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This essay will concentrate on the factors of Globalisation and the effects it has on the world. Globalisation can be defined as something which has become spread across the globe. This includes all manner of objects such as people, money, technology and even ideas. The concept of globalisation has been going on for many centuries but it is only in recent years that it has become a major issue. The Roman Empire was a global society as the Romans ruled much of the known world. They used colonialism as an economic process in order to globalise themselves.
From these colonised areas they obtained goods and raw materials which they could ship across the world. This still happens to this day and people also migrate causing multicultural countries. Cultural forms start to cross and become global forms. An example of this is sport. Many countries will play the same sport and even compete against each other. This was shown in the recent Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Cultures can be spread even through art and fiction. Novels and stories representing different people’s lives and experiences are read throughout the world spreading these cultures.
In the process of Globalisation it is Decolonisation that takes place. In the past century many countries have gained independence. We now live in a new world order. Arjun Appadurai explains about Globalisation in the article “Modernity at Large” which is found on the website listed in the Bibliography. Appadurai has studied globalisation and has named a number of global flows. He describes the different ways in which Globalisation takes place. Ethnoscapes is the flow of people going around the world, for example tourism. It can also be seen when people migrate and is evident in modern society with refugees and asylum seekers.
Trans-national class people are business and homogenous people who determine things like fashion and music. One of the most global items is money. Appadurai defines this as Financescapes. People send money across the world for their relatives and to pay for goods they have bought from a different country. There are many different ways for money to be transferred around the world, some are legitimate but there are also illegal ways such as drugs, arms and porn industries. These industries send vast amounts of money all over the world.
The other big industry is that of Technology – Technoscapes. In today’s electronic age it is easier than ever for information to be moved from one place to another. The Internet, computers, mobile phones and other such electronic devices all provide consumers with the easiest form of the transferral of technology. Commodities around the world are becoming global. Products like Coca-cola, McDonalds, Microsoft and Nokia are now all recognised around the world. It is estimated that in 1990 the one hundred biggest transnational corporations produced 50% of the world’s output.
So it is clear that globalisation is more than ever present in the modern world. All the above factors contribute to the increasing global nature of our society. However, what does all of it really mean? Does the fact that Globalisation is increasing result in the world getting better or worse? In order to answer these questions we must examine the benefits and disadvantages of living in a global culture. As mentioned before, one beneficial aspect of Globalisation is that of technology. Technological advances have resulted in the improved lives for millions of people around the world.
This improvement was not restricted to just individuals but to communities, groups and even to the extent of countries at large. It cannot be denied that Globalisation has benefited businesses and companies in respect to technology and their target audience. However, some would argue that this mass technological advancement could lead to a lack in privacy. With the Internet in thousands of homes and with almost any kind of information available on it, some people feel that their privacy is invaded. Is ‘Big Brother’ really looking at us at every opportunity?
An obvious advantage of globalisation is that it brings together many different countries. The best example is probably the United Nations or the UN. This is a collection of some of the world’s most powerful countries and they have come together to become, arguably, the most powerful force on the planet. They are, however, a peaceful organisation who tries to uphold international laws. Perhaps one of the first steps to Globalisation was to name the different continents. This automatically places countries into groups and they can all be referred to by one name, for example Europe or Africa.
Does this mean that everything is going to be the same? If the different countries are becoming recognised as one large continent then does it result in these countries being the same themselves? There isn’t this much of lack of diversity. Globalisation may be more than ever present but every country has its own history, culture and way of living. This creates and upholds diversity in all countries. The immigration and emigration of people causes cultures and communities to spread all over the world which is another way of diversity being created. There are two main theories of the world.
The first says that the world is becoming more American where as the second suggests that the world is becoming more diverse. The world being similar is known as homogeneity and the contrasting view of diversity is referred to as heterogeneity. So to conclude, it is clear that the world is becoming more and more globalised, especially in recent years. Globalisation is a man made feature of our world and it is unlikely that it will stop or even slow down in the foreseeable future. It does have a number of advantages and disadvantages, some of which highlighted in this essay.
Globalisation may lead to a compression of the world and an intensification of consequences of the world as a whole but the benefits must surely outweigh the bad points as otherwise it would not have existed as long as it has. One thing this essay has concluded from researching the issue of Globalisation is that the world is so big and yet so small at the same time. “We now live in a global village” Marshall McLuhan.
R. Robertson, 1992 ‘Globalisation’ N. Abercrombie & A. Warde ‘Contemporary British Society’ D. Cooper ‘Power in struggle’