Journal Articles

Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter. Journal articles can act as an ideal resource to help support your assignments and studies.

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Article 1: Shi, Yu. 2011. “iPhones in China: The Contradictory Stories of Media-ICT Globalization in the Era of Media Convergence and Corporate Synergy.” Journal of Communication Inquiry. 35(2): 134-156.

Abstract: This study analyzes Mainland China’s official and unofficial reception of the iPhone, a highly popular smartphone made by Apple. Apple, with its synergistic business measures, seeks to shape all aspects of iPhone users’ mobile experiences, whether related to hardware, software, content, or service. As Apple attempts to expand on its U.S. success, the iPhone case in China displays many contradictory stories of Apple’s globalization endeavors. This article analyzes the structural obstacles facing Apple that come from the Chinese bureaucratic capitalist party-state and local wireless carriers and reveals both the creativity of Chinese iPhone users and the limits of their resistant tactics. To make sense of the intricacies of this global-local encounter, we need to combine political economic and critical cultural analyses and interpret resistance in light of the power imbalance intensified by media convergence and corporate synergy on the structural level.

  1. How is the argument of cultural imperialism complicated in the story of Apple’s efforts to bring the iPhone to China?
  2. What are the structural obstacles Apple faces from the Chinese government and the state-run wireless carriers? Why do they want to bring the iPhone to China?
  3. How do Chinese iPhone consumers exhibit agency? What does this add to the argument of cultural imperialism?
  4. What does the author mean when he speaks of the “global-local encounter”?


Article 2: Milner, Helen V. 2006. “The Digital Divide: The Role of Political Institutions in Technology Diffusion.” Comparative Political Studies. 39(2): 176-199.

Abstract: What factors have promoted and retarded the spread of the Internet globally? The Internet is one example of the diffusion of technology. Much as other technologies, the Internet has diffused unevenly across countries, raising concerns over a “digital divide.” My main proposition is that its spread has been driven by neither technological nor economic factors alone. Rather, political factors exert a powerful influence. Groups that believe they will lose from the Internet use political institutions to enact policies that block the spread of the Internet. Some political institutions make this easier than others. Data from roughly 190 countries from 1991 to 2001 show that a country’s regime type matters greatly, even when controlling for other economic, technological, political, and sociological factors. Democratic governments facilitate the spread of the Internet relative to autocratic ones. Thus, the spread of democracy may help reduce the digital divide.

  1. How does the author connect the “digital divide” to a country’s political structure?
  2. Why might some countries not want all of their citizens to access the Internet?
  3. How do they sometimes work to delay the spread of the Internet?


Article 3: Grixti, Joe. 2006. “Symbiotic transformations: youth, global media and indigenous culture in Malta.” Media Culture & Society. 28(1): 105-122.

Abstract: This article considers how the lifestyle choices available to young people, when they assume or reject a particular cultural identity, are inflected by the intermingling of global media, local tradition and changing cultural demographics. I am particularly concerned with exploring the extent to which it is appropriate to argue, as Crane does, that ‘[t]he increasingly rapid dissemination of all types of media will pose problems for the maintenance of national identities as cultures undergo increasing hybridization’ (2002: 18). In this discussion, I take my cue from Jerome Bruner’s suggestion that ‘the mythologically instructed community provides its members with a library of scripts upon which the individual may judge the play of his [or her] multiple identities’ (Bruner, 1979: 36). The main focus falls on a case study of one specific community, the Mediterranean island of Malta – a former British colony, now an independent republic, whose indigenous population of 390,000 has just become part of the European Union. I argue that, as in other postcolonial communities, though the ‘libraries of scripts’ available to Maltese youth have become strongly inflected (or ‘hybridized’) by the commercial imperatives of global media, the ways in which they are appropriated and played out retain very idiosyncratic characteristics which mark them out as uniquely Maltese.

  1. How does this study of Maltese youth illustrate the complexity of global media and the active agency of global consumers?
  2. What is the particular relationship between global media and young people? How do the young people studied feel about global media vs. local media?
  3. What does the author mean by “hybridization”?
  4. How does this article enhance the themes of Chapter 10? How convincing is cultural imperialism in this article?


Article 4: Jijon, Isabel. 2013. “The glocalization of time and space: Soccer and meaning in Chota valley, Ecuador.” International Sociology 28(4): 373-390.

Abstract: Globalization is commonly defined as time–space compression, a view that relies on an idea of ‘empty’ time and space where these dimensions have been stripped of local meanings by abstraction and standardization. This notion is incompatible with the globalization of culture literature that suggests that these processes do not erase local meanings but rather mix local and global culture in a process Roland Robertson calls ‘glocalization.’ However, glocalization research tends to look at culture within the bounds of time and space, without problematizing changes to these dimensions themselves. By examining the local appropriation of global soccer (football) in a rural Ecuadorian community called Chota, this article bridges these perspectives and shows that globalization actively reconfigures the meanings associated to time and space.

  1. How does Jijon define “glocalization”? How is this related to globalization?
  2. How does the author show, through the experience of soccer in a rural Ecuadorian community, that globalization reconfigures the meanings of time and space?
  3. What are specific examples described by Jijon of how the citizens of Chota adapt the global cultural product of soccer to their own local context?
  4. What is the larger point of this article in terms of the effects of globalization on local cultures? Does it seem to support the argument of cultural imperialism or local adaptation and preservation?