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Globalization can either enlighten or pacify society. It can also help widen the boundaries and at the same time, narrow perspectives by creating both, losers and winners.
While the benefits of globalization to the economy cannot be overestimated, still statistics have proven that the world is at a worse state of inequality than it was prior to the emergence of the concept of globalization with the income gap among the developing countries, having increased drastically by 20% (Osland 2003).
The current debate is whether globalization favors the developed countries over their developing counterparts, and the role it plays in widening the income inequality gap. Evaluating this perspective from the dimension of multinationals, McDonalds, for example, resonates well with the aforementioned observations.
It also reveals that indeed, the true beneficiaries of globalization are actually the developed cultures. Then again, how do the developing cultures benefit from this perspective? This can only be ascertained through the analysis of the possibilities and anxieties that globalization has on culture.
Culture is different from globalization. These two aspects are unique and different from each other in every possible way (Osland 2003). In general, culture is an implication of the way of people’s lives in a particular society in a given place and time (Doku & Kwaku Oppong, 2011).
On the other hand, it refers to a globalised context other than being confined to distinct limitations of a country (Machida, 2012). Every society has its own culture through which it tends to carry out daily living practices.
A number of people in the developing countries hold the perception that globalization tends to create a phobia towards inequality, increased conflicts and generally a high level of instability (Malota, 2012). It is also important to take into account the fact that every person from any culture must be able to know their origin and at the same time, take part in various business deals.
Additionally, they may also share their cultural practices with people from other countries (Machida, 2012). In general, through the adoption of a globalised culture, there is the possibility that more people may desire to imitate and adopt the western way of life.
As a result, such individuals could end up eliminating or substituting their culture entirely. Alternatively, they could end up replacing some part of their culture. This could happen as a result of the creation and dominance of westernization as has been the case with McDonald’s Corporation, and the influence the company has had on the various countries and cultures that it has chosen to set its base in.
After the Second World War, the countries started to develop a cosmopolitan approach to international marketing, meaning that all countries from both the developed and developing world could sustainably compete with each other while still being able to interact intercultural.
The greatest possibility lies in its ability to empower countries to interdependency levels while enforcing strategies to solve the ever increasing economic disparity between different countries. Through the concept of globalization, cultures will be able to benefit by sharing their varied beliefs about issues in life, creating a unified world.
This will further deepen the possibility of multiculturalism which is actually a concept through which cultures will be able to maintain their different perspectives, yet they will still be able to promote their social linking. Some societies consider globalization as creating a dominating mentality.
This is due to the fact that most cultures and societies are constantly being reshaped by the process; a number of the individuals find this process threatening to their livelihoods and/or identities. Different regions and local areas are forced to re-establish their identities whenever new economic issues are going to or have to be established (Malota, 2012).
Globalization allows local cultures to benefit positively by acquiring local transformations. In the same way, cultures can be transformed into a consolidated marketplace in order to ensure that the production, distribution and consequent consumption of goods and services is effective. In this case, the issue of autonomy in nations will be eradicated (Doku & Kwaku Oppong 2011).
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The positive influences of globalization on culture are real, as well as the anxieties it may tend to create. The fact that globalization is characterized by economic forces implies that making the whole world one economy accelerates it to becoming one society even in the political dimension.
This means that countries and cultures are subject to a global governing system, depending on the powers they economically possess in line with their rights. In this case, globalization means that the less powerful cultures and countries will have to consent to being led by the most powerful economies and cultures of the world.
Another issue consists in the fact that globalization has been portrayed as a normal process that makes it ultimately beneficial, natural and inevitable.
However, the moral fact in regards to the issue is that, globalization is only geared towards the benefits of the multinational corporations in a quest to facilitate their efforts to relocate and move their money around most of the cultures in the world, with the sole goal of exploiting the available opportunities in those countries, for example, cheap labor, market for their goods and many more (Lasmin 2012).
Globalization has in fact led to social failures as a result of the treaty pacts that had been signed by participating countries. Such failures are mostly evident through the environmental damages caused, and inequalities in income propagated.
It should be noted that the issue of globalization is highly likely to create a sense of alarm. It is quite difficult for most of the nations and cultures to align themselves to the subject matter without having to compromise their own polices and priorities. The main question to be addressed as far as the issue is concerned would be how to maintain and defend their own interests.
Globalization is the issue that is paradoxical in its nature in every sense. Not only does it act in creating a possibility of homogeneity in cultures by means of collaboration and cooperation, but it also creates the anxiety of making open the possibility of heterogeneity in different cultures (Noruzi & Mohammad-Bakhtazmai, 2011).
It has helped to create a platform that has enabled the minority nations to become more vocal and assertive in defending the identities as far as cultural forces of homogeneity are concerned. On the other hand, citizens are likely to look at the state as more of a collaborator in terms of the external forces, as opposed to a protector of both domestic interests and rights.
This has therefore, led to the creation of anxiety and tension among the local sub cultures in a nation with an increase of the salient features that tend to imply cultural diversity, both locally and internationally, affecting all the major participants of the world politics (Junzi, 2009). Moreover, the aspect of intercultural relation is most predominantly characterized by conflict, globalization being one such inherent characteristic.
The relationship between conflict and globalization, and its impact on culture cannot be ignored. It has been analyzed that through globalization, the magnitude and intensity of conflict is socially increased, especially if the needs of the people and their rights are not sufficiently considered.
The rate at which globalization is taking place is the one that does not seem to make it any easier. Such transitional moments are shared by conflicting values and interests in one way or another.
It is quite hard to neglect the potential benefits that a nation is likely to accrue on account of globalization. Not only has globalization seen nations advance technologically and economically, but it has also helped to transform the world into a huge global village. On the other hand, the anxieties that it creates are also quite overwhelming.
The issue of conflict is predominant among other issues like cultural identity erosion, politics overtaking and many more.
Overall, globalization is the phenomenon that countries should embrace as it not only makes them more valid, vocal and visible but also creates an international platform for competence. Nonetheless, this is not to state that the anxieties should be foregone but, it means that they should be handled with caution especially by implementing back up plans.
Doku, P & Kwaku Oppong A 2011,’ Identity: Globalization, culture and psychologicalfunctioning’, International Journal of Human Sciences, vol. 8 no. 2, pp. 1-8.
Junzi, X 2009,’ Analysis of Impact of Culture Shock on Individual Psychology’, International Journal Of Psychological Studies, vol. 1 no. 2, pp. 97-101.
Lasmin 2012, ‘culture and the globalization of the international financial reporting standards (ifrs) in developing countries’, Journal of International Business Research, Vol. 11, pp. 31-44, Machida, S 2012,’ Does Globalization Render People More Ethnocentric? Globalization and People’s Views on Cultures’, American Journal Of Economics & Sociology, Vol. 71 no. 2, pp. 436-469.
Malota, E 2012,’ Global Cultures? Consequences of Globalization on Cultural Differences, a Commentary Approach’, International Journal Of Business Insights & Transformation, vol. 5 no. 3, pp. 94-100.
Noruzi, M & Mohammad, K 2011,’ A study of Globalization in International Business’, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, vol. 2 no. 9, pp. 88- 90.
Osland, J 2003,’ Broadening the debate the pros and cons of globalization’, Journal of Management inquiry.