Toward a Framework for Global Communication: Durkheim, Phenomenology, Postmodernism, and the “Construction” of Place and Space

Publication Type:



Rossi, Ino


Frontiers of Globalization Research, p.333 - 350 (2007)



The chapters in this volume have documented contrasting dimensions of contemporary globalization: we have an an unprecedented cross-national interaction in terms of trade and circulation of financial capital (see Chapter 7 by Chase- Dunn and Jorgenson); on the other hand, we witness a severely curtailed migration of labor, unevenness of global development (see Chapter 8 by Arrighi) and economic marginalization of many nations because, among other reasons, of the superiority of Western technology (see Chapter 9 by Schaeffer). Digital interconnectedness accelerates the speed and magnifies the positive and negative impact of globalization. In fact, digital communication facilitates the financialization of the economy, the restructuring of production and distribution systems, the spreading of ideologies, and the intensification of global awareness. We have also seen that digital communication produces an instantaneous confrontation of geographically distant and socioculturally different societies; this confrontation accentuates old and recent conflicts and produces further distance and alienation among competing nations and civilizations. At the end of my essay on “Globalization as an Historical and a Dialectic Process” (Chapter 1) I pointed out that human agency can greatly contribute to a heightening of global awareness and to forging positive solutions to world affairs. Because human agency is heavily immersed in and formed through patterns of digitized interaction, I discuss in this chapter the nature of digital communication and the role of human agency in a digitally connected world.