n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Struggles of identity in the age of globalisation : theory : research article

Volume 29, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



This article explores the intricate interrelationships between discourses on, and struggles of, identity and the multiple processes associated with increasing globalisation in the modern age. Globalisation is often exclusively associated with worldwide economic integration and the emergence of a borderless global market. However, globalisation also involves sweeping changes on the social, cultural and political terrains. Globalisation furthermore entails apparently contradictory processes of, among other things, homogenisation and universalisation on the one hand and localisation and differensiation on the other. Various analysts point out that the often contradictory processes of globalisation have led to wide-ranging changes in the processes of identity formation that have, in turn, resulted not only in a flourishing of discourses on identity, but also in struggles of identity involving various minority and marginalised groups. Apart from exploring various definitions of identity, discourses and struggles of identity are discussed on five levels, namely the individual, subnational, national, supranational and global levels. Attention is given to the role of the media, and information and communication technologies in these struggles and the implications for policy-making within the media and communications sector. The far-reaching implications for Africa, and South Africa in particular, are also considered.

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