The purpose of globalization is to offer other countries their ideas, and values, and attitudes, about the world. The effects of globalization will lead to stereotypical views thrown in based on what we think we know because we are trying to control other countries by telling them what is wrong with their system and how our way is better for them. The United States is considered to be a world power and deem that the rest of the world needs our guidance to become what we feel would be a better and more unified country. Globalization is in fact a major contribution on cultural stereotypes. The United States is so intent on globalizing the rest of the world that we are not taking the time to understand and know the facts about foreign countries. The U.S tends to falsely stereotype these countries based on what they believe they know even if it not all true. By globalizing other countries, false accusations are being made because we are so caught up on trying to help improve these countries that we tend to get blindsided by the truths and facts about these countries.
We ignore all the good and positive things about countries and we only see what is wrong with their systems because we are so eager to “fix their problems”. The United States tend to be pushy and unaware of foreign countries because they do not see things from their point of view. They are constantly comparing other countries with the U.S because they are convinced that everyone is supposed to live their lives similar to the United States. The U.S has a hard time believing that other countries are happy with the way they do things because they do not compare to how the U.S functions. For example, the United States has made assumptions toward Muslim woman about how they live their daily lives. From the outside looking in, they judge them and assume they need our help because to us they look like they cannot do things on their own.
As Lorraine Ali writes in Not Ignorant, Not Helpless, “ …the United States considers them helpless victims of a backward society to be saved through military intervention (27).” The United States feel that they have to intervene to help rescue Muslim woman because they cannot protect themselves. The U.S sees them as these timid women who cannot stand on their own two feet and have very limited freedom. That was not the case because they were actually making a change on their own. Muslim woman were becoming more than what they were being portrayed as from an outsiders way of seeing things. They were doing things that were not expected from Muslim women like having white-collar jobs and going to school. Globalization causes the U.S to expand their ideas and views to other countries that they feel need change. But they are not taking the chance to become aware of the changes that have already taken place within other countries.
The United States is naïve when it comes to other cultures because they are so self-absorbed in their own country that they overlook what is going on in other countries around them weather it is commendable or not. The U.S assumes that everyone is supposed to automatically be acceptant of their ideas and values that they throw at them without questioning it. The United States do not realize that every country is unique in many different ways and their ways of doing things may not work for other countries that they are trying to help. For example, many Fijian women were accepting and comfortable of their body and how they looked. But when they received access to television, which received only one channel that broadcast programs from the United States these women started second guessing themselves about whether they truly admired how they looked. The United States had influenced these women into thinking that in order to feel and be beautiful they had to be as skinny as the women they see on television.
Fiji had their own view on what beautiful is until the U.S implemented what they viewed as beautiful. As Susan Bordo, writer of “The Globalization of Eating Disorders” mentions, “They speak to young people not just about how to be beautiful but also about how to become what the dominant culture admires, values, rewards.(19)” The United States prides itself on image. Many Americans believe that you have to look a certain way to be considered beautiful, cool, and poplar. Before Fijian women were introduced to these images they were happy with the way they looked and it was working for them but when the United States globalized that being thin was the right way to go that is when things drastically changed. The U.S purposes for broadcasting these programs were to change how Fijian people viewed looks.
The U.S felt like Fiji needed change and introduced them to it through television broadcast. Fijian woman were just fine the way they were before these television broadcasts brainwashed them. Globalization is causing many cultural traditions to fade away and adapt to new changes because of the forces around them. Globalization is on the rise due to the fact that we are making a lot of new advances in many different things and the fact that everyone is starting to adapt to changes around the world. Paul Kennedy defines globalization as economies and societies coming together as a whole because of the advancement of different ways to communicate with one another. He feels that globalization is becoming more effective because countries and different cultures are producing newer and more efficient trade and investment patterns.
It is not bringing the world together as a whole it is in fact changing the world to be something that it is not because it is forcing countries to be exactly like the others. Globalization is taking away everything that makes a certain country unique. By expanding our ideas, values, ideals and attitudes about the world around the world we are opening doors to some controversial things because not everyone feels the same way that we do. Globalization can be seen as an exceptional concept but it can also be seen as a poor one depending on the situation and topic at hand. The U.S believes that other countries are not well-off as they are because they constantly compare them with their own country.
The United States fails to realize that every countries standards of living is different and you cannot compare each other because there is no such thing as the perfect country. Americans conclude that the United States has the ultimate world power, which is somewhat true because we have the power to influence other countries to accept what we believe in and do what we want them to do. The United States assumes they are of a higher power like they are the parents and other countries are their children. Other countries see that the United States is doing well and they believe that in order for them to do well they have to follow in their footsteps and do what they do. They think that other countries need their guidance and help and try to westernize them and make them more like the U.S. Because the United States happens to be one of the countries that seem to be perfect on the outside, they to like other countries face many problems.
The United States assume that they are the perfect country but there is no way to define a perfect country. Cultural stereotypes can have a negative effect on our international relationships. By constantly making assumptions about countries and their cultures without knowing our facts can cause us to have communication barriers with other countries. It is impossible for countries to see eye to eye on things if their relationship is based on what they believe they know about each other. We cannot have progress and reach a mutual agreement on issues if we do not even know the truth about other countries. Stereotypes not only cause miscommunication but it will also lead into countries arguing which will lead into disagreements. By stereotyping other countries and cultures just makes it much harder to expand our ideals and values. I never thought that globalization and stereotypes go hand in hand with one another.
When we think of globalization we automatically think of the outcome as being good but that is not always the case. Globalization can take a negative toll on countries and can cause them to completely develop in a new way. Globalization is supposed to be benefiting countries so that they can improve and introduce them to new things that they have not been exposed to before. We are supposed to be helping them to come up not bring them down. Globalization contributes and relies on stereotypes, which are not a good thing. Stereotypes are not accurate and therefore are not a valid point to rely on when we are trying to offer new ideas to different countries and cultures.
The United States needs to find a new approach when it comes to globalization because our current approach in not the correct way to go about different situations and topics which have to deal with other countries. We have to learn to stop assuming things about other countries and start improving our communications with them and then there will be no more false notions between each other. If globalization is a network of communication between countries there should not be any false stereotypes between each other. This means that we are obviously doing something wrong to deal with other countries. So in order for the United States and other countries to improve on the way in which we handle globalization we have to start by working with each other and getting to know each other and understanding what works for us and what does not.
Alli, Lorraine. “Not Ignorant, Not Helpless.” The New World Reader. 3rd Edition. Gilbert H. Muller (ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 26-27. Print
Bordo, Susan. “The Globalization of Eating Disorders.” The New World Reader. 3rd Edition. Gilbert H. Muller (ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. 17-21. Print
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