When you think of Globalisation do you simply think of McDonalds?
I know I did… but there is much more to it…
It is no doubt that the world is getting smaller through the process of Globalization, which is happening at a rather rapid rate. After having spent the last 6 weeks in Europe and America I can definitely attest to this. Although most Australian travelers complain about the distance in which we have to travel to get anywhere, putting this aside, anyone can be on the other side of the world in a matter of 15 something hours (depending where you are).
Today technology is facilitating this process of borders tightening and countries moving closer. Globalization has created a type of ‘virtual global community’ where we have instant access to most parts of the world. (O’Shaughnessy, & Stadler, 2008 p.458)
As a result of Globalization we now have access to the exchange of free information thanks to the growing use of technology and social media. Countries and communities are able to connect in a seemingly simple manner, which has developed a sense of involvement on all parts. In relation to Government and Enterprise, Globalization has made a significant impact in strengthening political ties between governments and creating new opportunities for trade. And socially, Globilization has led to the many cultural influences we find in everyday life, from the varied cuisines we are offered to the films we can watch.
When discussing Globalization there are many questions to contemplate, however the one that frequently becomes apparent is whether this process of Globilization has had a positive or negative impact on the world. And while this is often left up to interpretation, I believe it is important to take into consideration that there are both positives and negatives.
While Globalization has led to the acquisition of new markets, which has significantly benefited western countries in terms of access and economics, this isn’t necessarily the case for all countries. For example, Australia now has direct ‘easy’ access to Asian pacific countries where products are being mass produced and sold for cheap prices. However, for the people working in those countries such as China, globalization is having a very different impact.
China is one country where sweatshops are still fully in use, meaning globalization is especially not benefiting the people who are working under extremely poor conditions for a couple of dollars a day. For the 482 million people in China, 36% of the population live on less than $2 a day. (War on Want, 2015) This is just one case, however, global trade has continued to affect numerous other countries in terms livelihood. The continued phenomenon of mass produced products has led to the decline of original goods that have been hand made in small towns across the globe but more specifically in Africa. Countries as such rely on this kind of business for their livelihood and Globilization isn’t exactly helping this.
Marshall McLuhan who developed the theory of ‘the global village’ suggests that people of the world can be brought closer together by globalization. He further describes the global village as one where media transcends the nation-state in a democratizing process that gives everyone a chance to be heard. (O’Shaughnessy, & Stadler, 2008 p.459)
As Globalization continues so does multiculturalism and as we strive to achieve something of a utopian society, I don’t think globalization has yet to achieve an overall positive outcome for every one.
O’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J, 2008, ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471.
War on Want, 2015, ‘Sweatshops in China’, War on Want fighting Global Poverty, viewed 13th August 2015, http://www.waronwant.org/sweatshops-china