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According to Carnegie Endowment, “Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology. This process has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world.” John Thompson, a Cambridge sociologist states that; “Globalization only takes place when activities are organized, planned or coordinated on a global scale and when activities involve some degree of reciprocity and interdependency- that is, when there is a real degree of inter-connectedness between different locales/locations.” For example, the hugely successful and phenomenal Live Earth. The term Globalization is over-rated and controversial. Globalization exists because of the advancement in technology or more importantly, the media. America is the most influential country because so many other countries consume American goods and the media keeps disseminating all things American. Almost everyday, we’re exposed to the American culture. On the way to college, work or universities, all along the road, we’re exposed to advertisements of Oreo, McDonald’s, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Knocked Up, Beyonce’s advertisement for Samsung, and Penelope Cruz for MNG, just to name a few. Globalization is also translated as the domination of American goods and services. That is just the external view, inside the car, we listen to English songs and laugh at the DJ’s with fake American accents and even a trip to the rural areas, we’re being bombarded by
advertisements of Coca-Cola and even paddy farmers have an Astro satellite dish on their roof and to make things even more “culture shock,” farmers and their families are watching American Idol, Jamie Oliver and MTV. This shows that, globalization affects everyone politically, economically, socially, technologically, culturally and environmentally. Positive effects of globalization politically are the development in the developing countries. Countries are getting more and more liberal and previous ruling systems are abolished. For example, the Chrysanthemum Empire in Japan finally allowed a female to rule after hundreds of years. Economically, globalization is a blessing to developing countries because developing countries are the targets of major conglomerate organizations because of the free trade zones that opens many new markets and job opportunities which will help develop these countries because of the numerous business opportunities which is a boost to the economic sector, enabling people to have cheaper services especially in the telecommunications field. Besides that, positive effects of globalization socially and culturally are the people will be more exposed to other cultures and are more aware and informed of the people in other parts of the world and are more open to other cultures. For example, almost everyone is aware of the plight in Africa and the war in Iraq. Environmentally, people are more aware that they have to care for the environment and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth is so popular thanks to globalization. Proves that one message can be disseminated to the mass audience all over the world. Finally, to end the positive effects of globalization is the technology sector. Globalization is born out of technology and through technology, we can have access to the ‘Library of the World; The Internet. Globalization is also a blessing to the telecommunications sector as it enables people to keep in touch through cheaper communication means services like Skype that
enables 2 individuals from different parts of the world to communicate real time for a minimal amount, creating a borderless world. For example, a user in Australia can communicate with another user in Russia via webcam and it feels like a face-to-face interaction. Additionally, many people appreciate the familiar feeling especially in the food industry. Globalization has given people the warm fuzzy feeling when they’re away in another country. For example, a person can walk into Starbucks in any part of the world knowing that their coffee will taste the same or McD’s knowing that McChicken or Fillet O’Fish taste exactly back home. On the other hand, negative effects of globalization politically are the main concern of a corrupt government. For example, the turmoil in Aceh and the religious prosecution of the Chin clan in Mongolia that turned them into refugees in Malaysia because of their country’s corrupt government. Economically, smaller, local business establishments will not be able to compete with the major conglomerate corporations that targets developing countries to take advantage of the free trade zones. Like the lead of an article in The Australian, “Increasing globalization means stiffening competition, and the need for greater efficiency.” Those smaller businesses will be at the losing end. Besides that, negative effects of globalization socially and culturally is the social stigma of the people in developing and Third World countries due to the exploitation by the developed nations on cheap labor and overworked workers to keep a balance with supply and demand. For example, Nike’s “sweatshops” and culturally, the world is being “Americanized” or the term Cultural Imperialism. For example, almost everyone owns an iPod, young generation drinks a can of Coke everyday and many young girls are behaving more like Paris Hilton.
Finally, to end the negative effects of globalization is the development of technology. It has enabled users to plagiarize, download files, open file sharing that led to a lot of copyright issues. Almost anything and everything can be found on the internet and can be obtained illegally which will lead to serious intellectual thefts. Environmentally, forest are cleared to make way for development which in long term, which will cause the pollution and extinction. Audiences and media users are better served with globalization because they receive all the benefits and they don’t lose anything except a hint of their individuality. Since all the huge corporations will be competing amongst themselves, the consumers will benefit from the low, competitive prices. If not, they just have to download whatever they want, from the latest hits, to Paris Hilton’s One Night in Paris, the latest episode of Desperate Housewives, the latest season of the satirical House, to assignments and to computer softwares such as Flash, Microsoft, and Adobe just to name a few. The losers in the era of media globalization have got to be the youth and the mass consumers. There’s an advertisement on MTV for the show, Pimp It Up. In the ad, an old man said, “Nowadays, kids don’t want ready made cars, they want to pimp it up” shows how much we’re influenced by American goods. Another example is Anya Hindmarch’s “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” bag which is phenomenal and sold out in London within the first 3 hours. Malaysia and Asia was not spared of the trend as many were fighting over the limited edition bags. Malaysia caught the fever when E! showed stars like Keira Knightly, Sienna Miller and Lily Allen toting those bags. The older generation blames of globalization is the loss of their cultural identity. For example, older generation wears traditional clothing and believes in, if you’re Chinese, you must know how to speak Chinese. No excuses. English is frowned upon and deemed as a betrayal to
their ancestral roots. The winner in the era of globalization is the one that could manipulate the situation to their advantage. The effects of globalization have to be studied from every possible angle. The term globalization has been used as “scapegoat” every time something goes wrong. When there are job losses, economic recession, inflation and the increase in the cost of living, it’s easy to point fingers and blame Globalization. In a sordid way, globalization has brought a new meaning. To be competitive, and customer oriented for businesses. The article in The Australian then continued to read; “Globalization has meant that Australian businesses have been more open to competition and has meant that they have to get efficient and competitive or get out!” Overall, globalization brings a different meaning to each and every individual. Besides that, each and every generation derive a different meaning to the term Globalization. It would be shallow and ignorant to just know about globalization. For a developing country, being able to influence and manipulate globalization for their benefit would be a great help to the country. One person who manipulated and influenced people to their advantage is Oprah Winfrey. Whatever books that she “recommends” will be sold out. Few books were The Secret, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb and Saving Grace by Sarah Brady. All she has to do is to hold the book on her show and by next day, it’ll be sold out. Cultural Anthropologist, Appadurai.A. states that “The world is fragmented, disjoined and cannot be simplified into an East vs. West or 1st World vs. 3rd World model which most of the people still perceive the world today, because the world is more than that. Like a Chinese proverb; “As a human, Everyday, we’ll have something to learn.” In conclusion, we have a lot to learn from the term Globalization and as long as we’re humans, we’ll learn something new everyday.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2007, What Is Globalization?
http://www.globalization101.org/What_is_Globalization.html, (accessed September 17,
Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University, 2001, Special Issues, http://globalization.icaap.org/copyright.php, (accessed September 17, 2007) United States of America, U.S Copyright Office, 2007, The Library of Congress: U.S Copyright Law http://www.copyright.gov/, (accessed September 17, 2007) A.Oxley, Australian APEC Study Centre, Monash University, 2001, Free Trade Agreements in the era of globalization - new instruments to advance new interests – the case of Australia http://www.apec.org.au/docs/oxley2002d.pdf, (accessed September 17, 2007) Appadurai, Arjun.1990. “Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy”. Modernity At Large:Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, 27-47. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
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