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Effects of Globalization on Native Non-western Cultural Practices Cause and Effect Essay

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Updated: Apr 23rd, 2020


Globalization can be described as the result of integration between diverse cultures. This occurs through various means, which include political, economic or cultural, among others. Globalization is a process that dates back to human antiquity. Over the years, several stages of globalization have occurred, these include among others, contemporary globalization, which is brought about by activities such as investment in telecommunication and transportation services.

The idea of globalization puts together people from diverse backgrounds that come together through their businesses and later merge into larger networks. In essence, globalization is very efficient in that it encourages coming together of a people in harmony. In addition, it boosts growth of a country, and helps in cultivating democracy. This paper will try to explore the effects of globalization on native non-western cultural practices (Spradley, 2006).

Effects of globalization on native non-western cultural practices

Globalization has varied effects on non-western cultures. First, there is changed structure of doing business. This includes how people value material and individual needs as well as ways that they practice in their cultures. Globalizations that involve cultures of a nation increase the range of options an individual can take.

It also reduces the ways through which one community differs from another, within the entire world (Wood & Boyd, 2010). A nation’s culture is a process that develops and changes with time. Another example of effects of globalization is colonialism and imperialism includes degeneration. For, instance, effects of colonialism has degraded African culture. Colonialism is said to have opened ways for globalization in today’s cultural beliefs.

Thirdly, another example where globalization has affected non-western activities is the commercialization of culture. Culture has deviated from being a people’s way of life to becoming a product. In non-western societies, commercialization of culture has a negative impact on the people. The people came to a realization that their way of life was a product of disregarding some cultures in order to progress (Spradley, 2006).

Circumstances within each of these cultures

In colonialism and imperialism, western nations were left in a situation where their cultural ways were disoriented and were prone to invasion by other cultures. On the other hand, non-western nations were left with nothing after the transformative event of globalization (Tischler, 2007).

They had given up on their native culture hence it was worth losing nothing by engaging in foreign ways and practices. The circumstances within change in structural base are on material and individual needs in non-western cultures, where the markets are filled with superficial goods (Irie, 2007).

This brings about the desire to buy advertised goods after carrying out a successful advertising campaign. In non-western cultures, the new products and ideas are seen as a welcome since they are promising to the future of the people. In these non-western societies, change is viewed as being a relief from the old traditional ways and ushering in new avenues for interacting in ways that are more creative (Irie, 2007).

Example of two native non- Western Cultures influenced by globalization

Globalization has had influence in virtually every part of the world. This is accelerated by technological advances, which have brought people closer. Moreover, learning of many different languages has worked to bring people much closer. Therefore, as much as globalization led to loss of culture, it has linked people. Several native cultures have been influenced by globalization. These include among others African cultures like postpartum belief, which was quite predominant in non-western cultures.

For instance, this happened in China, among other countries like Lebanon, and India. Another culture that was influences by globalization is embalming of the dead in Egyptian tradition. For instance, Egyptians could keep their dead ones for years through embalming. Globalization led to introduction of hospital mortuaries, which have replaced Egyptian culture of embalming.

Globalization on Ghanaian culture

Many cultures have been influenced by Globalization, these include among others, Ghanaian and Chinese cultures. The former comprises of more than 60 ethnicities with varied dialects. In general, they had informal education, emphasized shared values in their social system.

However, coming of Portuguese missioners transformed their culture. They began schools and formal education, which transformed their way of life. They spoke in Portuguese, English and Dutch, among others. New crops were also introduced which changes their food culture. In essence, formal education system brought about by Christian missioners in Ghana transformed their culture.

Before globalization, Ghanaians could not read and write. Instead, they depended on oral communication. However, this changed, with the introduction of formal education by missionaries. In fact, Ghanaian culture embraced informal education in which parents could give advice to their children through songs, tongue twisters, parables and even direct conversations.

They lived in communal lands and shared resources as a community. However, after the coming of Portuguese Christian missionaries from Europe, who brought with them bibles, formal education system started. At first, it was only restricted to religious education. Later on, capacity building became the focus and specialization prevailed.

The effects of globalization were therefore immense as people could read and write as well as specialize in specific areas of profession. Ultimately, globalization brought cultural influx thereby giving rise to modern culture, which is technically the same in almost every part of the world. Ghanaian culture can be considered as a representation of most African cultures with regards to change from informal education formal education.

Globalization on Chinese culture

Another culture that has been transformed is food culture in China and India, among other countries. Introduction of fast foods from the United States has led to massive change in eating habits.

This is mainly attributed to McDonald restaurants, which are currently spread in more than 120 countries all over the globe. Eating habits in China has changed over the year and this has been attributed to introduction of American eating habits (fast foods). In fact, nutritionists have warned that the new eating habit has led to obesity, which is quite prevalent in US.

Causes of the influences

There are several causes of globalization; they include technological advancement, which have moved people closer. The others include mass media, movies, which expose cultures from the developed worlds to developing ones. Moreover, expansion of multinational companies has influenced globalization.

Furthermore, western nations wanted a way of creating economic ties between countries all over the globe. Another reason was to create an avenue for profit making. An example of this influence is in the sixteenth century when the western adventurers progressed in undermining cultural beliefs practiced by people of different backgrounds all over the world. They used Christianity and cultural undertakings as weapons.

For instance, Missionaries came to Africa to spread their religion. In the process, they realized that Africans could not read and write. This prompted them to introduce formal learning which has transformed the whole continent. As has been stated above, initial reason for learning according to missioners was to aid them in reading the bible. However, these led to further changes as institution of higher learning were established to improve human capacity (Irie, 2007).

Category of influence

Globalization is known to have transformed many cultures. For instance, Ghanaian culture made several steps towards positive as well as negative directions. Positive attributes of globalization included civilization, formal education, system of governance, capacity development, improvement in health facilities and technologies, among others. On the other hand, globalization was seen as a way of promoting individualistic ideas, distortion of family values, breakdown of extended families, and colonization as well as exploitation.

On the other hand, change in eating habit as witnessed in Chinese culture, among others due to introduction of fast foods brought about distortion of Chinese eating habit. It has also led to a large number of people with obesity. Therefore, it has its negative attributes. It is also important to note its positive attributes, which include saving time and economic empowerment.

In addition, missionaries’ influence was direct in that they came to spread the word, and introduced schools to help people read the bible. On the other hand, it is indirect in that once literacy levels had improved, education found other uses, which included career development. Influence on education can be categorized as positive as it brought about major developments and civilization.

Lastly, the influence was intentional since missionaries wanted to help people to read the bible and develop in human capacity. The influence of material and individual values imposed on non-western cultures that had different practices in their cultural ways was a direct one from the western societies. In another dimension, it negatively affected non-western societies in that they had to abandon their normal way of life, which they had known all along (Tyler, 2002).

Responses of the native non-western societies

Globalization received mixed reactions. This is mainly because proponents found a new way of life and responded positively given the potential benefits that were awaiting skilled labors. Moreover, change in eating habit has brought about a new culture of eating which saves time and improves economy.

On the other hand, critics found it as a way of distorting their cultures and exploiting resources. Moreover, introduction of fast foods has been faulted for increasing health issues such as obesity, among others. In this sense, there were assimilators as well as those who opposed Globalization.

Furthermore, native societies were encouraged by prospects of the influence brought about by globalization. In this effect, they started increasing the non-western markets with their goods and ideas. Due to this reason, the western societies opened worldwide markets in order to reap more profits. The non-western societies, had a choice of what they could buy from a range of products provided to them by the western companies (Tyler, 2002).


Clearly, as seen above, globalization that occurs between different cultures of any society can destroy diverse ways of their livelihoods. This is attributable to the fact that people are not able to make a choice of their own. The impacts brought about by media resources have greatly influenced on what someone may decide to choose (Haviland, Prins, Walrath & McBride, 2008).

Due to this reason, most of the people tend to abandon their ways of life and cultural beliefs. Another striking point of view can be in disrespecting cultural values and societal norms. This eventually leads to negative impacts on the people on what they consider as their way of life and what they want to achieve in life (Irie, 2007).


Haviland, W. A., Prins, H. E. L., Walrath, D. & McBride, B. (2008). Anthropology: The Human Challenge (12th Ed). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning. ISBN: 0-495-09559-1.

Irie, B. (2007). The effects of globalization: Examining change. Helium.com. Web.

Spradley, J. (2006). Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. 12th ed. Boston. Pearson Education Inc.

Tischler, H. L. (2007). Introduction to Sociology (9th Ed). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning. ISBN: 978-0495538554.

Tyler, C. (2002). Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World’s Cultures. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Wood, S. E. & Boyd, D. (2010). The world of psychology (7th Ed). NY: Pearson. ISBN: 978-0205763733.

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