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Week 9. Communication and Technology

In what ways have technology and communication shaped globalisation since the industrial revolution? Can we see a constant increase in the speed of the movement of people and goods over time? Or does it come in phases? How has global communication changed over time? And what role has the state played in shaping communication? Have communication and technology created a hierarchy of power? And in what ways has technology reshaped industry and everyday life globally?

1. Key Readings

Scott McQuire, “Media Technologies, Cultural Mobility, and the Nation State,” in John R. Hall et alt., eds., Handbook of Cultural Sociology (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 559-568.

Peter Geoffrey Hall and Paschal Preston, The Carrier Wave: New Information Technology and the Geography of Innovation, 1846-2003 (London, 1988), esp. chs. 1, 4, 9 and 10. (Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4)

either Gordon M. Winder, “London's Global Reach? Reuters News and Network, 1865, 1881, and 1914,” Journal of World History, 21/2 (2010), pp. 271-296.

or David Arnold, “Global Goods and Local Usages: The Small World of the Indian Sewing Machine, 1875–1952,” Journal of Global History, 6/3 (2011), pp. 407-429.

2. Primary Sources

Telegraph; telephone; radio; trains; steamships; television; cars; airplanes; computers; etc. each of them claim ‘to have changed’ the world. Find a primary source (an image; a newspaper article; a diary; a government report; etc.) that throws light on the technology/invention’s nature and/or its global reach. Report on the course Forum.