Global Virtual or Local Real Mapping?

Candida Elton (Nottingham University, UK)

Under the theme re-mapping cultures, I propose to discuss the impact of globalization on local culture. In this context, I address the role of Information Technology in promoting globalization. I shall be considering the possible variations in the pairing of words in my title. Which is more real now, the local communication network, or the global?

Communication paths made possible through satellite and digital technology have had a tremendous impact on our perceptions of distance and possible structures of communities. On the one hand subjects of diverse ideologies confront ideologically constructed projections of each others experience through media productions transmitted via satellite, whilst on the other hand families scattered across the globe find it easier to remain in frequent contact than they ever have before. The latter experience provides a parallel information channel which may contradict the former, or at least provide an alternative interpretation.

This paper will explore some of the realities which lie behind the many different maps of the infrastructure of these technologies, asking such questions as 'How do infrastructure maps relate to our personal experience i.e. our specific interpretation of space and our location in it?' and 'Are the paths of virtual communication, fostered by globalization, dominant in our experience, or are the local connections of family and community strong enough to resist these paths?'

Postcolonial OV discourseov Casablanca Conference

Last modified: 7 May 2001