Television and Globalization: Sense8 as a mirror of different cultures

Written by: Alice Locatelli

Television is one of the channels thanks to which Globalization is spread all over the world. The modern society is mostly built in accordance to what is transmitted by “the Box”. As stated by Parks and Kumar, this was made possible in particular since the development of satellite communications, and today “we are all shaped in one way or another by the social, economic, and cultural relations that the medium of television has historically worked to structure and reproduce” (Parks, Kumar, 2003, 3). Moreover, television is a medium that allow us to discover countries and cultures that otherwise would remain unknown. According to Barker, television is “a site of popular knowledge about the world and increasingly bring us into contact […] with ways of life other than the one into which we are born” (Barker, 2002, 3).

One example of TV series that is moving towards this direction is Sense8 (The Wachowskis, 2015). The eight main characters of the science fiction show live in different cities of the world, and are in communication between each other thanks to a mental connection of which we still do not know the origin. Thanks to this connection, the protagonists (and the audience) can experience the reality of different cultures, languages and cities.

sense8

In addition, the series treats contemporary issues such as gender and sexual diversity, the position and role of women in countries like South Korea and India, and the hard life young Africans are forced to face. Problems and stereotypes that we usually do not experience, are explicitly presented in this multicultural show, where the diversity is praised and awarded.

References

Barker, Chris (2002). Television, Globalization and Cultural Identities. Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Kumar, Shanti; Parks, Lisa (eds.) (2003). Planet TV: A Global Television Reader. New York: NYU Press.

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