We live in a world that’s unrecognizable for only one generation before us. Our globe evolved from a flat disk into a global playground for humankind. Hence a word that didn’t exist not that long ago: Globalization.
Globalization is a hot topic, and not only on TV channels. Even in classrooms around the world, all we hear is globalization. Many students choose globalization as a topic for essays. They look for essay samples, eagerly typing globalization topics for essay on Google. And why not? It’s hard to come up with an original angle. Countless texts on globalization already, right? So, in looking for a fresh approach, we can use all the examples we can lay our hands-on.
Now, a brief word or two on defining the term globalization, before we dive into the impact on our local life and global society.
What do we understand under globalization?
That the actual term “globalization” is a relatively new word in our dictionaries, doesn’t mean it just happened overnight. But certainly, the scale has exploded in the last decades. From the colonization of a few countries to the world is our oyster. When, for example, the United East India Company took over Indonesia and started to use its assets for trading, the Dutch were only “modestly ambitious”. Even so, we witnessed an enormous impact on the local culture, economics, and society in general.
How much more is this the case now that the entire planet has become one huge plantation? Interdependence is taken to a whole new level. Globalization influences the world’s economies, cultures, and populations. Merged by exchanging goods and services, technology, flows of investment, people, and information.
Exchange for money that is. Globalization is economically driven. The goal is simple: making a trade (doing business) easier and more profitable. The effects on societies – or should we say The society – are the opposite of simple.
Issues with globalization
- Individual wealth. People believed in the unlimited exchange of goods on an international scale. This would decrease poverty and increase the general wealth (as in including the wellness). The society with natural resources (the raw material) would develop. Economically, and even morally. So, this theory was based on goods and the cost of production. If it’s cheaper to find the goods abroad, and the production costs are less, it’s better to import the finished product. In real life, cheap laborers work their butts off for dollar cents. The cost of labor wasn’t taken into consideration. And that’s what affects individual workers. Their government will thrive though.
- Impact on culture. No Einstein needed to explain a traditional local culture can’t survive globalization. It will get absorbed by the newly created global culture. Once cells form a body, they lose their individual recognition. We say a forest, and not a collection of trees (some bigger, in better health, more bent, …). More explanation is abundant; it speaks for itself.
- Industrialization. Industrial revolutions aren’t a phenomenon restricted to developed parts of the world. New technologies overtake manual handiwork. People worldwide now work in offices, labs, and factories.
- Communication. Only in a few years, we went from sending our neighborhood friends a quick text to chatting with our Bruneian BFF. Day and night bleeping smartphone, yup. Businesses see before unheard of opportunities no matter how remote their new partners are based. We are talking about Marshall McLuhan’s Global Village. New jobs were created. To name one: Virtual assistant.
- Business management. The leaders are in charge of multinationals, spread across multiple time zones, distance, and competing on a higher level. Management teams need to be bigger, more specialized and willing to be “online” 24/7. They need to learn to expand their vision. New skills and flexibility to use their skills are non-stop updated. A whole new strategy.
- Politics and politicians. World politics is the name of the game. For the moment, many political leaders still focus on their domestic politics. They only look outside the borders when conflicts that will affect the economy pop-up. How much this will evolve/change is yet to be seen. But for sure It’s a brave new world out there. The United States of America can be looked at as one big country. But Europe is made from different countries. All trying to work together and accepting centralized leadership. The autonomy of each country melts as snow under the solarium.
This list nearly enough could carry the title Problems caused by globalization. This brings us seamlessly to Is globalization a good thing?
Is globalization a good thing?
It depends on which side you are
The world is now richer as a whole in all meanings of the word, for them that can afford it. Millions of individuals didn’t get richer.
A new exciting world culture is emerging
Local communities had a specific dress code (now dusted off for special occasions or to please tourists). Food one could only find locally is now on sale in Walmart. Religion, activities, social rules, etcetera are sold in shopping malls.
Plan your next trip to Singapore or Hong Kong and you will get the picture. If you are a New Yorker, you might as well save your holiday allowance.
Culture: Once pure traditional music is mixed with beats to sound more R&B, glam rock, or whatever.
Multicultural communities. This is, without any doubt a good thing. In theory, this should put a brake on intolerance, racism and other expressions of discrimination.
Change can be a good thing, but not always. Environmental activist groups will absolutely agree. And … one can only hope Huxley’s essay “Brave New World Revisited” remains a distant utopia.
Noticeable is the IT- jargon that creeps into a text like this. It is indeed impossible to disconnect globalization and technology.
An issue has a certain sensitive connotation. It’s a topic of importance or problem we can discuss, most likely debate. The fact that a debate is going on (involving naysayers and, uh, ayesayers) reveals there is no clear determined positive or negative outcome. The future will tell us. What’s undeniable is that globalization changes our world totally.
If globalization has a positive impact on economic growth, as many claims, all the impacts and changes might be worth it. To help your opinion about it read about it. Will globalization benefit individual economies and make our world a more peaceful place?
Will laying out wealth more equally, as a result of globalization and the economic growth in its footsteps… also benefit individuals? (As in persons). What do you think?