You may have encountered debates regarding the effects globalization has on the cultures of the world. Some praise it, while others fear and reject it. Is globalization a progressive movement, or is it something that will be the downfall of humankind?
Types of Globalization
As globalization and its effects have been studies over and over again, the subject has been divided into three sub-categories: political, economic, and cultural.
Political globalization refers to the presence of the international governing body that acts as a world government. UN is the example of political globalization in practice.
Economic globalization deals with spreading good, services, technology, and information among nations. While it is providing developing countries with jobs via outsourcing, it is also spreading the economic power of corporations.
Finally, we have cultural globalization. We are going to focus on this one.
There is a strong trend of making different cultures turn into the Western lifestyle. This is done through pop culture, international trade, and communication via the internet. There is a slight overlapping with economic globalization, as consumerism is a large part of the Western culture.
To put it simply, nations, tribes, races, and identities are slowly getting erased and replaced with American ideas. This is due to the fact that a huge portion of popular mainstream and internet media comes from the US, allowing the country to spread its culture all over the world. As a result, folk dances, traditions, stories, and anything else that serves as an emblem of cultural identity becomes appropriated.
One of the advantages of globalization is the ability to bring people from different nations together. At first, this sounds like something you would avoid, but the fact is that, due to globalization, we have access to different cultures, technologies, and business projects.
Globalization allows the world to develop, all the while creating a relatively homogenous society. As such, the developing countries will have their shot at improving their economy, healthcare, and technology, catching up to the rest of the world. Better opportunities for employment lead to better opportunities to travel and see the world.
Critics often focus their attention on the downside of globalization that comes in the form of losing the national identity. If everyone speaks the same language, wears the same outfits, listens to the same music, and eats the same food, what separates us from each other?
It also prevents travelers from truly experiencing a country, turning them into tourists instead. Think about it: McDonald’s has restaurants all over the world, and they are popular not only with the locals but with visitors from other countries. The same goes for entertainment complexes (Disney World and its siblings in France and Japan), that draw tourists away from monuments, authentic restaurants, and even just people on the street. Don’t even get me started on major retailers.
Lastly, globalization allows corporations to take hold of regions that are struggling financially, deplete their resources, and bend the rules in order to achieve maximum profit. The reason people in these countries welcome such change is that a bad job is infinitely better than no job.