Globalization could be defined as something that is completely inevitable, but also something that involves complete and total participation but that too is almost inevitable. It is something that is transnational and looks at more of ideologies as a whole being standardized on a global level. The capitalist and democratic world have taken over the globe since the cold war and have shifted the way that this entire world as a whole functions, including all of the claimed to be first, second, and third world countries. I personally like the way Joseph Nye defined it as a way of inter-dependency between networks and “multi-continental differences.”
To begin, there are many good and bad aspects of globalization. The first positive thing of this has been increased communication between the world especially through the new age of technology. Technology has allowed us to interact with people by planes, email, or simply over video chat and this has heightened our sense of cultural differences making us more aware of the world around us. Appadurai’s ideas on the scapes of the world holds much meaning in this sense of cultural awareness, for example another way globalization is good is by the way ideas a transferred which he labeled ‘ideoscapes’. For ideas to be transferred such as things in science and new medicines and cures makes for amazing new discoveries all over the world and lead to quicker advancements and greater understanding among one another in this category whereas before everyone was working independently within their own countries/nations. Another positive thing about globalization, according to Thomas Friedman, is his idea that it is advantageous because of our language being able to unify us as a world (2005). With English becoming the dominant language almost everywhere, our knowledge of others and communication between others is rapidly increasing making all of those scapes that Appadurai discusses possible. Globalization seems to have a positive impact on the world as it is clear showing that it brings us together, however, there are many negative sides to it as well.
As Arjun Appadurai addresses in his book, Fear of Small Numbers, globalization has taken height in the last thirty years or so, during and after the Cold War (2006). The violence and corruption that has been occurring so recently has in turn been blamed by many as a result of this rapidly growing globalization. One thing that has been proposed is the idea of ethnic cleansing by those that continue to gain power. As Appadurai writes, there is no longer distinct peoples but merely blurred lines among where ones group begins and another ends, and then violence then becomes an answer to redefine these lines. Another issue is that with this greater power among individuals and among nations because of globalization is the large disparity that follows. With great power to one leaves another group with far less, and this marginality once again leads many to result in violence and uprising against the elite. We see then the biggest problem going back to ethnic cleansing in the way that the elite are targeting the minorities who have the least power and try to dismantle them because they are seen as failures in the system that the elite have created. But with the rise in globalization, these minorities have the power to rebel and to speak their mind; to gain power they have never had before. One last thing that was discussed in the lecture that really grasped my attention was the idea of the homogeneity that is beginning to happen because of globalization. The blending of cultures is a frightening idea and it was pointed out that Americans play a huge role in that because of our massive and dominating economic and media industry.
The thought that one day all distinct cultures could be lost and that we would become one as a world is something to worry about yes, but I don’t believe it to happen any time soon. I personally see the world as many social groups that yes may conform in the sense of media, but I feel that culturally people thrive in what they know best and take pride in that. I do hope that the sense of pride felt in being different holds power over conforming to anything else.
Appadurai, A. (2006). Fear of small numbers: An essay on the geography of anger. Durham: Duke University Press.
Friedman, T. L. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.