Threshold concept: Writing creates a more homogenized world by circulating ideas
Though global media is credited with initiating globalization, writing is the underlying feature of media that leads to the spread of ideas though content which ultimately leads to a more connected world. Globalization can be understood as anytime something happens across borders. This threshold concept includes anything that utilizes writing and happens across borders such as text, websites, essays, contracts, advertisements, and more. Building off of the threshold concept, “writing enacts and creates identities and ideologies,” it becomes evident that no matter the form, writing spreads ideologies which can in turn result in world convergence as people access the same material and adopt similar viewpoints.
The location of writing influences the product and spreads the implications to those who read it. Depending on their location in the world, “writers are socialized, changed, through their writing in new environments, and these changes can have deep implications” (Adler-Kassnerand Wardle 49). Writers’ surroundings impact their experiences and therefore, the product. Today, only six major media organizations control the world’s media. Though there is an illusion of many media programs, for the majority, every form of content is under the control of Disney, Time Warner, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, or CBS (Lule). Unfortunately, global media companies influence what the majority of the world sees each day, leading to a loss of culture due to a predominantly Western influence and less world coverage than news prior to globalization. With advancements in technology, from the printing press to mass internet access, and the ability to translate texts from different languages and spread writing has become a way to facilitates global interactions. This reality allows ideas to constantly transfer between countries, contributing to globalization, communication, and interaction across the globe.
Writing allows authors to intertwine their worldview and perspectives on various topics into their texts. In doing so, they spread their ideologies and justifications to readers who may not have as much information on the topic or the critical thinking skills to question them. Whether conscious or subconscious, writing has the power to educate groups of people, making it essential to have an awareness of the biases and motives behind an author’s work. Writing and media have the power to create stereotypes and dictate how not only individuals, but countries feel toward other nations. Alliances often develop when countries share common goals and ideologies. By combining technology with writing to spread ideas, more people than ever before have access to similar texts that contain ideas that differ from their original perspective on life. This increase in access may result in a call to action, for example, raising concerns and rebellions against a dominating regime, or merely result in a change in outlook on what is valued in society.
Though writing has the power to create a more homogenized world, it can be viewed as exclusive to those without access to technology. Consequently, writing has the power to divide and override neglected populations while uniting those with more privilege. This division leads to a loss of culture and further homogenization. When analyzing shifts in power and ideologies around the world, it becomes evident that “writing is deeply involved in struggles over power, the formation of identities, and the negotiation, perpetuation, and contestation of belief systems” (Adler-Kassnerand Wardle 49). Those without technology or the ability to write are left out from the power struggle to control the global conversation. Without diverse voices heard, cultures begin to lose their originality as they adapt to new global norms. Though some forms of writing can be beneficial, such as the spread of life-saving healthcare discoveries, other forms can be harmful to populations without an equal voice. For example, Western advertisements which display one body type and a caption to sell a beauty product may leave a subconscious imprint on those who cannot meet those expectations. The inequality of the digital divide and participation allows outside writing to dominate cultures without an equal voice. Though this creates a more homogenized society, it is essential to remember that this collision of ideas may not always be a positive result of writing.
The increased ability to spread content and ideas across the world influences how societies interact with one another. Writing allows people to distribute messages and ideologies which influence both those who have access to writing and do not. Though many are excluded due to a lack of technological and educational resources, they are included in the homogenization as their culture becomes overrun by those who are in power. The world continues to circulate ideas in new ways as technology develops, creating a direct impact on the convergence of people toward homogenized ideas and cultures.
Adler-Kassner, Linda, and Elizabeth Wardle. “Naming What We Know: The Project of This Book.” Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, 2015.
Lule, Jack. Globalization and Media: Global Village of Babel.