Essay on Globalization: Arjun Appadurai, Disjunction and Difference

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Sewanee University of the South
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Arjun Appadurai is recognized as a significant theorist in globalization studies. His works operate within a theoretical framework which assumes an increasingly borderless global economy Appadurai 462). In his work, he claims the world has now become a single system with a range of complex subsystems. In Arjun theory, there are five main scapes of the global culture (Appadurai, 469). The scapes include;

Ethnoscapes- which arises from multi-directional movements between local settings, including those refugees and other immigrants Appadurai 469).

Technoscapes- arises from rapid technology diffusion and flow across national boundaries Appadurai 469).

Finanscapes- arises from rapid financial flows and the emerging global political economy Appadurai 470).

Ideoscapes- are similar combinations of images used by states and opposition movements.

Mediascapes- are as a result of the diffusion of the ability to produce media images and the global spread of media images themselves. They are deemed to create media images and the global range of media images themselves. They are considered to be to provide pictures and narratives to local groups around the world through which people live in Appadurai 469).

Arjun states that the mediascapes provide large and complex repertoires of images and narratives throughout the world in which the world of commodities and the world of news and politics are profoundly mixed Appadurai, 471). It's expression in traditional folk music which is a genre of music that originated among the people of a country area and is passed by oral tradition from one generation to the next.

In todays world, people use distinct music that is being offered to the international market by the multinational media and entertainment industry (Kramer, 24). Globalization has many influences on the important music industry based on the social and economic differences. Globalization encourages the world music commerce and promotes cultural communication; however pop cultures have replaced the traditional music and led to the emergence of the business of pop music leading to that quality of the music decreasing. The pop music industry encourages and combines pop music carefully to meet the consumer requirement who seek for the wow factor and leisure (Kramer, 36). Todays pop music industry has developed maturely as both social and economic system. In other words, it is correct to say that globalization has provided new opportunities for the pop music industry to improve and expand the world market and gain huge profits. Pop music is as a result of transcultural. Transcultural is the phenomenon that diverse music transformed in different cultures and nations, and as a result, new music style is created (Kramer, 25). An example is when Chinese music combines with pop music; it creates a unique form of pop music called Chinese pop. This music became popular in different countries attracting people from other countries to enjoy Chinese style pop music.

Some scholars are worried that global pop music is replacing the status of local music. Pop music is everywhere in people daily lives. Its combination with film, gossip magazine and music videos and this makes the music secondary because the related products can bring more influence and benefits to the audience. For instance, the pop song sexy and I know it has honest lyrics which cannot make any sense but the song was on the Hot100 billboard charts in 2012 at position 14, this is because people are easily attracted by the colorful images and dancing. All in all, pop music is one aspect of globalization and is not the result of globalization.

Patterson &Keley, Unfinished Migrations.

The article unfinished migrations by Patterson &Kelley engages the meaning of Diaspora as a concept at a moment when scholars are rushing to embrace the fields of Diaspora studies. African Diaspora in recognition as a field of research and scholarly work is in its full swing to research different issues related to it (Patterson and Kelley, 2000). Current discussions have been going on to suggest that Diaspora is merely a logical manifestation of dispersion.Various topics come under debate when African Diaspora is studied. Researchers have been studying historical evidence to look deep into the lives of African Diaspora over the history and know more about their life struggles in cold environments which they had exposure. Some of the major critical issues in African Diaspora studies include;

Individual Identity- about the overall citizenship rights of the Blacks in the western countries.

Identity Politics- about the formation of the political movements of the African Diaspora and how they have affected their civil rights and political evolution.

Role of women- the study looks at the role of women in different perspective.

Ethnography of African Diaspora- about differentiating between the diverse cultures of African Diaspora.

The music genre with some sense of African Diaspora is the music of the African Diaspora (Kramer, 58). This kind of music was mostly refined and developed during the slavery period. Slaves did not have access to instruments, so vocal work took on a new significance. These songs highlight ways in which the traditional practices of the African descends in engaging and reflect varying racial, social and political formations across time and space (Kramer, 66). The music of the African Diaspora makes frequent use of ostinato, a phrase which is persistent at the same pitch.

When Africans came to the United States, they brought their music with them. Over time, a new genre of music known as the music of African Diaspora developed. This music is amazingly rich and bears witness to the incredible journey of a vibrant and resilient people. Carrying of Africans around the world, they did not forget to bring their musical tradition with them. An example of this kind of music is the music of the African Diaspora from the 1997 Smithsonian Folklife Festival which illustrates the musical diversity and richness of the new African Diaspora in the United States of America (Kramer, 44). The modern African Diaspora has created some of the Worlds most original and influential music due to the adaptation of ancestral traditions to radically new conditions, places, and culture. This music genre is rooted in the extreme experience of human terms, and it speaks passionately to people in all corners of the world. Music of the African Diaspora is a thread that will continue to trace the African culture and is still being heard today in musical forms across the Diaspora and beyond


Work Cited

Appadurai, Arjun. "Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy." Theory, culture & society 7.2 (1990): 295-310.

Kramer, Lawrence. Interpreting Music. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Print.

Patterson, Tiffany Ruby, and Robin DG Kelley. "Unfinished migrations: reflections on the African diaspora and the making of the modern world." African Studies Review 43.1 (2000): 11-45.


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