The 5 -scapes of Appadurai

One of the big things to look for in The World by Jia Zhangke  are the five -scapes outlined by Arjun Appaduria’s essay Modernity at Large. According to Appaduria there is a mass new spread of information, culture, etc. due to globalization. However, traditional methods used categorize the spread fail because of their inability to allow for different perspectival viewpoints. The five -scapes are:

  • Ethnoscapes is the movement of people with the advent of readily available and more affordable transportation .
  • Mediascape is the movement of media around the world and how it allows distant cultures to view each other. Often, it creates an image of a distant culture that is skewed or narrow sighted.
  • Technoscapes is the flow of technology, mechanical goods, software goods, etc. in a boundaryless environment thanks to international corporations.
  • Financescapes is the movement of money. Now with its much larger scale of the World, money is even harder to follow than ever.
  • Ideoscapes is the movement of political ideas from one area to another.

Each of these -scapes are not concrete and are “fluid”. They are subject to every individual’s perspective and combined together, they construct every individual’s imagined worlds. Imagined worlds simply means that society is no longer defined by the apparent realities in front of us, instead, we live in a world we dream, wish and want to live in. For example, we may still live in a socially restricted system where social movement is harder for lower social classes, but because we live in an imagined world, many of us believe in social mobility.

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