Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Core Post 4: Globalization

In “Thinking Globally From Media Imperialism to Media Capital,” Michael Curtin examines 3 fundamental principles of media capital that shape media industries: logic of accumulation, trajectories of creative migration, and forces of sociocultural variation. In short, he discusses how media industries employ the logic of accumulation when they increase productive efficiency and expand their market to provide a foundational structuring influence (112). Creativity is also a significant asset that media industries heavily rely on and because it requires access to specialized labor, Curtin says it is one of the main reasons why media companies tend to cluster in particular cities (113). Lastly, forces of sociocultural variation help competitors sustain their distinctive product lines and cultural forms which serve their locale and specific audience (115). Ultimately, these fundamental principles contribute to “the diverse contexts in which media are made and consumed” (117).

Curtin also mentions certain media industries across cultural divides have “taken advantage of social and cultural differences in their production and distribution practices” in order to “resonate distinctively with their audiences” (116). This notion of a sort of hybrid cultural form made me think of how nations often heavily alter an original foreign TV show in order to create a coalescence of cultures that can be adapted for their own market/audience. The 90s anime TV show Sailor Moon came to mind, which was originally a manga and then adapted into a Japanese anime in 1992. In 1995, the show was dubbed into an English version released for Canada and US. With the English dub came various changes including an entirely new musical score. Moreover, the English language version was heavily censored resulting in changes of the character names to American names, dialogue, clothing/level of bareness, characters’ sexuality, etc. For instance, the original lesbian relationship between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune was altered and they were made into cousins (although one can still notice the visual flirting and an undertone of a homosexual relationship). With this in mind, it is interesting to see how the boundaries of certain markets must intervene to shape the production, circulation, and consumption of media, which ultimately shape our own lives.


  1. Christal! I like the example of anime TV show Sailor Moon you raised! It seems already became to the universal phenomenon that media industries across cultural divides. Kung Fu Panda also is a typical example to observe how the media industry “takes advantage of social and cultural differences” to “resonate distinctively with their audiences.” There are two versions of Kung Fu Panda 3, and the one released for China retains more Chinese culture and Chinese humor.

  2. Christal, great post! I used to love Sailor Moon, and I remember to watch it regularly in one of the Brazilian broadcast networks. I had no idea that Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune had originally a lesbian relationship -- that information just blew my mind.
    I thought it was specially interesting how you mentioned global adaptations. For me, it is always weird to watch old cartoons in English (since I'm used to the Portuguese dubbed version), because with all the jokes translated, and different character voices, it seems I'm watching something entirely different.