Cultural homogeneity and globalization are becoming concepts that are subjects of debate in the world eye. Some scholars and politicians argue for the increase of globalization, and some argue against. The world is becoming smaller and more homogenous and this holds many advantages, some disadvantages, and is creating a future that is full of possibilities. According to the Merriam-Webster Online, globalization is “the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets”.
However, the concept of globalization is much more complex than this. Jan Scholte argues, in her paper about globalization, that, “Most attempts to quantify globalization have conceived of the process as internationalization. ” (8) So, in effect globalization is the concept of the exchange of ideas and goods becoming not a national concept anymore, but an international one. Because globalization increases that amount of goods and ideas that are being traded internationally, it also has an effect on the pervasion of cultural homogeny throughout the world.
Homogeny is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as, “being of a similar kind or type, uniform throughout” (221). So, in essence globalization is causing the worlds peoples to become more like on another through the dispersion of goods and ideas. Cultural homogeny is becoming more noticeable in today’s society because of the large amount of media and other goods that are part of a larger global marketplace. For example, “Young people everywhere are listening to the same music” (Rourke and Boyer 110).
This does not mean, however, that young people are all listening to “western” music. Many different types of music are becoming part of young people listening preferences and musicians and other artists from all over the world are becoming recognized internationally. Clothing is another area where there is more of a trend towards homogeneity. Rourke and Boyer note, “The leaders of China used to wear “Mao suits”; now they wear Western-style business suits” (110).
As cultural homogeny becomes more of an issue that is receiving media coverage and is becoming more recognized in the world eye, it has been discussed by many scholars as to whether it is advantageous for the world’s peoples. There have been concerns voiced, “For example, languages have been disappearing at rates as worrying as those for species extinction” (Wurm), and the fact that the world is made up of many rich cultures that might be watered down into “a less vibrant monoculture” (Rourke, et.
al 113) if globalization continues at its current pace. However, there are many advantages both cultural and economic to globalization and there is a lot of acceptance and praise for its continuation. Rourke and Boyer state, “Most people welcome the availability of foreign culture. A worldwide survey in 45 countries found that 77% thought that having foreign products available was good, and 61% felt that way about foreign movies and other entertainment media” (113).
Part of the argument against globalization by some is that it is limited to western culture pervading all other cultures and taking them over. However, there are examples that can be shown that cultural homogeneity is a worldwide phenomenon. If we look at “American culture, for example, (it) is influenced by many foreign imports, ranging from fajitas and sushi, through soccer, to acupuncture” (Rourke, et. al 110). American and other western teenagers have more choices through this concept to listen to and view media from other countries.
Also, Rourke and Boyer note that “the interchange of popular consumer goods is another major factor in narrowing of culture gaps” (111) and that this is the case throughout the world, not just of goods going one way out of America and other western countries. Globalization and cultural homogeneity are inextricably linked and are changing the way that the world functions in many ways. Media, goods and ideas are flowing freely from country to country, and this is creating a global society that is a mix of all cultures and economies. ? References Globalization. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved March 26, 2010, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/globalization. Homogeny. (2002). Webster’s pocket dictionary of the English language. Trident International. Rourke, J. T. & Boyer, M. A. (2010). International Politics on the World Stage (8th brief ed. ). Primis Online: McGraw Hill. Scholte, J. (2002). What is Globalization? The definitional issue – again. CSGR Working Paper, 109/02, 1-8. Wurm, S. A. (ed. ), Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger of Disappearing (Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1996).
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