Global Capitalism, Temporality, and the Political Economy of Communication

Wayne Hope

Over the last two decades, a concatenation of world-historical developments have produced a world of temporal acceleration in which time itself conforms to the technological imperatives of instantaneity and simultaneity. Corporations, financial enterprises, and media systems are constituted by real time networks of communication. But the impacts are contradictory. Technologized representations of instantaneity and simultaneity may reify the global present and occlude the historicity of powerful global institutions. Conversely, real time technologies and networks may be used to depict and challenge global configurations of power. Added to which, temporal acceleration and real time cannot erase the counter temporalities of duration, sequentiality, and historicity. With these thoughts in mind, I shall critique the accelerative tendencies of global capitalism and identify the conflicting temporalities of globally mediated communication.

Time, Space, and Globalization

My approach to these developments and tensions stands against epistemological accounts of space which overlook concomitant epistemologies of time. Richard Ek’s article, “Media Studies, Geographical Imaginations and Relational Space,” is a case in point. He argues that contemporary information and communication technologies produce symbolic worlds which generate feelings of placelessness and that unfolding actualizations of the virtual erase ...

Get The Handbook of Political Economy of Communications now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.