Globalization of Hybrid Cultures Argentine Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2811 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - Latin-American

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The more commercialized and heightened the internet grows in Latin America, the worse the marginality and dependence of this population grow.

The height of enthusiasm for the internet also raised computer sales and internet connectivity in Latin America. While more and more networks are established and provide connections in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and in the rest, many of the people hail the internet as the "key to the future" and the mark of modernity itself (Everett). Its capabilities have been lauded. The Red Cientifica Peruana swore that the current information explosion, globalization and constant change are the keys to professional success. And the internet's magnificent feature for creating "virtual communities," among others, fires enthusiasm of many.

Latin America is enticed by and to the internet as a symbol of modernization and progress. Among other things, the vendors of Lima can showcase their products to the world using only the internet, without leaving their places and despite limited access to the internet, due to short capital and licensing needed to vend. Another attraction the internet has is self-representation. Peru, for example, can use it as the window through which it can be seen by and in the world, not otherwise. The viewer from out there can also link to other sites in Peru, such as on tourism, its government, education, business and entertainment. It is that versatile at little or no cost.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Globalization of Hybrid Cultures Argentine Assignment

The limits to Latin American nations' representing or reflecting themselves into the world is not established by foreign government, any other agencies, or the media, but only by the inherent capabilities of Latin Americans. Most often projected are elements of cybertourism, through photos and music by RCP, a very successful network in the region, rather than the social ills that plague the region and which need urgent attention. Another use of the Web is for self-identification, that is through a site, which includes information the Latin American culture, discussions of its current problems and threats. Unfortunately, the site uses only Spanish and, as such, cannot be accessed by those who does not speak the language. It, however, can be used as a powerful forum for ethnic groups and other special organizations through which legitimate concerns can be voiced.

Many in the development and planning groups are able to link up information technology and "sustainable development" through the internet. An excellent example is the sustainable development Network Program of the United Nations Development program following the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro. Internet gave greater access to discussion and debate about issues surrounding sustainable development.

As a consequence, this Network Program made significant impact on the land-use planning in Bolivia, educated lobbyists and government officials on environmental policy in Nicaragua, facilitated the creation of African internet forum. The Program maintains that access to information (such as through the internet) facilitates greater local participation in planning and development. This, it believes, will lead to more effective and sustainable resource management.

Despite these and other demonstrable gains, inequalities still exist in the availability, quality, coherence and accessibility of information between the developed and the developing (or underdeveloped) world, according to the Network Program.

The integration-and-sustainable-development benefit features of the internet are invoked by internet supporters to justify its continued expansion (Everett). They claim that the proper subjects, that is, the local subjects or population, are able to participate in the deliberations where they can directly verbalize their concerns. Accessibility limits to information technology negate this claim. Another ground is that the internet will fundamentally benefit environmental protection and promote its stewardship is not guaranteed. The widespread distribution of information does not necessarily lead to fair and responsible management of resources. Agencies without clear knowledge of correct and proper policies as to who will access the networks and how to use the information will even reverse the benefits.

Everett points to the slowness or difficulty to acquire telephone lines as among the biggest hindrances to accessibility in many developing countries. Another is the installation of important internet infrastructure as highly dependent on foreign funding and technology. Most networks cannot go on their own, and even when they are set up and running, they continue to rely on U.S.-based network connections.

The internet is widely available now throughout Latin America, but only a small percentage has access to it. Even in the U.S., there seems to be a developing class division between the information poor and the information rich, where the non-Hispanics have greater access to the internet in schools than Hispanics or Latinos. Everett points to so-called "social technologies of exclusion" as pre-existing, and inhibiting access. Add to this the fact that Latin American governments lack the policies to democratize this access. It can be gleaned that the pressure to commercialize the internet in the region also threatens its accessibility.

One more barrier to internet communication in the region is the American-origin bias that the English language has on information technology. Mail transport programs support only English letters and characters and many systems do not support multilingual communications. Most software needed for access are available only in English. And new technology terms have English origins without adequate translations of other languages. The internet is, thus, seen as unable to adapt to new circumstances.

Information technology is strongly viewed as a tool for economic growth and integration and, as such, is greatly encouraged in developing countries, such as Latin America. Proponents stress its ability for great leaps in the global economic scale. In response, critics and other experts warn that information poverty can result instead, with an increased polarization among the industrializing world.

The majority of the research and development on developing countries is done in Europe, the United States and Japan. The developing countries, the subjects and beneficiaries of their efforts, are therefore dependent on these foreign countries for technological innovations. These developing countries must import the developed countries' expensive machines and pay enormous licensing and other fees and duties. An expert suggested that Third World or developing countries, including Latin America, should create possibilities for more autonomous technological change. Other experts suggest technological modernization and social reform to offset or replace this dependency created by technology. Everett underscores Sagasti's response to the so-called "fractured global order" as "sustainable human development." This means "equal access to development opportunities," including technology. Sagasti says that science and technology must be at the center of sustainable human development.

As to the role of the internet in creating new forms of democracy in Latin America, Everett observes that it has created a disturbing paradox. On the one hand, it provides the possibility of circumventing traditional media and government censorship, organizing across borders, and voicing political opposition anonymously. But the victims of repression must rely on outsiders, usually in foreign countries, with access to computers, to voice their concerns for them.

But as it is, the internet has proven itself to be a potential change agent when considering the nature of political participation in Latin America. Those with access to the web no longer depend on the limited news sources, which are also often maintained by traditional groups, for information. Oppositionists also now use the internet to express themselves. Ethnic groups are also able to transmit their sentiments concerning environmental degradation and abuses of multinational firms and organizations. Other minority or special groups have similarly taken advantage of the new medium.

Bibliography

1. Canclini, Nestor Garcia. Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity. Christopher L. Ciappari and Silvia L. Lopez, translators. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995

2. Everett, Margaret. Latin America Online: the Internet, Development, and Democratization. Human Organization. Portland: Portland State University, 1998

3. Harvard Magazine. David Carrasco. Harvard Portrait. Harvard Magazine, Inc., 2002. http://www.harvard-magazine.com/online/010231.html

4. Keohane, Robert. Globalization:What's New? What's Old? (And So What?). Foreign Policy. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Gale Group and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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