“The development of a single global culture is emerging and will benefit humankind”. Discuss this statement
The discussion will be based upon the topic of globalisation and how it affects contemporary society. I will evaluate key terms and focus on four main view points which will ultimately lead to my conclusion.
In the world’s population of approximately 6 billion, identities are constantly transforming and we are approaching a “unified geographical identity.” (P28 Goodwin, Crang, Cloke 1999) Aspects of every day life, such as languages or speech, are not simply regarded as a tool of communication but a reflection of a true identity. Culture is also an expression of an identity where people relate to customs and traditions set historically. These are constantly adapting and include things like food, art, language, religion or simply a lifestyle. People would connect with others in that culture as they share a sense of identity.
It is now possible in this day in age for people to occupy dual or even multiple identities through global interconnections, which mainly progress through the internet. Identities and cultures today are seen as diverse and uncertain due to a process called globalisation. Globalisation is a highly Debated but relevant ideology. Through historic epochs a process has taken place leading us connected to the rest of the world. We are predominantly due to become “one world” and one Entity. (Held, P36) People are said to be eating the same food, wearing the same clothes and watching the same television Programmes from all over the world. This cultural imperialism which is taking place suggests we will be left with little or no nation culture. This means the culture or language from one country could be forced through global relations into others less powerful. Globalisation has always existed however rapidly increased within the last decade. Compared to past era’s there is an advanced Development in technology and communication which has brought Fears and anxiety in society encouraging people to think more on the subject of globalisation and what it means.
The sudden interest has been sparked by the mass media. Images are seen as more of a president over narrative features and the increase in television purchasing and actually watching them have more than tripled through the decades. Through different kinds of media we unconsciously absorb foreign culture on a day to day basis. Two main examples which have resulted through globalisation come from Mc Donald’s and star bucks. They originated from America and they are now seen in every major country in the EU. This is seen as America dominating an area of every country. Mc Donald’s exists in 30,000 restaurants worldwide and is currently in 113 countries. (www.global-culture.org)
There are many other areas which should be included when considering our culture such as within the joining of the EU there have been a lot of structures and ideas merging together however two main aspects which still Remain strong are the English language and the English currency. These have been seen as important and remain undefeated.
They are positive to the global community and help people relate to others in different areas. There are downfalls to globalisation which have a negative affect on the world, things like the increased spread of aids and HIV which originated from countries like Africa and Asia. Other neutral aspects which are products are things like the spread of religion, videos and games. Retaining ideas which originated from your country is important and not giving in to other countries shows Britain as one of the most dominant countries after America. Many aspects of the 21st century have originated from America such as hip hop, fashion, comedy and films. Through the cultural imperialism thesis there is a distinctive example of homogenization. The term Homogenization has a negative approach to conformism and is closely linked to the term ‘Americanisation’ which is the result of economic forces and uniformity.
This influence of a bigger and more advanced country has comes across as a negative connotation which is seen as forced rather than chosen. American influences have become unavoidable today as they are repeatedly encouraged that they are wanted with sitcoms such as the Simpson’s, which is obviously about a typical American lifestyle which proves to be very popular in the U.K. These travelling cultures try and bring localities together with traditional values and spread them over western societies. There have been strong relations transferred through ideas, technologies and some structures. These are all key components of globalisation which implies technological determinism is important in this day in age.
Even though we can indulge in other cultures, some see this as our national culture being taken away and slowly dissolving. Despite the sudden emerge of globalisation nationalism is still important in some places more than others. Small nations such as Latvia and Ukraine fought to have their sovereignty. The process of globalisation is “multidimensional and multidirectional” which can be seen as undermining the coherence of individual societies. (P277 Tuner 1999)
The term globalisation explains geographical complex developments and through globalisation. Marxists and feminists believe globalisation is a modern imperialism which enables there to be high and low classes and weakens the sovereign state. They suggest the state manipulates certain institutions such as the media resulting in influences our choices. There are many views and insights on globalisation. We will be focusing on four which include positive and Pessimistic globalists, internationalists and transformationalists.
Both positive and pessimistic globalists agree that globalisation is inevitable and can not be stopped by human intervention. Positive globalists only focus on positive aspects and suggest everyone in society will benefit to some extent. Marshal Mcluhan, a social scientist, first used the term ‘global village’ which explained People being able to travel and interconnect with people all over the world. The majority of People are not restricted in choice and have the opportunity to join the ‘public sphere’. Positive globalists believe everyone will become winners and ultimately no losers in the process of globalisation.
The opposing views from the pessimistic globalists see globalisation as promoting inequalities. They main point is for certain groups of people who will not benefit under capitalism and only corporations and companies will benefit. They believe there are powerful structures in place to prevent people from benefiting. They see cultural imperialism as a cultural threat to undeveloped countries, unskilled workers and women. They point out the facts like they are deprived of things like electricity, software, intelligence and knowledge.
Theses are shown then as losers through globalisation. The underdeveloped countries could become dominated from foreign powers stronger than themselves. There is a predicted intensified increase in inequality and stretched relations. Pessimistic globalists see majority of society gaining form globalisation however still a large piece of society becoming losers. The economic factors then go on to influence cultural and political.
Internationalists basically see globalisation as an exaggerated phenomenon which has been around for centuries. “The importance of global trade is only the same as it was a century ago.” (Held, P121) Furthermore everything has a natural ability to progress and evolve which is exactly what has happened in society. They also suggest even
Though culture continues to change there are still boundaries and limits to what can change.
Transformationalists consider changes in society to suggest a significant change however agree with the fact there is too much emphasis placed on globalisation. The developments have been incurred through social, economical and political ideas. A development made politically recently was there was and idea mentioned to have one law for every European citizen in every country, in every religion.
This shows how far things have changed as one decision made could affect a lot more people in contemporary society. This was broadcast on the news but was not approved but could be what is in store in the future. The focus with the transformationalists view is differences rather than similarities. Also suggesting it would be almost impossible to join all of the cultures nonetheless either way we as society progress we would incur risks and diverse patterns. The outcomes of globalisation are not predetermined but are seen by many as inevitable. Transfomatationalists View results in almost equal with some people benefiting and some not.
Society is changing every second and uncertainty will always follow. “Globalisation has been amongst those that have contributed to huge improvements in human welfare.” (P15 Martin, Smith 1994) There are strengths and weaknesses in every argument whilst there are several main points which tend to reappear which are the facts. A form of globalisation is inevitable and will benefit some of society more than others. We are living in a multi-cultural Society and have a developed political outlook to assist everyone in having an equal hearing.
Nationality will always be important as it creates certain habits, values and bonds. We are indirectly being taught to understand, respect and learn about other cultures which will also help us appreciate ours. We will continue to still develop socially, environmentally, legally and economically, yet we cannot predict how it might affect humankind if we continue on, evidentially we can only hope it will eventually benefit everyone.” Think global, act local.” (D; Gregory, R; Martin, G; Smith – P56)
Held, D. 2004 “A globalising world?” Culture, economics, politics Open University
Gregory, D. Martin, R. Smith, G. 1994 “Human geography” Society, space and social sciences
Cloke, P. Crang, P. Goodwin, M. 1999 “Introducing human geographies” Human geography
Turner, B. 1999 The Blackwell companion to “social theory “
I feel I have developed extending my work whilst keeping to the relevant points. I have also had problems with my computer therefore have learnt how important it is to have a copy of my work in another file or computer.
I am hoping this will gain me a better grade as I have skimmed through before hardly doing any work and this time showed a lot of interest and commitment. I am finding it hard at the moment as I have another course starting and I hope this isn’t reflected in my overall performance.