By Jeff Lewis (auth.)
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Extra info for Crisis in the Global Mediasphere: Desire, Displeasure and Cultural Transformation
That is, Beck and many others who have taken an interest in ‘crisis’ seem not to appreciate the ways in which culture and politics connect human desire through the precarious interface of pleasure and displeasure. Jacques Lacan: desire at the pleasure-displeasure interface Thus, the consumer society, risk society and fourth estate model of the media, the news media in particular, seriously underestimates the force and signiﬁcance of pleasure in the formation of the global mediasphere. Indeed, a political critique which views pleasure as either irrelevant or frivolous misconstrues the role of pleasure as a fundamental human driver (Rojek, 2009).
As already noted, the media ampliﬁes human experience as it widens the scope of knowing and reconceptualizing our experience of the present. In a very signiﬁcant way, the media brings us to the precipice of our pleasures and fears, and enlivens the processes by which we can know our crisis conditions and seek to manage and resolve them. This is not simply an exercise in reasoned adjudication and accurate 36 Crisis in the Global Mediasphere information, as imagined by Thomas Carlyle’s fourth estate paradigm.
What becomes increasingly clear, particularly through the lens of the trans-national media, is that state-based governments can no longer (if ever) ‘control the uncontrollable’; for Beck, the most revolutionary aspect of this new ‘anomie’ is Imagining the End: Crisis Culture and the Pleasure Economy 39 the capacity of the mass media to ‘stage’ the world and create globally constituted perceptions of risk (Beck, 2008). Such views are shared by other sociologists, who describe globalization variously as ‘savage’ (Nairn and James, 2005), ‘chaos’ (McNair, 2006), ‘mythic’ (Hafez, 2007) or the ‘globalization of nothing’ (Ritzer, 2003).