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TikTok/Globalism


Format for the Essay

1) The paper should be double-spaced. The paper should have a one-inch margin on all sides. The font size shouldn’t be smaller than 11 point.

2) Do not attach a cover sheet or title page.

3) Skip one line and center the title. The paper should have an original title. One fairly prevalent academic trend is to use a colon to separate the main title from the subtitle, which usually indicates in more detail what the paper is about.

Example:

Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific

Do not underline the title or put it in quotation marks. Also, capitalize each word in the title,

except for articles (a, an, the), prepositions (by, in, of, to, with), and coordinating conjunctions

(and, but, or, nor, for).

4) Skip one line, indent half an inch (all paragraphs should be indented half an inch – in most

word processing programs, hitting the tab key will do this), and begin the paper.

5) Number all pages (either at the top or bottom right corner). If you know how to suppress the

page number on the first page, do so (but the second page should still be page 2).

6) The paper must be at least the minimum number of words (1200) and should be complete with an intro, thesis, body, and conclusion.


Writing Guidelines


Purpose:

During this assignment we will give primary attention to reinforcing the prewriting skills of close analysis and invention. Both skills are crucial to gaining an understanding of effective critical reasoning and the formulation of a compelling, persuasive argument, capacities that together constitute the principal objectives of Writing 150. In this regard, we will explore ways to move beyond the first, often obvious, ideas that spring to mind when one begins a writing assignment and to generate an exciting, provocative, and well-reasoned approach to a contemporary issue. Once we have learned to push ideas further we will examine ways to structure a paper conceptually in order to better cue our readers and to avoid the limitations imposed by categorical essay templates, such as the five-paragraph essay.

Readings:

Raymond Zhong, “How TikTok’s Owner Tried, and Failed, to Cross the U.S. China Divide,” The New York Times (6 August 2020).

Mel van Elteren, “Cultural Globalization and Transnational Flow of Things American” in The Systemic Dimension of

Globalization (1 August 2011) [sections 1-3 of van Elteren’s article. The rest is optional]

Michael Schuman, “Why America is Afraid of TikTok” The Atlantic (30 July 2020).

Recommended:

Steve Lamy, et al, Introduction to Global Politics, Chapter 1 (2016)

Premise:

“Globalization – especially economic globalization – has dramatically reshuffled global power arrangements and created new alliances and coalitions with the power to shape our future security and well-being. By globalization, we mean the process of increasing interconnectedness among societies such that events in one part of the world more and more have effects on peoples and societies far away.” Steve Lamy, et al. Introduction to Global Politics

The current coronavirus pandemic has brought to our attention the degree to which countries and cultures throughout the world are indeed closely interconnected. In a matter of months, the virus has spread to most corners of the world, with nations as wealthy as the United States struggling to control it. Some countries, such as New Zealand, managed to close their borders to foreign visitors and limit the spread of the virus, but many others were less successful in containing the impact. In this recent context, the crisis has cast our collective interconnectedness as a vulnerability and a potential risk, whereas many other global trends – economic, political, scientific, and cultural – are often depicted as benefiting societies. Yet as Mel van Gelteren argues in his article on the influence of American culture in a global environment, if we examine these global developments more closely we’ll see that these contradictions and conflicting outcomes are inherent to most of them. So often, globalization is discussed in terms of trade policies and global economics. This is not without logic or merit. The forces of globalization in recent decades have largely been fueled by bilateral or international trade agreements, which have led to fundamental shifts in labor and production in many parts of the world, the U.S. included. What is

perhaps more apparent to the average person, however, is the degree to which the technological revolution of the

twenty-first century has accelerated the deterritorialization of culture and the growing circulation of cultural phenomena throughout the global community. A widespread trend among people in countries throughout the world is the collective embrace of social media to inform interactions among individuals and broader groups. While some of the social media forums are specific to individual countries, the U.S. has often led the world in developing global digital tools. The recent surge in popularity of TikTok , however, has challenged American dominance on this front. As a Chinese-owned company, TikTok’s meteoric expansion has alarmed some people in the U.S. government. They argue that they do not trust the company to protect the private data of the millions of American citizens who use it, with one senator calling it a “Trojan horse.” As a consequence, the pressure on TikTok has increased in recent weeks, with its future uncertain, despite its popularity. For this assignment we will explore the multi-layered character of TikTok as a global phenomenon. By considering the economic, political, artistic, social, and cultural implications of TikTok’s existence, we can learn more about the complexity of our current global interdependence.

Writing Task:

After considering more deeply the broader history and evolution of TikTok, and considering the nature of its widespread integration into American society, in a thesis-driven essay of 1200-1400 words, respond to the following prompt:

How does the recent phenomenon of TikTok enhance our understanding of the current dynamics of globalization? As you devise an approach to this question, draw upon your understanding of the various ways in which TikTok functions within American culture.

  

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