur at an increased rate over the last 20-30 years. This recent boom has been largely accounted by developed economies integrating with less developed economies, by means of foreign direct investment, the reduction of trade barriers, and the “westernisation” of these developing cultures.

3. Historical

David Held et al. (2005), in Global Transformations, look at four periods of globalisation.

  • Pre-modern (before 1500) 'globalisation' was interregional within Eurasia and the Americas, based on political and military empires and the movements of peoples into uncultivated areas.
  • The early modern (1500-1850). This was marked by the rise of the West and the movement of Europeans into the Americas and then Oceania. It was in the early modern period that world religions spread and exerted their most significant cultural influence, especially Christianity and Judaism, both of which attained a global distribution.
  • Modern globalisation (1850-1945) This period witnessed an acceleration of global networks and cultural flows, dominated by the European powers, especially the British; and the great migration of European peoples to the new world. By the mid-nineteenth century European peoples, ideas and religions had transformed the Americas, with rapid developments in transport and communication technologies in the second half of the 19th century (for example telegraphy, telephones, radio, railways, shipping, canals, etc.) making connections over a large area possible.

Contemporary globalisation is marked by an environment that is degraded in every region of the world, and new patterns of global migration have replaced the old. A worldwide system of nation states, overlaid by a combination of regional and global forms of regulation and governance, has emerged. Although still highly asymmetrical, contemporary globalisation is less dominated by America and Europe: "distributional patterns of power and wealth no longer accord with a simple core and periphery division ... (and) ... reflect a new geography of power and privilege which transcends political borders and regions, reconfiguring established international and trans-national hierarchies of social power and wealth." (Held, et al.) More on Historical Globalisation can be found on this website.

4. Social

  • The social dimension of globalization refers to the impact of globalisation on the life and work of people, on their families, and their societies. Concerns and issues are often raised about the impact of globalisation on employment, working conditions, income and social protection. Beyond the world of work, the social dimension encompasses security, culture and identity, inclusion or exclusion and the cohesiveness of families and communities.

  • Globalisation brings new potentials for development and wealth creation. But there are divergent views and perceptions among people as concerns its economic and social impact, and indeed widely varying impacts on the interests and opportunities of different sectors and economic and social actors. Some argue that the present model of globalisation has exacerbated problems of unemployment, inequality and poverty, while others contend that globalisation helps to reduce them. Of course, these problems pre-dated globalisation, but it is clear that for globalisation to be politically and economically sustainable, it must contribute to their reduction. Hence the goal of a globalisation which meets the needs of all people. (The World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization)

While it is useful to make the divisions between these four aspects of globalisation it should be remembered that they rarely occur independent of each other. An economic factor has social implications and historical factors influence just about every aspect of globalisation today. The area of Political Globalisation, while very important, I have included in the examples of Social Globalisation because politics is supposedly about representation of the people. More General Background on Globalisation

"Globalization is defined here as involving the declining significance of territorial borders in inhibiting the spread of interacting and interdependent global forms of economy, politics, and culture. It involves the diffusion of economy, politics and culture from localized bases to a more global extent. It requires interdependent relations rather than just the movement of, say, people, ideas or money from one place to another. The latter alone involves global movements without necessarily global relations and interdependence becoming established." (Britain and Globalization, Luke Martell, University of Sussex)

Southern Africa

Economic Globalisation

''Globalisation: The Challenge facing South Africa'' (An ANC perspective)
Globalisation has transformed the way in which dominant forces in the global economy have defined their interests in the world outside of their own home base. In earlier economic phases, these forces were focused on ensuring access to cheap raw materials in the periphery as well as whatever access they could get to foreign commodity markets that was compatible with ensuring protected access to their economies at home. They are no longer focused on this. The agenda now of transnational capital is to look for a much broad and far-reaching breakdown of barriers to the free movement of commodities and capital across national borders as well as removing obstacles to setting up production processes in any part of the world.

''South Africa Welcomes China's Investment''
South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in Cape Town on Thursday that South Africa welcomes investment and skills from China. The deputy president highlighted South Africa as an affordable energy-producing country and a "favourite destination for investment that is energy intensive."
She made a key note speech at a China-South Africa business cooperation forum in Cape Town, which were attended by more than 800 Chinese and South African business people. South Africa currently had more investments in China than the other way round, "something we must really fix", Mlambo-Ngcuka said. China's Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said representatives of 75 of the 79 companies that accompanied Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on his two-day visit to South Africa have identified "definite cooperation interests."
The South African deputy president said that the government welcomed an agreement struck on textile trade, describing it as a unique deal proving that China was "willing to walk the extra mile." She noted that the local clothing and textile industry had experienced decline in recent years. "We hope through our cooperation we can save some of the jobs and part of the industry," she added.
Mlambo-Ngcuka said South Africa's foreign relations were based on non-interference with other countries' internal affairs. She called for good political ties between South Africa and China to be used as a basis for growing economic exchanges.
(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2006)

Cultural Globalisation
Culture and globalisation in South Africa is most often discussed in terms of multiculturalism. The many cultural and ethnic groups that emerged from the colonial period in South Africa have been joined since 1994 by cultures from around the world. The Constitution of South Africa states that "the South African nation consists of a diversity of cultural, linguistic and religious communities" and that everyone has the right "to use the language and to participate in the culture of their choice". How multiculturalism works in practice is variable. The acceptance of alternate cultures is often dependent on the standard of living and the opportunities they are granted, before they are willing to accept that others are also present in the market place or the cultural stage.

Globalising the Media Reform Movement
Media policy is increasingly influenced by trade agreements like the World Trade Organization (WTO) and by global organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Decisions made by government delegates at the international level, often with heavy lobbying from big media companies, have major impacts on national-level media policies. At the same time, a growing number of media policy activists are engaging in these debates, creating stronger international networks, and pushing for the globalization of domestic victories. This panel will feature media policy activists from South Africa, Brazil, Korea and the United Kingdom.

Internet in Southern Africa
The internet in Africa is badly underdeveloped with 14% of the world's population but only 3% of internet usage and overall 4.7% penetration. This compares with Europe's 12% of world's population and 26% of internet usage and total 43% penetration (see World Internet Usage)

Internet in South Africa
ZA - 43,997,828 population - Country Area: 1,219,090 sq km
Capital City: Pretoria* - population 1,757,505 ('07)
5,100,000 Internet users Sept/06, 11.6% of the population, per ITU.
165,300 broadband internet subscribers as of Sept/07, per ITU.
Note (*): Pretoria is administrative capital; Cape Town is legislative capital;
and Bloemfontein is judicial capital.

Social Globalisation
Anti-Immigrant Attacks in South Africa
"Xenophobic violence, once an occasional malady around Johannesburg, is now a contagion, skipping from one area to another. The city has no shortage of neighborhoods where the poor cobble together shacks from corrugated metal and wood planks.

Since the end of apartheid, a small percentage of the nation’s black population — the highly skilled and the politically connected — has thrived. But the gap between the rich and poor has widened. The official rate of unemployment is 23 percent. Housing remains a deplorable problem." (New York Times, May 2008).

Asians in South Africa
There are about 1.2 million Asians in South Africa, representing about two per cent of South Africa's population. Asian populations in South Africa have their own religions, foods, musics, education systems, languages and so on. Recent investment by Chinese businesses in South Africa is the latest development in the Asian cultural presence in the society.

Historical Globalisation
Colonisation could be described as a form of globalisation in a historical context. The Treaties of Berlin (1885) mark a diplomatic watershed in the age modern imperial expansion by European and American overseas empires, beginning the age of "high imperialism" with the legalization of the Partition of Africa, which also marks a foundation-point for the creation of international law. In the last decades of the 19th century, the global "white man's burden" became a subject of discussion. In this sense the colonisation of Southern Africa can be discussed as Historical Globalisation.


Economic Globalisation

Rio Tinto in Papua New Guinea
Residents of the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) filed suit against Rio Tinto, a company listed on both the British and Australian stock exchanges, under the Alien Tort Claims Act in US federal court in 2000. The plaintiffs allege that:

1) Rio Tinto was complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the PNG army during a secessionist conflict on Bougainville; 2) Environmental impacts from Rio Tinto’s Panguna mine on Bougainville harmed their health in violation of international law; and 3) Rio Tinto engaged in racial discrimination against its black workers at Panguna.

Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement
The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) is a preferential trade agreement between Australia and the United States of America modelled on the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The FTA was signed on 18 May 2004, ratified by the U.S. House of Representatives on 14 July 2004 by a vote of 270-156 and by the U.S. Senate on July 15, 2004 by a vote of 80-16. President George W. Bush signed the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act into law on 3 August 2004. The FTA came into force on 1 January 2005.

Cultural Globalisation

The Chooky Dancers

"The Chooky Dancers are a group of 10 energetic young men who had healthy living in mind when they choreographed the performance. Franks son Lionel is the lead dancer in the video footage at front and center. "They (the Chooky Dancers) begun working on this just after this years Garma Festival in Gukula and worked very hard on it, they also do a Bollywood style performance which is also fantastic" Frank said. It seems that talent runs in Frank's family, with Franks Daughter also in an all Indigenous Line Dance Group also who Frank actively plays a role in."
In The Chooky Dancers indigenous Australian culture meets Greek and Indian cultures via Anglo-Australia.

Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways
Building pathways for community development through revival of traditional (indigenous) knowledge within contemporary society.
Welcome to the Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways (TKRP) website. The Traditional Knowledge Revival Pathways was developed from the aspirations of Indigenous Elders, to preserve and recognise Traditional Indigenous Knowledge. With the guidance and instruction of our Aboriginal Elders, we are supporting them to collect information that will be beneficial for County and Community, both in the present and the future.

Panyiri Greek Festival, Brisbane
Every year in the inner city suburb of South Brisbane there is held the Paniyiri Festival of Greek culture. The festival has been an annual event in Brisbane for more than 20 years and celebrates the 25,000-strong Greek community in south-east Queensland, Australia.

Sydney, Australia
With 4.3 million people, Sydney is the largest city and financial capital of Australia. Sydney was founded by the British as a penal settlement in the late 18th Century and today boasts one of the most multicultural populations in the world.
The city’s population is primarily of European extraction (British, Irish, Italian, Greek and Maltese) with about 15% being of Asian origin (Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai and Indian). There are also sizeable communities of Pacific Islanders, New Zealanders, Lebanese, Turks and South Africans. The official language is English but the government, as part of its proactively multicultural approach, recognizes some 30 “community languages” and government services are also available in these. 35% of Sydney’s population were born outside Australia and in downtown Sydney this number rises to 70%.
Sydney continues to be first port of call for the 120,000 odd migrants to Australia each year, attracting some 40% of all newcomers. The makeup of the migrants tends to reflect global politics. In the 1970s Lebanese and Vietnamese fleeing war, in the 1980s South Africans and Hong Kongers worried about political change, in the 1990s Croatians and Bosnians fleeing civil war and most recently Iraqis, Somalis and Rwandans.

Social Globalisation

Indigenous well-being in four countries: An application of the UNDP'S Human Development Index to Indigenous Peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States
Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand consistently place near the top of the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Index (HDI) rankings, yet all have minority Indigenous populations with much poorer health and social conditions than non-Indigenous peoples. It is unclear just how the socioeconomic and health status of Indigenous peoples in these countries has changed in recent decades, and it remains generally unknown whether the overall conditions of Indigenous peoples are improving and whether the gaps between Indigenous peoples and other citizens have indeed narrowed. There is unsettling evidence that they may not have. It was the purpose of this study to determine how these gaps have narrowed or widened during the decade 1990 to 2000.

''Australian Diaspora''
The Australian diaspora refers to the approximately 750,000 Australian citizens who today live outside Australia. The term includes several hundred thousand who spend some time in the United Kingdom and Europe but return to Australia. The Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement made it easy for Australians to migrate into New Zealand and vice versa. Australia is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth), so their migration to other Commonwealth members like Canada and Great Britain has fewer restrictions and limitations than American citizens who choose to migrate into Australia.
Many well-educated Australians, including scientists, find unique employment opportunities overseas, particularly in the United States of America. Key factors influencing this phenomenon are seen to include the rise of a global labour market, more accessible and economical international transport, and increasingly sophisticated communication technologies, along with a growing interest in travel and the broader global community.
The term Australian diaspora appears to have originated in the 2003 Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) research report "Australia's Diaspora: Its Size, Nature and Policy Implications", authored by Graeme Hugo, Dianne Rudd and Kevin Harris. This report both identified the phenomenon and argued for an Australian government policy of maintaining active contact with the diaspora.
The diaspora has been the focus of policy concerns over a so-called "brain drain" from Australia. However the 2003 CEDA report argued the phenomenon was essentially positive: rather than experiencing a "brain drain", Australia was in fact seeing both "brain circulation" as Australians added to their skills and expertise, and a "brain gain", as these skilled expatriates returned to Australia and new skilled immigrants arrived. Some Britons went to Australia like Elton John from Great Britain (but lives part-time in the US), and one rich Australian expatriate, Rupert Murdoch went to the US to become CEO of 20th Century Fox Television Networks.

The Cronulla Riots of 2005 were a series of racially motivated mob confrontations which originated in and around Cronulla, a beachfront suburb of Sydney, New South Wales. Soon after the riot, ethnically motivated violent incidents occurred in several other Sydney suburbs.

On Sunday, 11 December 2005, approximately 5000 people gathered to protest against recently reported incidents of assaults and intimidatory behaviour by groups of non-locals, most of whom were identified in earlier media reports as Middle Eastern youths from the suburbs of Western Sydney. The crowd assembled following a series of earlier confrontations, specifically an assault on three off-duty lifesavers which took place the previous weekend. The crowd initially assembled without incident, but violence broke out after a large segment of the mostly white Australian crowd chased a man of Middle Eastern appearance into a hotel and 2 other youths of Middle Eastern appearance were assaulted on a train.

Historical Globalisation
Like South Africa, Australia has been the location for migrations, integrations and conflicts that had their origins on a global scale. One example of globalising forces in a historical context in Australia is the 40 000 Chinese who travelled to Australia in the gold rushes of the 1840s. Soon after the discovery of the goldfields in Victoria an exodus of unprecedented volume started, bringing to Australia people with a range of skills and professions, unthought of prior to the discovery of gold.

Australia attracted adventurers from all around the world. The majority of these new arrivals were British but also included Americans, French, Italian, German, Polish and Hungarian exiles.The largest foreign contingent on the goldfields was the 40,000 Chinese who made their way to Australia.

In 1861, Chinese immigrants made up 3.3 per cent of the Australian population, the greatest it has ever been. These Chinese were nearly all men (38,337 men and only eleven women!) and most were under contract to Chinese and foreign businessmen. In exchange for their passage money, they worked on the goldfields until their debt was paid off. Most then returned to China. Between 1852 and 1889, there were 40,721 arrivals and 36,049 departures. There were campaigns to oust the Chinese from the goldfields. The motivation was based on racism and fear of competition for dwindling amounts of easily found gold as the Chinese were known as untiring workers.

Today the Chinese Australian presence in the nation is significant. In the 2006 Australian Census, 669,890 Australian residents (or 3.4% of the resident population) identified themselves as having Chinese ancestry. The early history of Chinese Australians had involved significant immigration from villages of the Pearl River Delta in Southern China. Less well known are the kind of society Chinese Australians came from, the families they left behind and what their intentions were in coming. Many Chinese were lured to Australia by the gold rush. (Since the mid-19th century, Australia was dubbed the New Gold Mountain after the Gold Mountain of California in North America.) They sent money to their families in the villages, and regularly visited their families and retired to the village after many years, working as a market gardener, shopkeeper or cabinet maker. As with many overseas Chinese groups the world over, early Chinese immigrants to Australia established Chinatowns in several major cities, such as Sydney (Chinatown, Sydney), Brisbane (Chinatown, Brisbane) and Melbourne (Chinatown, Melbourne).


Historical Globalisation

What the Ancients Did for Us - The Indians
India as a globalised society was a fact long before the term globalisation was coined. When the forces of Alexander the Great left India in 322 B.C.E the Maurya Empire arose. The Maurya Empire reached its globalised peak under Ashoka the Great (304-232 B.C.E) who built temples to the three major religions of the time (Hindu, Jain and Buddhist), encouraged philosophy and education, used his position to propagate the relatively new philosophy of Buddhism to new heights, as far as ancient Rome and Egypt.

India is one of the oldest and richest civilizations in the world. It is home to the world's first planned cities, where every house had its own bathroom and toilet five thousand years ago. The Ancient Indians have not only given us yoga, meditation and complementary medicines, but they have furthered our knowledge of science, maths - and invented Chaturanga, which became the game of chess.
According to Albert Einstein, they "taught us how to count", as they invented the numbers 1-9 and 'zero', without which there would be no computers or digital age. Unfairly we call this system of counting Arabic numbers - a misplaced credit.
Two thousand years ago the Indians pioneered plastic surgery, reconstructing the noses and ears on the faces of people who had been disfigured through punishment or warfare. They performed eye operations such as cataract removal and invented inoculation to protect their population from Smallpox, saving thousands of lives.
To create images of their gods they invented a technique of casting bronze called 'Lost Wax', a five-millennia old process still in use today. India was one of the first civilizations to successfully extract Iron from ore and they quickly learnt how to cast huge structures with it - some of them surviving. Their metallurgists went on to invent steel which they called Wotz. It would take the British until the 19th century to come up with the same substance.
In 1790 the Indians defeated the British Army in the battle of Pollilur with a secret invention – the rocket. The British eventually stole the idea and used it against Napoleon's fleet.
But perhaps the most important invention the Indians have given us is cotton. 3500 years ago whilst we were lumbering around in animal skins and itchy wool they were cultivating a plant and weaving it into a material that would revolutionise Britain. They also pioneered the printing and dyeing of cotton in a staggering array of colours and invented the spinning wheel - something Europe wouldn't catch up with until the Middle Ages. The mechanisation of this simple device by Hargreaves and Arkwright led to the industrial revolution and turned Britain into a superpower.

A lesson in humility for the smug West: Many of the western values we think of as superior came from the East and our blind arrogance hurts our standing in the world by William Dalrymple
About 100 miles south of Delhi, where I live, lie the ruins of the Mughal capital, Fateh-pur Sikri. This was built by the Emperor Akbar at the end of the 16th century. Here Akbar would listen carefully as philosophers, mystics and holy men of different faiths debated the merits of their different beliefs in what is the earliest known experiment in formal inter-religious dialogue.
Representatives of Muslims (Sunni and Shi’ite as well as Sufi), Hindus (followers of Shiva and Vishnu as well as Hindu atheists), Christians, Jains, Jews, Buddhists and Zoroastrians came together to discuss where they differed and how they could live together.
Muslim rulers are not usually thought of in the West as standard-bearers of freedom of thought; but Akbar was obsessed with exploring the issues of religious truth, and with as open a mind as possible, declaring: “No man should be interfered with on account of religion, and anyone is to be allowed to go over to any religion that pleases him.” He also argued for what he called “the pursuit of reason” rather than “reliance on the marshy land of tradition”.
All this took place when in London, Jesuits were being hung, drawn and quartered outside Tyburn, in Spain and Portugal the Inquisition was torturing anyone who defied the dogmas of the Catholic church, and in Rome Giordano Bruno was being burnt at the stake in Campo de’Fiori.

Internet in Asia

Internet in India
The internet is expanding in India but access remains a problem because of difficulties with installing infrastructure for delivery. However the numbers are huge compared to other countries with even a small percentage of the population gaining access. According to the Internet World Stats website in 2007 there were 42 000 000 internet users in India. Many of these use Internet Cafes and communal internet access points. Internet censorship in India is carried out by Central as well as state governments of India, despite Article 19 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech to all its citizens.

Internet Use in India

Top 6 Activities carried out by Indians on the World Wide Web are as follows

Social Globalisation

Environmental Activist Questions the Goals of Globalisation
For three decades, physicist Vandana Shiva has been a key activist in the fight against globalization, especially in her native India, where she says it threatens hundreds of millions of peasants still down on the farm. She's accused beverage companies of stealing the people's water in India, this footage by a new documentary by Swedish filmmakers Per Holmquist and Suzanne Khardalian. Outside the European patent office, Shiva challenged corporate patents of seeds, what she calls the biopiracy of natural resources.

Guntur: The heart of the Bt cotton controversy
Shailendra Yashwant travels to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, centre of the cotton ginning industry and a town that reeks of pesticides, where the controversial field-trials of genetically-altered Bt Cotton are quietly going ahead.

Helena Norberg-Hodge @ CERES (February 23, 2006)
Helena Norberg-Hodge, a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award or Alternative Nobel Prize, is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (, co-founder of the Global Eco-village and author of numerous works, including the inspirational classic, Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, which together with an award-winning film of the same title has been translated into more than 30 languages. Renowned for groundbreaking work in sustainable development, Helena Norberg-Hodge’s ISEC network runs programs on four continents aimed at strengthening ecological diversity and community, with a particular emphasis on local food and farming, Her latest book is Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness. This talk was recorded (poorly) at CERES community environment park in Melbourne Australia.

G. P. Sawant, a professional letter writer in Mumbai, is a winner and loser due to globalization. Video
Not long after the women would descend on this swarming, chaotic city, they would find him at his stall near the post office, this letter writer for the unlettered. They often came hungry, battered and lonely, needing someone to convert their spoken words into handwritten letters to mail back to their home villages.
The letters ferried false reassurances. The women claimed in them that they had steady jobs as shopkeepers and Bollywood stage hands. Saying nothing of the brothels, beatings and rapes, they enclosed money orders to remit home rupees agonizingly acquired. Many called Sawant brother and tied a string on his wrist each year in the Hindu tradition.
Sometimes, suspicious parents would board a train to Mumbai and turn up at Sawant's stall, which a daughter had listed as her address. Sawant greeted them kindly but revealed nothing about the woman's work or whereabouts.
Such is the letter writer's honor code: When you live by writing other people's letters, you die with their secrets.
A letter writer in India signs off on the new economy

Historical Globalisation

Promoting Free Trade in the Victorian England (Video)

Part One

Part Two

The latter half of the 19th century is often seen as an era of globalization. An intellectual case for free trade had been developed by David Ricardo in the early part of the century. However, it was many years before the doctrine took hold politically.

Cultural Globalisation

Brit Paki
The term British Asian is used to denote British citizens of South Asian ancestry or South Asian immigrants to the United Kingdom. Britain's large South Asian population is mostly a legacy of 200 years of British hegemony and colonial rule over India (See British India). Note: In current British usage, the term does not include East Asians, who are known by their respective national origins (e.g. Chinese, Japanese) or under the umbrella term "Oriental". Wikipedia

Goodness Gracious Me

A BBC English language sketch comedy show originally on BBC Radio 4 and later televised on BBC Two (the radio series from 1996-1998 and the TV series from 1998-2001) based on four British Asian actors: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Syal and Nina Wadia. In the television version most of the "white" parts are played by Dave Lamb and Fiona Allen, while in the radio version the white parts were played by the cast themselves.
Many of the sketches explored the conflict and integration between traditional Indian culture and modern British life. Some reversed the roles to view the British from an Indian perspective while others poked fun at Indian stereotypes.
One of the more famous sketches featured the cast "going out for an English" after a few lhassis. They mispronounce the waiter's name, order the blandest thing from the menu (apart from one of them, who opts for the safer option of a curry) and ask for 24 plates of chips. This parodies the often-drunk English people "going out for an Indian", ordering chicken phall and too many papadums. This sketch was recently voted the 6th Greatest Comedy Sketch. More Videos from GGM

The New Sound of Asian Britain
The BBC Asian Network is a national digital BBC radio station geared towards playing the best in new British Asian music and covering British Asian issues.

Social Globalisation
What Makes You British?
The increasing ethnic diversity of British society means it is difficult to define what makes someone British. Prime Minister Tony Blair says that "blood alone" does not define national identity and that modern Britain was shaped by a "rich mix of all different ethnic and religious origins". These views were reflected by the Queen, who talked about "our richly multicultural and multifaith society" in her jubilee speech to Parliament. However, many disagree with these definitions of a multi-cultural Britain. The comments on this article are interesting as they express a broad range of opinions from 'British' peoples.

India wins the cricket and this is how it looks, not in India but in London

The Digital Divide

The Digital Divide
The digital divide is the increasingly gaping void between those who are "connected", with two-way, video-rich, on-demand media being pumped into their home (or mobile device) over IP ("Internet Protocol"), and those who aren't: of the 40% of adults in the UK who don't have internet access, we reckon half of them have very negative attitudes to new media and don't see the benefit of the internet, the red button and - to a certain extent - mobile phones. A two-tier nation. Every bit as stark a divide as would be access to free health care for some and not others.

Economic Globalisation

The giant Indian company Tata Group brought both Land Drover and Jaguar in March 2008. In January, Tata launched the world's cheapest car, the Nano, priced at $2,500 (£1,250). It is quite amazing when one considers that sixty years ago the British were leaving India having occupied it for 200 years and now Indian companies are buying British assets on the symbolic (and economic) scale of Jaguar.

A recent poll by Deloitte in November 2006 showed a sharp increase in worries about outsourcing of white collar jobs in the UK. Just 13% said it was a good thing, compared to 29% in January, while 82% of the public believed enough jobs have been sent abroad already, and 32% wanted to force companies to bring jobs back to Britain.

"Industrialisation is a globalising form that originated in the mid 18th century in Britain, a nation already at that time quite globalised through foreign trade and colonial connections. In part British industrialisation was an attempt to compete globally with rivals in areas such as textiles. From such origins industrialisation has spread through creative adaptation, affecting areas of life throughout societies where it has been introduced. It has also provided bases for further globalization through developments such as steamships which facilitated global transportation, and industrialized arms production that allowed for imperial domination. Britain has not only been an initiator of globalising industrialisation but also a globaliser of free trade. In the mid 19th century it pursued global free trade, often, as contrary as this sounds, imposed by force. (Osterhammel and Petersson 2002: ch. 4). As we shall see shortly the UK continues to be associated, relatively speaking, with a free trade version of capitalism." (Martell)

According to the British Government Treasury Department report on Globalisation (2005):

  • "The UK is in a strong position to respond to the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. It is the location of world-class businesses and sectors; has particular strengths in finance, science, innovation and creativity; and a long history of trading links across the world. Macroeconomic stability, flexible markets, and openness to competition have given businesses a good foundation from which to plan, invest and compete both domestically and worldwide. Businesses in the UK’s financial services, pharmaceuticals, high-technology manufacturing and creative industries, among others, are thriving in increasingly integrated, competitive global markets."
The pursuit of free market economics according to the ideals of neo-liberalism is related to the "Macroeconomic stability, flexible markets, and openness to competition have given businesses a good foundation from which to plan, invest and compete both domestically and worldwide."