A critical review of the article globalization and hybridization in cultural products: the cases of mulan and crouching tiger, hidden dragon Essay

A critical review of the article globalization and hybridization in cultural products: the cases of mulan and crouching tiger, hidden dragon

The focal point of this paper is to present a critical analysis of Georgette Wang and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh’s article `Globalization and hybridization in cultural products: The cases of Mulan and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon`, published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies in 2005. In recent years with the development of the concept of global village hybridization is fast becoming the order of the day.

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In this concept it becomes necessary for an industry to meet the needs of both local and global market all at the same time. And no industry is a better example meeting this dual market at one given time frame than the movie industry to ascertain a formulation of this phenomenon of globalization and hybridization.

The authors Georgette Wang and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh therefore have taken into consideration two global blockbusters Mulan and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the purpose.

According to the authors Georgette Wang and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh there are mainly three important features of this phenomenon. These can be enumerated as reculturalization, acculturalization and deculturalization. (Wang, 2005, 3, 1)

According to the authors the significant approach of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon can be well emulated as a prime example of globalization and hybridization in a market where the maxim is to go beyond the parameters of the local market structure and capture the global audience. To achieve this target the director Ang Lee of the movie made sure that the usual tone Chinese movies are kept down and flavors are added to meet the taste of a global audience. The authors take note of the fact that “Ang Lee, being a diasporic Chinese, has attempted to instill a specific cultural significance in Crouching Tiger that no member of the Disney team would be interested in.” (Wang, 2005, 187, 2)

 On the other hand the production of the animated feature film Mulan is to be taken into account. “The Mulan story is based on a popular ballad written during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534 AD) about a legendary 14-year-old girl Mulan who, as a filial daughter, volunteers to join the army, by hiding her gender, in her father’s place”. (Wang, 2005, 180, 2) This is a predominantly Chinese story and the aura of Chinese aspects is all over the build up of the story. It is more rooted to chine than it is alien to Hollywood. This is an example of another aspect of globalization and hybridization seen from the perspective of the other way around. In this case the Disney production team approached the film with enough impetus that gave a specific Chinese vibe to the film. This is an example of hybridization where a global company is ensuring its marketing strategy to capture the local market.

Thus it could narrate the aspect of the basic issue globalization and hybridization is but a two way approach and where the basic maxims of capitalistic economy are taken into consideration at every step of formulating the strategies of marketing. It is obvious that the basic impetus of any business is to deal with the principals of profit and the methods of maximization of profit margin. In this context of market induced economy that the issues of globalization and hybridization should have been considered by the authors Georgette Wang and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh. But they remained focused mainly in the aspects of corporate issues and social context.

However, it is a certain truth that this specific issue could have been dealt in a much better manner if the simple truth had been evaluated and taken into consideration that “the matter of money is not only about accumulation of money but accumulation of power”. (Lamb, 2004, 181) thus it could be ascertained that society and everything related to the society is basically evolved and metamorphosed by the by manipulation of economy and globalization and hybridization is no different issue in this context.

The authors Georgette Wang and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh mentioned in their article that “To an outsider, there are things about other cultures that are insensible, illogical or unreasonable and yet are accepted without question as habits or traditions by the members of that culture. To solve the problem, cultural elements that were deemed to be beyond common sense to Schamus were compromised“. (Wang, 2005, 180, 2) True it is to the context but seen from a sociological point of perception. If the writers had been approaching in manner keeping in mind an economic background this sociological impact would have fallen in place quite easily.

However, it can be always mentioned that the East has very intricate value systems which even today pose questions to the West. Particularly countries like Japan and China who base their belief in Confucian and Zen wisdom tend to react very differently than their Western counterparts. A thorough understanding is needed of their culture, perceptions and style of thinking in order to accurately predict their behaviour on Western understanding scales. Globalisation forces the West to interact with East on a very large scale and success of this interaction will be based on these crucial key points which determine the psyche of the Chinese modern manager. Ethical values and corporate social responsibility are fast gaining global priority. The corporate sector has, since long, behaved as an isolated entity, powerful enough to influence and dictate directions in the life of the common man, as well as governments.

The emergence of environmental concern and sustainability issues has highlighted the role of ethics and social responsibility in the functioning of the corporate sector. Modernisation has brought in materialism and consumerism which by itself is not detrimental. (Fletcher, 2003, 224, 3-5) Thus the views of the authors Georgette Wang and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh hold substantial truth on the impact and evaluation of globalization and hybridization.

The authors are specifically to the point when they mention that “cultures are by nature fluid and are always in motion as the result of continuing interaction both from within the culture itself and with the outside world”. (Wang, 2005, 190, 3) Thus it is obvious that the issue of globalization and hybridization is basically a passing issue which would ultimately result in the formation of homogenous amalgamation of all human cult and culture. (Lamb, 2004, 116, 1) King mentioned in his book Cinema Today that movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon are not here to stay for long because the industry in China is upwardly mobile corporate house that is getting ready to be amalgamated with Hollywood and everything would be seen from the point of view of a global villager and a global villager hardly cares for any specific cultural flavor. (King, 2006, 433, 1)

It could thus be ascertained as per the authors Georgette Wang and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh that the issue of globalization and hybridization would ultimately lead to a situation where there would be no specified local culture at all. Indications are bright about this possibility and there is no way but to agree with them in this respect.

Word Count: 1166

Bibliography:

Fletcher, R; (2003); Beliefs and Knowledge: Believing and Knowing; Howard & Price.

King, H; (2006); Cinema Today; HBT & Brooks Ltd

Lamb, Davis; (2004); Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization on the Strategic Strata; National Book Trust.

Wang, G.; Yeh, E. Y. (2005); Globalization and hybridization in cultural products: The cases of Mulan and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 8, no. 2, 2005

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