Debating Globalization

Globalization has allowed the spread of cultures, education, languages, products and has led to an easier way of life as the economies of different countries are becoming more and more connected to one another. However, globalization could also bring some negative consequences such as unrestrained capitalist system, income inequality or cultural divisions, depending on which direction it is leading. In this essay, the relationship between globalization and cultural awareness and how cultures are affected by the course of globalization will be discussed. While it is already too late for globalization to be reversed, the apt analysis of cultural awareness and civilization consciousness need to be brought to the table. I believe that the advantages of globalization on cultural identities outweigh its disadvantages.

According to socialists and liberals, modernization — in another word globalization — will eventually erode localism and create enormous, mobile participant societies. As Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels both looked forward to the decline of the nation states and internationalization of cultures, we undoubtedly appreciate the ongoing growth in the diminishing power of the state government. In addition to that, we have also gained stronger intercultural awareness thanks to indeed the media and the Internet, ease of travel, language, and education abroad programs.

The globalization of culture is often chiefly imputed to international mass media. As Micklethwait and Wooldridge describes that: “Globalization may have liberated us from the onus of having to get our television programs — or our health care and pensions — from our governments, but it has forced us to get the same things from giant companies that are just as remote and even less accountable.” So, by means of the mass media technology, people are getting to know the other side of the world. That accordingly changes the behavior of consumers toward foreign products and their attitudes toward distinct cultures as well. We can see the result by looking at the increasing trends for tourism to “newly discovered places”, whether it is to Madang, Papua New Guinea or Tibet, China.

The role of the mass media in the globalization of culture is believed that the mass media had powerful effects over audiences. The essential theoretical academics in international communication grasp to the idea of belief in powerful media impacts on cultures and societies. At the same time, questioning the scope and level of influence of international media has also been the main issue among anthropologists. Whereas some scholars claimed that, without providing conceptual alternatives, the mass media is a strong tool to influence the societies which can also be interpreted as cultural imperialism. In the early stage of cultural imperialism, researchers focused their efforts mostly on nation-states as primary actors in international relations. They examined rich, industrialized, and Western nation-states whose actions are mainly to export their cultural products and impose their socio-cultural values on poorer and weaker nations in the developing world. This argument was supported by a number of studies demonstrating that the flow of news and entertainment was biased in favor of industrialized countries. This bias was clear both in terms of quantity, because most media flows were exported by Western countries and imported by developing nations, and in terms of quality, because developing nations received scant and prejudicial coverage in Western media.[1] Hence, it would be unfavorable for the rest of the developing world to share their cultural

In the early years, the Internet was stigmatized as a tool for introverts to avoid “real” social interactions, thereby increasing their alienation from society or anomaly as stated in our globalization reader. The idea that something that allowed communication across the globe could breed social alienation seemed counter intuitive. The American Psychological Association (APA) coined this concept the “Internet paradox.” The social outcome of the Internet is quite unfortunate in our today’s globalized society yet it does bring people closer through cultural awareness.

Yet the Internet is also seen as the potentially great connecting force between cultures all over the world. One more point can be added here as ‘education or knowledge’. Computer literacy can also become important criteria for internet knowledge. As Young argued that, Internet is both complex as well as easy and through Internet crosses the geographical and political divides and also it brings separation between public and private social spaces and places. Once the Internet is opened it should be used as a tool through which information can be gathered and it should not used as an objective. And State should try to overcome with the challenges such as cyber literacy, and also to bridge the digital divide between the developed and the under developing world.

In conclusion the globalization of culture is an old phenomenon that has only been intensified and made more obvious with the advent of transnational media technologies such as Media and Internet. Therefore, I hope that the current cultural status of our societies need

[1] Kraidy, M. (2002). Globalization of culture through the media. In J. R. Schement (Ed.), Encyclopedia of communication and information (Vol. 2, pp. 359–363). 2–6p.