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The Myth of Media Globalization by Kai Hafez

The Myth of Media Globalization


The Myth of Media Globalization by Kai Hafez

The ongoing interconnection of the world through modern mass media is generally considered to be one of the major developments underpinning globalization. This important book considers anew the globalization phenomenon in the media sphere. Rather than heralding globalization or warning of its dangers, as in many other books, Kai Hafez analyses the degree to which media globalization is really taking place. Do we have enough evidence to show that there is a linear and accelerated move towards transnationalization in the media? All too often the empirical data presented seems rather more anecdotal than representative. Many transborder media phenomena are overestimated and taken out of the context of locally and nationally oriented mainstream media processes all over the world. The inherent danger is that a central paradigm of the social sciences, rather than bearing scholarly substance, will turn out to be a myth and even a sometimes dangerously ideological tool. Based on a theoretical debate of media globalization, the work discusses most major fields of media development, including foreign reporting, satellite TV, film, internet, foreign broadcasting, media and migration, media policy and media economy. As an important new contribution to timely debates, The Myth of Media Globalization will be essential and provocative reading for students and scholars alike.


Given the scope and clarity, I would not hesitate to assign the book in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses. Hafez delivers and airtight argument to respond to declarations about the new role of the 'global media
in a post

-everything era.

British Journal of Sociology

A well-argued, much-needed intervention that pleads for better scholarship to illuminate the 'necessary myth
of globalization

... translated into very readable English by Alex Skinner.

Global Media and Communication

The book offers a good combination of theoretical and empirical response to the mainstream debate about globalization challenges the easy assumption that the advance of globalization is inevitably taking over the world with enormous influence on different societies in terms of national politics, cultures and economy. What Hafez manages to achieve in this book is to affirm that there are no truly transnational media, and that the ultimate power in media regulation remains in national hands. We are yet to see the emergence of a global public sphere. Along with this interesting and useful argument that is not so 'conventional', this book offers a thorough review of the mainstream debate over globalization and its influence over the world, which I feel will be very useful. A major virtue of this book is that it does not only look into the cultural dimension of globalization, but also into the economic implications and impacts upon national politics, media policies and news and information.

European Journal of Communication

Hafez definitely succeeds at what he sets out to do: to critically summarize and assess the available empirical evidence of the various dimensions of media globalization using a system theory framework. The emphasis on actual empirical evidence for key statements in globalization scholarship is refreshing, and this book is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about media globalization. Recommended.

Hot Topics in Journalism and Mass Communication

Hafez raises many important questions in a sober and critical way, without ever preaching. He shows a critical detachment that is further enhanced by the fact that he, unlike many of his colleagues, always keeps a focus on the way the individual interacts with the media. No matter what topic he discusses A- the digital divide, xenophobia, or the new world order in the information age A- Hafez never losses sight of the individuals who are hit by the wave of globalization and always insists on their (partial) immunity to the insinuations of global communication.

Political Communication

This book will provoke controversy amongst media scholars and it will certainly become a 'must read
for any student working in the field.

Colin Sparks, University of Westminster


's book is well written. The point is made convincingly that so far no global public sphere has been established. Therefore it seems too early to talk about a paradigmatic change of the global communication system. Nevertheless, Hafez argues, the myth of globalization has been helpful for a better understanding of global processes.

Hans Kleinsteuber, University of Hamburg'

About the Author

Kai Hafez is Chair for International and Comparative Communication Studies at the University of Erfurt.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th January 2007


Kai Hafez

More books by Kai Hafez
Author 'Like for Like'


Polity Press


236 pages


Media studies



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