"The Rise of Glocality: New Senses of Place and Identity in The Global Village"
In "The Rise of Glocality", Meyrowitz proposes that "all experience is local"; that is, all physical experiences are proximal to our physical bodies. Despite the sophistication of technology - allowing us to communicate and experience people and places far from us and multi-task, we still engage this technology (thus, have the experience) in the time and place in which we are physically located. "The localness of experience is a constant." However, he argues that we do not necessarily construct our concepts or understanding of events (local or distant) from a uniquely local perspective. Different media allow us to incorporate "external perspectives" with which to understand and relate to the local and the distant.
Meyrowitz points out that the sociologists Charles Horton Cooley and George Herbert Mead furthered the concept that one's concept of the self is not defined solely by our corporeal properties, but that it is a "reflected concept." As social agents, we construct our understanding of the world and our surroundings through this lens of social meaning. Using Mead's concept of "the generalized other" and "significant others", he applies this to our use of media to construct concepts of place and meaning.
He proposes two ways in which this concept of self relates to media and place. Media have expanded our range of experience. We have social connections with people who are not proximal to ourselves. Likewise, while becoming more engaged with others distant to ourselves, we may become less engaged with the people in the places where we live. Additionally, media expand our concept of a "generalized elsewhere." This generalized elsewhere allows us to construct a broader understanding of the world, where our immediate community is not the only lens that serves us the construction of this concept. Our locality is no longer necessarily the center of our constructed world or the sole source for our experiences in the world. Meyrowitz suggests that this is of greater consequence today than ever before, because of modern media. These modern media help us to establish a much broader concept of the social arena - enhancing our connections to distant people and places and potentially weakening our local relationships, and establishing our locality as a mere "backdrop" for our experiences. Thus, we may live in a place without truly integrating into it. Further, he argues, the pervasive nature of modern media (e.g., mobile phones, computers and tablets, etc.) make it difficult to restrict our experiences to the local only. Effort is required to establish restricted boundaries around our experiences. Because of this, our definitions of a situation are varied and unstable, as our boundaries are permeable and ever changing.
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