Globalization In Times Square In New York City Media Essay

What effects does globalization have and what role does it plays in Times Square in New York City? New York City is a multicultural city in its global age, experiencing economic integration, political harmonization and cultural globalization, thus forming a monoculture. New York City is a home to people who belong to different race, nations, ethnicities and class but are forming a heterogeneous salad bowl. People living in New York City are culturally converging, creating a hegemonic consensus about the culture, yet becoming more culturally distinctive under globalization. According to Shehzad Nadeem (2009) in his article Macaulay’s (Cyber) Children, an increase in the ‘cross-cultural contacts’ and emergence of new classifications of knowledge, sensibility and the awareness created by globalization leads to ‘culture diffusion’ [4] (102- 122). Shehzad Nadeem (2009) in his article Macaulay’s (Cyber) Children writes that globalization has sown a seed of desire in an individual to increase one’s standard of living and enjoy foreign products and adopt new technology and practises [4] (102- 122). Thus a lot of people living in third world countries think and wish to migrate to developed countries and earn money to afford lavish lifestyle. Jagdish Bhagwati (2004) in In Defence of Globalization observe that economic globalization in any area for example, in the Times Square involves the growth in the flow of trade, technology production, identical consumer goods and an increase in financial capital [1] (3). Globalization of the New York City has attracted a large number of financial groups and publishing companies to set up their headquarters in the area of Times Square. Thus a lot of talent is driven from poor countries to places like New York City. Globalization does affect New York City in different ways which can be seen through a homogenous global network formed in Times Square.

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According to BBC News of January 21, 2007, one of the aspects of globalization in Times Square is the industrial effect on the commencement of worldwide production markets in the area and the availability of a large variety of foreign products for consumers in Times Square [5] . Well known brand names for example Fergie Footwear, Shoe Dazzle and H&M can be seen in the area. Business Week explained the financial aspect of globalization seen in Times Square in New York City from the introduction of worldwide capital market development as the tourists come to visit the place and thus increase the capital inflow [6] . According to Business Week, tourists that go to USA, the highest number gathers in Times Square [6] . The spending of the tourists goes directly to the city’s economy [6] . The other aspect of globalization in Times Square is the economic aspect which is based on the freedom of the flow of goods and capital across borders of countries [7] . For example certain brand names found in Times Square can also be found in other parts of the world. Thus, economic boom or collapse in Times Square will influence other regions of the world.

According to Sheila L. Croucher (2004) in her book Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in Changing World, interconnectedness is the transfer of information, knowledge, ideas and people across the world which has an impact on the globalization of culture [2] (9-11). Globalization in the world leads to changes in some regions that have significant repercussions for the safety and protection of communities in other parts of the world. An example of the global influence can be the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City, the largest city of the United States of America. This event had a huge impact on the other parts of the world in terms of the economical, political and immigration changes across the world.

Another feature of globalization in Times Square is the upgrading of products that is necessary for survival in global business market due to the increased competition between the various companies. An example of competitors is Hershey’s Time Square and M&M’s found in the same area of Times Square. Media is a powerful source of globalization that includes music, cinema, visual arts, photography, television and radio. An example is a lot of advertisements and films shot in Times Square which are then shown in the theatres worldwide. Someone who has not been to the Times Square physically will come to know of how it looks like and what do people do there.

How is Times Square in New York City representing cultural diversity and globalization? Darcy Tell (2007) in her book Times Square Spectacular: lighting up Broadway writes that Times Square is located in the middle of Manhattan, which is one of the five boroughs of New York City [8] . In her book she also writes that Times Square serves as a centre of Manhattan’s transportation system [8] . Alan S. Oser (1986) in his book Great White Way: Planning for a Brighter Times Square writes that Times Square is famous for its bright gaslights which are symbol of the intense urban aspects of Manhattan [9] . Times Square is a tourist mecca and New Yorkers call it ‘crossroads of the world’.

Times Square has now formed a world landmark of New York City. Due to the growth in New York City, Times Square quickly became an immutable prime location as a cultural hub of multiplex movie theatres, music halls, shopping malls, upscale hotels and grand restaurants that flourish beneath glittering canvas of eye popping neon signs. Huge billboards of well-known brand names like LG, Toshiba, Samsung, Coca Cola, McDonald’s fast food seen in the Times Square are also seen in some third world countries and this is an evidence of the corporate globalization and the integration of the same into different cultures. People living in third world countries listen to Rihanna and Eminem in the same way as people walking the streets in Times Square.

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Attractive features of the Times Square are the ABC’s Times Square Studios from where Good Morning America is broadcast live, Naked Cowboy, shopping and entertainment places like the Toys “R” Us store, Virgin Megastore, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Hershey’s Time Square, a candy heaven where one can find best of Hershey’s brand, M&M’s store, Hello Kitty store, B.B. King’s Blues Club and other luxury stores [10] . LED screens put up in Times Square give the news updates and thus people in the surrounding area get to know what is going on in the other parts of the world. The Discovery Times Square Exposition is New York City’s first large-scale exhibition center [10] . The Discovery TSX offers unforgettable experiences for the ones who visit the place for entertainment, learning, and adventure [10] . James Traub (2005) in his book The Devil’s Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square writes that Times Square has turned to a popular center of New York’s civic life [11] . Times Square is the most popular intersection and a famous gathering place to celebrate Hercules Electric Parade in June, presidential election and is also the site for the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop. Ball drop ceremony started on 31 December 1907 and is celebrated ever since [10] . Hundreds of thousands of people gather in December while tens of millions sit in front of their television sets to watch the ball drop.

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In the 1920s and 1930s Times Square had become an area associated with corruption and crime [12] . Times Square was generally regarded as a ‘dangerous neighbourhood’ [12] . But the situation changed when in the 1990s, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani made efforts to clean the area by shutting down pornographic theatres, ‘increasing security and relocating drug dealers’ [12] . Corporate investors planned to build skyscraper offices and thus develop the area to be tourist friendly. According to Sharon Zukin (1996) in his article The Culture of Cities, a Disney store was opened in 1990s in Times Square by the Walt Disney Company, which attracted more family-friendly businesses to the area, leading to what is called ‘Disneyfication’ [1] 4.The area is a lot safer now than in the early nineties and is once again a magnet for tourists and a center of New York’s social scene. Broadway theatres in the Times Square area refer to the performances presented in one of the 40 large professional theatres, which is a popular tourist attraction in New York City [13] . Sharon Zukin (1996) writes in his article The Cultures of Cities that Time Square is famous for its night-life and social entertainment thus every year 26 million visitors come to gawk at the bright lights and enjoy themselves [14] . Another Tourist attraction close to the Times Square area is the New York International Fringe Festival which is the largest theatre festival in North America [15] . The festival has art and dance performances, children’s theatre and is also popular of its live-action events conducted by people of different countries who have come to present their culture [15] .

Author Lynne B. Sagalyn (2001) writes in her book Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon that Time Square has become city’s icon of entertainment as the place is famous for its busy streets, ‘dense and diverse pedestrian activity’ and cultural diversity [16] . Another feature of globalization visible in Times Square is a variety of food available from Thai soup to Indian curry. Time Square has been a place where tourists have found what feels like home in an Americanized environment. Now Times Square growth and prosperity had made it a distinct icon of its own and people visit it to observe its social life and because of its entertainment providing atmosphere. For some people, visiting the place is like a dream come true.



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