I find Appadurai’s concept of scapes are really directive and helps us to understand the idea of new global cultural economy which of course link to some of the famous theory such as Anderson’s imagined community, Frankfurt school idea of images, Marxism and the French imaginary. He sees this imagination positions at the central to all forms of agency that it is the main component of the new global order. The disorganized or inequality of capitalism shows us a complexity of imperative disjunctures between economy, culture and politics. It seems like everything we study about inevitably connected to these three fundamental issues. The word ‘scape’ itself refers to stems, trunks, and flower stalk. The illustration of the concept is apparent with capitalism as the root of a tree, stems/branches are grown from the root and leaves represent the various examples of our society. The framework of Appadurai is known as scapes because scapes are flexible and largely depend on perspective, each scapes are changeable like fluids- there’s no guarantee that these scapes are added with new variety of ‘leaves’. Perspective is a very strong term that generally depicts how our world is never total- everyone has their respective opinion, thus leading to new flow of ideas and movements which may be pros or cons depending how you view it.

• Ethnoscapes — this refers to the moving groups from one landscape to the others. The shifting includes tourists, immigrants, refugees and holiday workers. This new global flow allow us to understand different cultural backgrounds, to learn how to juggle the relationship between one another despite of the differences, to form new market whether it is food, products or services and most importantly it allows us to grasp on a variety of ideas. Since the convenience of airplane, most people have the opportunity to travel out of their hometown. Some foreign countries have their own ethnicity suburb or town which helps them to feel the familiarity of their hometown. In Sydney, we have Chinatown, the Vietnamese town, the Italian town and the Korean town.

• Mediascapes – it is a scape where media distribution is carried out throughout the world with dissemination of information and images. This can be newspaper, magazines, television and radio. We are now living in a media digital age where the tools are commonly in use to satisfy private and public interests. The dominant current issues are created by these media. As audiences, we largely depend on television stations and films production to acquire about the world and for entertainment purposes. It is quite contradicting because media plays such an important role, we tend to believe almost everything that they told us. Even if we don’t, we are still affected by the information.

• Technoscapes – whether it is software or hardware, from mechanical to technological, we are inbound with the global configuration of technologies. Various highly invented gadgets help us to create global market exchange. People relatively use them as commodities such as mobile phones. Internet, 3G, GPS and laptops. This informational technoscape allows us to connect without any boundaries. Information move at a very high speed, whether it is an influential negative piece of news, a propaganda or a positive type, they are driven by the availability of such high-techs.

• Finanscapes – everything we do has something to do with the capital, this capital is constructed with the central of all trades- money. We are talking about the currency markets, stock exchange and commodity speculations. We are blinded by capitalism and everyone has to move along with the flow of capital, people buy shares, they buy branded materials, properties and they join in the stock market. Look at advertisement and large corporations, the purpose of business is all about profit and stability of the economy.

• Ideoscapes – Almost similar to mediascape but ideoscapes is not just about the flow of ideas. They ideas or images are often directly political and frequently links to the states’ ideologies and the counter-ideologies of movements explicitly oriented to capture the force of control.

Anderson’s imagined community is connected with these scapes because we imagined everything as part of our world that we are living. We perceive ourselves as being the members of the community and the things that we have created are constituted by the historically situated imaginations of people then spreading them around the globe to other members. Therefore, the scapes are the building blocks of imagined world. Globalization is the storm that creates this effect and has started to combine with different local elements. Both mutually supports one another, thus forming glocalization. Westerners’ ideology are the dominant ones but some still chooses to sustain their respective local traditions. This sociological changes is a process of exchanging ideas and values in the realm of imagination. Look at the movement of people that influences the ambience of a country, people are mobile and free to move to whenever they wish. Their next generation will come in contact with different ideas compared to their parent generation. Information flow and economic practices are forms of global flow that will be challenge the structure of the society. New technology will emerge time to time as people are craving for a more comfortable and quality life. However this capitalism sadly separates the poor and the rich, which poverty rate in some parts of the world is still increasing and how disheartening is that no matter how well the country’s economy, there are still people that are jobless and starve for days. However, some of the complicated interchange of thoughts between people is modelled with the cultural economy. For instance, United States, Hollywood produce the world’s largest film market which often dominate the box office compared to movies produced by the locals. The scapes allow us to briefly scan through the world’s dominant flows, we might reflect how they are affecting us and whether they might change throughout the decade.



One thought on “scapes

  1. I would definitely not recommend these as ways to break the ice however.
    But you can’t just stand there grinning like
    an idiot until they finish laughing. He hosted Comedy Central’s’The Man Show’ as well as the ubiquitous pseudo-porn for the sexually crippled, ‘Girls Gone Wild’,
    both solely and shamelessly for financial gain.

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