An Evolving Triadic World: A Theoretical Framework for Global Communication Research

Shelton A. Gunaratne

Abstract


A macro theory that recognizes the worlds three competing center-clusters and their respective hinterlands o?ers a realistic framework for global communication research. This study has used recent data on world trade, computers, Internet hosts, and high-tech exports to map the triadization of the world in the Information Age. The original dependency theory and world-system theory perspectives emphasized the hierarchical linking of national societies to the capitalist world-economy in a center-periphery structure. The proposed global-triadization formulation looks at the center-periphery structure in terms of a capitalist world-economy dominated by three competing center economic clusters, each of which has a dependent hinterland comprising peripheral economic clusters. These clusters may not necessarily be geographically contiguous. Strong-weak relationships may exist within each center-cluster, as well as within each periphery-cluster, with one center-cluster occupying a hegemonic role. The rudimentary Information-Society Power Index, constructed for this study, can guide the researcher to test an abundance of hypotheses on the pattern of global communication and information ?ow with particular attention to source, message, channel, and receiver.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2002.267

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Copyright (c) 2015 Shelton A. Gunaratne

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