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Talking Back to Globalization

Texts and Practices


Edited By Brian Michael Goss, Mary Rachel Gould and Joan Pedro-Carañana

Globalization is one of the most widely circulated, high-stakes buzzwords of the past generation; yet discussion of the topic is often encased in paradox and contention over what globalization is, to whom and where it may (or may not) apply, and to what effect. In Talking Back to Globalization: Texts and Practices, contributors provide a series of case studies that stress the interplay between culture, politics, and commerce.
Interviews with Natalie Fenton and Radha S. Hegde survey globalization and its interpenetration with the spheres of journalism, activism, social media, and identity. The overview furnished by the interviews is followed by the volume’s two additional extended sections, «Texts» and «Practices.»
Chapters in the «Texts» section seek clues about globalization through its insinuation into mediated forms. The diverse selection of cases cover television, films, online travel web pages, blues music, and the political valences of Portuguese neo-fado.
Chapters in the «Practices» section address more diffused cases than media texts. Their analyses largely orient toward institutional concomitants of globalization that precede the subject’s experience of it. Chapters cover the trajectory of the European university, campaigns to shape journalistic practice during the Cold War, the posture of intellectuals vis-à-vis globalization, and the ideology that animates the Facebook experience.
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Chapter Ten: Facebook’s Global Imaginary: The Symbolic Production of the World Through Social Media


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Facebook’s Global Imaginary

The Symbolic Production of the World Through Social Media


On any given day, my Facebook News Feed reminds me of my ties to the world. As I scroll down to get my daily dose of updates about family, friends, acquaintances, groups and institutions I follow, the plurality of languages, topics, voices and cultural frames, interpellating me from beyond my computer screen, coalesce in the self-gratifying, cosmopolitan feeling of being a citizen of the world. I have lived, studied and worked in five countries on two continents. I am the proud owner of two different passports. And when I make travel plans, I first check to see if I have a friend already living in the area. To a great extent, my Facebook account—and the image of the world that it mediates for me on a daily basis—has been shaped by my privileged position in the social hierarchy. From where I stand, the images of the world mediated through my Facebook News Feed seductively call upon me to imagine myself as a tiny node of the global, interconnected village.

The seductive promise of Facebook as the space giving “people the power to share and make the world more open and connected” (Facebook, 2014a) advances the image of an Internet service that is both under our control and able to transform the world itself. In one quick discursive...

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