Communicating through the ‘Boundaries’ of a Globalized World

Mariselda Tessarolo

University of Padua, Italy


Abstract: The moment when an interpersonal encounter takes place through dialogue is followed by either consent or dissent, but also by the blunting (or in any case diminution) of complexity. The juxtaposition of global and local is a compromise that is ambiguous in itself. On one hand, globalization seems capable of influencing democratic potential and therefore the inter-group relations that would be enacted through ‘globalized’ and/or localized encounters. On the other hand, the dissolution of boundaries counters the increase of democratic potential with new forms of power distribution, whose ambiguity should be overcome by the increase in communication ability. Globalization seems to provide a chance for greater entitlement to speak and therefore more certain access to the ‘truth’ in democratic contexts where discussion is envisaged. The word is a ‘wager of civilisation’ and it goes unfulfilled when it becomes an instrument of power: due to the simple fact of being ‘taken’, it is capable of changing the order of things and, above all, of human realities. The second issue relates to the autobiographical explosion, the fact of telling about oneself brought about by social pressure; since this is not new, the notion of parrhesia by Foucault will be referred to. Finally, the polemic concerning the democraticity of the net relating to the conditions of truth and circulating knowledge (local rumours turning into net rumours; both the first and the latter are difficult to control, the latter with greater diffusion and virulence).

Keywords: globalalized world, parrhesia, localized encounters, democratic contexts, autobiographical explosion.

Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 34, May 2018,,, ISSN 1314-4464

Read the original of the text (in English)