bcm 111, Media

The Age of Amalgamation

Hollywood has been internationally regarded as the media producing capital that trumps all others for nearly a century. But it seems that Hollywood’s days are numbered as other media capitals such as Bombay, Cairo and Hong Kong are set to dominate in this new era.

Whilst Hollywood remains a predominantly bounded, constrained and Western only centre for media, the new media capitals in places such as Indonesia, Asia, Nigeria and Egypt are redefining what it means to be a media capital as they focus on the complex patterns of flow between nations and their diverse new cultures.

Media capitals are not bounded entities – like Hollywood – rather, they are “sites of mediation, locations where complex forces and flows interact” (Curtin, 2003). Media capitals encapsulate and emphasise the complex exchanges of cultural and economical similarities between nations which in turn creates a diverse world where one capital does not necessarily dominate.

But the rise of new media capitals has not been without debate as Huntington’s theory of ‘Clash of Civilizations’ said that “the dominating source of conflict will be cultural” (1993) between nations rather than traditional political or economical means. However, this is not true as Huntington’s theory is obsessed with cultural essentialism which reifies orientalism between East and West culture. Whereas media capitals are places where things come together and consequently where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible” (Curtin 2003).

This new mass culture has been due to the infiltration of migrant’s and their cultural characteristics which creates a more diverse and accessible product. One media capital example that has encapsulated these characteristic is Hong Kong, “it is very Chinese and remarkably Western, and yet it’s not really either” (Curtin, 2003). The city’s “fortune as a media capital rests not only on its centrality, but also on its marginality” (Curtin 2003).

I believe that Hollywood will become a smaller entity in the years to come as more media capitals arise because they have the ability to connect with audiences on a local, regional, national and global level whilst maintaining their own unique product.

Source: Curtin, M (2003), ‘Media Capital: Towards the Study of Spatial Flows’ International Journal of Cultural Studies Vol 6: 2, pp. 202 – 228.

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