Global village (Internet)


Global village (Internet)

Global village is a term coined by Wyndham Lewis in his book "America and Cosmic Man" (1948). However, Herbert Marshall McLuhan also wrote about this term in his books "" (1962) and Understanding Media (1964). McLuhan describes how electronic mass media collapse space and time barriers in human communication, enabling people to interact and live on a global scale. In this sense, the globe has been turned into a village by the electronic mass media.

Today, the global village is mostly used as a metaphor to describe the Internet and World Wide Web. According to McLuhan, modern communication technologies such as radio and television globalize communication by allowing users from all levels of society around the world to easily connect with each other and exchange ideas instantaneously. On the Internet, physical distance is even less of a hindrance to the real-time communicative activities of people, and therefore social spheres are greatly expanded by the openness of the web and the ease at which people can search for online communities and interact with others that share the same interests and concerns. Therefore, this technology fosters the idea of a conglomerate yet unified global community. [http://www.cios.org/encyclopedia/mcluhan/m/m.html] Due to the enhanced speed of communication online and the ability of people to read about, spread, and react to global news very rapidly, McLuhan says this forces us to become more involved with one another from countries around the world and be more aware of our global responsibilities. [http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Students/bas9401.html] Similarly, web-connected computers enable people to link their web sites together. This new reality has implications for forming new sociological structures within the context of culture. An example of this phenomenon is The Global Sports Village [http://www.globalsportsvillage.com] .

History

Although McLuhan refers to it by a toponym, the Global Village is actually a historical period, not a place. It was immediately preceded by what McLuhan calls the "Gutenberg Galaxy" (another geographical designation for a chronological period). Though its roots can be traced back to the invention of the "phonetic alphabet" (McLuhan's term for phonemic orthography), the Gutenberg Galaxy, like the Global Village that followed it, was ushered in by a technological innovation, the Gutenberg press.

However, the Gutenberg Galaxy phase of Western Civilization is being replaced—McLuhan is writing in the early 1960s—by what he calls "electronic interdependence," an era when electronic media replace the visual culture of the Gutenberg era, producing cognitive shifts and new social organizations based on aural/oral media technologies.

Criticisms

There is some disagreement in the consideration of the Internet as promoting the idea of a global village. Modern theorist Glenn Willmott says McLuhan's idea of the global village is a clichéd phrase that does not take into account the corruption of the Internet by government and corporate censorship and control over information on the web (news and entertainment information in particular). [http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/article/view/1077/983] The notion of the digital divide also signifies why the idea of a global village is problematic; if not all people are connected to the Internet equally (notably minorities and the economically disadvantaged) and those that lack web access are excluded from global news and participating in online communities, then modern communication technology does not truly promote a global village as McLuhan described it for all people.

Communication media can also be used to divide people within the sphere of online communities. For example, scholars Marshall Van Alstyne and Erik Brynjolfsson offer a contrasting view in their paper, "Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyberbalkans?" [http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=756445] They say that although modern communication technologies have the potential to create the unified communities reminiscent of McLuhan's idea of the Global Village, they also threaten to balkanize or fragment communities by allowing people to easily segregate themselves into geographic and special interest groups.

ee also

* Information Revolution

Notes and references


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Global village — may refer to: *Global village, a term for describing the world that people are considered to live in a planet without borders/ boundaries. It is because any change of one element has an impact on other elements in the world. *Global village… …   Wikipedia

  • Global Village (term) — The global village is a term probably coined by Marshall McLuhan, first recorded in his 1962 book The Gutenberg Galaxy .The term refers to McLuhan s thesis that electric communications media restore to Western civilization many features expressed …   Wikipedia

  • Global Village — Globales Dorf (engl. Global Village) ist ein Begriff aus der Medientheorie, den Marshall McLuhan 1962 in seinem Buch The Gutenberg Galaxy prägte und in seinem letzten Buch The Global Village ausformulierte. Er bezieht sich damit auf die moderne… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • global village — noun : the world viewed as a community in which distance and isolation have been dramatically reduced by electronic media (as television or the Internet) * * * noun [singular] : the world seen as a community in which people are connected by… …   Useful english dictionary

  • global village — N SING People sometimes refer to the world as a global village when they want to emphasize that all the different parts of the world form one community linked together by electronic communications, especially the Internet. Now that we are all… …   English dictionary

  • global village — noun Date: 1960 the world viewed as a community in which distance and isolation have been dramatically reduced by electronic media (as television and the Internet) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • The Global Village — Globales Dorf (engl. Global Village) ist ein Begriff aus der Medientheorie, den Marshall McLuhan 1962 in seinem Buch The Gutenberg Galaxy prägte und in seinem letzten Buch The Global Village ausformulierte. Er bezieht sich damit auf die moderne… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • the global village — UK US noun [S] COMMUNICATIONS ► the idea that the internet, modern travel, and modern ways of doing business make it possible to deal with the whole world as if all areas of it were local: »In today s global village, your co workers are as likely …   Financial and business terms

  • Village global — Village planétaire Le village planétaire (en anglais Global Village), est une expression de Marshall McLuhan, de son ouvrage The Medium is the Message, pour qualifier les effets de la mondialisation, des médias et des technologies de l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Village mondial — Village planétaire Le village planétaire (en anglais Global Village), est une expression de Marshall McLuhan, de son ouvrage The Medium is the Message, pour qualifier les effets de la mondialisation, des médias et des technologies de l… …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.