What does globalization do for us technical communicators?
Posted by voigtb
Longo’s definition of “community” was actually an eye-opener. Nowadays, in the age of globalization many people talk about how the world gets smaller, how we become closer to others from around the world, how communities are not just physical distinguished from each other by location, but how we can form so called global communities, and how we might aim for a world English. Actually, I believe Longo’s explanation makes more sense, a universal community is a not logical. This term contradicts itself.
She quotes Lyotard:
“The only way to construct a universal community is to deny local histories and culture”.
To then come to the conclusion:
“Instead of finding ways to empower people through their localized expertise and worldview, a universal community promotes the idea that knowledge is common across localized groups”
We all have this arrogance in us (at least to a certain extent) that we believe the culture and community we are raised in or choose to live in is superior in many aspects than the next one. I don’t consider this necessarily a bad behavior. It is part of our patriotism, our feeling being included in some sort of community. The urge of belonging to any group is what drives us to meet our socializing needs. I actually believe that we (on average) do way better in this context than our ancestors from 250 years ago. Colonialism just left such a bad aftertaste. In today’s world we have to and we do communicate before we judge. We listen before we speak. To my understanding human + machine is actually a great initiator for this movement. We have the technologies today. So we might as well use them to connect with each other and more important to learn about each other. We still own the (sometimes very strong) feeling of belonging to one specific community. But I believe society changes in being more tolerant and respectful to other communities out there. However, technology cannot overpower cultural differences. It rather should help us to negotiate and to tolerate cultural differences.
Ian Goldin gave in his TED talk Navigating our global future an overview where we (all earthlings) are heading.
Coming back to my previous posts about the role of technical communicators, I am still trying to fit more puzzle pieces in that picture of where our profession is heading. After listening to Ian Goldin’s TED talk, and then going back to Longo’s article I believe she is right when she states
“Technical communicators are on the front lines of these decisions about inclusion and exclusion, especially in human + machine virtual worlds.”
Combining both thought processes I believe, we technical communicators have the ability using our background knowledge in communication to be an important part in the development of society in whatever industry we choose to focus on working in. We can help facilitating this process.
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