Cultural economic geography : a new paradigm for global communication studies?

Flew, Terry (2009) Cultural economic geography : a new paradigm for global communication studies? In 59th Annual Conference of the International Communications Association : Keywords in Communication, 21-25 May 2009, Marriott Hotel, Chicago. (Unpublished)

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This paper will consider the scope to develop an approach to global media and communication that is informed by cultural-economic geography. I refer to cultural-economic geography as that strand of research in the field of geography that has been informed on the one hand by the ‘cultural turn’ in both geographical and economic thought, and which focuses on the relationship between, space, knowledge and identity in the spheres of production and consumption, and on the other to work by geographers that has sought to map the scale and significance of the cultural or creative industries as new drivers of the global economy. Representative writers in this field include Allen J. Scott, Meric Gertler, Michael Storper, Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift. The work of Michael Curtin on media capitals is also relevant to this emergent research paradigm, as is the work on clustering and spatial agglomeration in cultural production sectors.

I wish to propose that cultural-economic geography provides us with ways of thinking about the shifting interscalar relations of global media and communication that overcome some of the impasses of political economy, while remaining focused upon the dynamics of capital accumulation and economic structure. In particular, I would argue that the rise of new media capitals outside of the US-Europe axis necessitate a rethinking of the political economy of global media that moves beyond structuralist accounts of core-periphery dynamics to recognize the scope for a multi-polar and multi-scalar global economic geography of media production and consumption. At the same time, they question some of the easy assumptions of globalization literature, most notably around the transformative impact of global media flows and new technologies in dissolving geographically marked places into an a-spatial networked global system.

At one level the introduction of geographical perspectives into global media and communication studies should not be problematic, as recognition of the spatiality of media production and consumption is a core feature of a materialist approach to the study of media. However, global media studies has long been reliant upon a top-won approach to understanding global media, that sees particular media environments as subject to the accumulatory logic of global media corporations. This paper will argue that recent work from a cultural-economic perspective allows for a fuller recognition of the significance of culture, policy and the relationships between global and nationally based capitals in shaping the topography of the global media environment.

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ID Code: 20626
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: global media, media and communication, cultural geography, economic geography, Asian media, China, media globalization
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Terry Flew
Deposited On: 24 May 2009 22:09
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 13:40

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