Dear list members,
I was only listening to the ongoing discourses so far and was intrigued how good, and high standard this exchange was compared to a lot of waste that drops in my mail box every day.
It was esp. the last mails on the global culture and the one on Americanization that I want to comment on or better give some remarks.
What I felt was missing in these arguments on global cultures and the effects was the notion of globalization as a rethorical tool, as an ideology, and much less an empirical fact.
To analyze processes it has to be understood, that the dynamics are not necessarily compelling and without an alternaive. I believe that global culture is a culture of representation, of control of images and thereupon control of people and their fate. I would underline that people have to be in control of their fate. New information technologies may contribute to their self-determination of images and narratives, but can be obstructive as soon as gatekeepers, such as curators, 'helpers' in general or media representatives etc. take control.
To poverty: I agree with Sam, that the argument looks a bit as if poverty is constructed. Yes poverty is a subjective issue, ie, who is conceived to be poor in Germany is not so in India etc., but a few factors must be kept in mind though.
Poverty is not only economic, poverty can be emotional, cultural etc. People with no clean water, no food, no education and no network to rely on, because of migration, desintegration etc. - are poor on 'objective' terms. It doesn't have to be the western standards to determine who is poor, but human standards, ie. standards that enable a given people to live self-determined under conditions that provides food, health and their well being as well as the right to live their way, which includes the right for mistakes or the right to ask for help if a crisis can not be dealt with on their own.
Ooops I am heading towards another topic here.
To make it short I stop here awaiting further arguments.