Effects of Globalization
Globalization is the increase in transactions and interactions with regards to money, goods, persons, cultures, symbols and signs on a global level. This phenomenon is inclusive but not limited to the movement of capital, merchandise, money and culture but knowledge, information and people as well. According to Appadurai, there are five facets of globalization namely; ethnoscapes , technoscapes, ideoscapes, mediascapes and finanscapes (Globalization, Modernization and Cultural effects 9).
Brief History of Globalization
Historians date back globalization’s roots to ancient India which had already established channels of commerce with other regions. It wasn’t until the second century that the first trade route known as the Silk Road was established by the Chinese and it passed through several nations such as India, Egypt and the city of Rome in Italy. This was followed by establishment of worship centers and the exchange of food crops and domestic animals which led to environmental globalization (History of globalization). International trade via ocean transport took centre stage in the 13th century B.C. In the centuries that followed, trade regulations were put in place as slavery became the main form of cultural globalization in the 16th and 17th centuries. Global economics evolved around political influence and the ability of a nation to acquire tradable products. This led to some nations adopting the protectionist approach for purposes of national development. In mid 18th century capitalism was realized beginning in America and Europe. This was followed by development of democratic governments and the fall of colonialism (History of globalization).
Nations engaged in developing trade networks due to resource depletion in their own territories. This led to an increase in export and import trade between the friendly countries. These trade relations required some form of control and regulation and this led to the establishment of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (History of globalization).
Globalization was further propelled by the advancement in technology which saw the production of televisions and radios and more recently the internet. This improved global communication among people of different nations. International travel and Immigration led to the destruction of traditional boundaries between communities. Globalization was originally focused on social organizations and governments but currently we are seeing the introduction of e-commerce and the growth of multinational corporations taking centre stage in globalization debates (History of globalization).
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects that globalization has had on me. The ‘Me’ in this question will be in reference to me as an individual, the members of my family, the members of my community and my hometown. Globalization has had both positive and negative effects on me.
Globalization and Mobility
As a result of globalization, I have been able to travel to a different continent. Last year, I got the opportunity to travel to Kenya, a country in the African continent. This opportunity opened a new world of experiences and possibilities I never knew existed. My interaction with the locals gave me the chance to learn a lot about different cultures I didn’t know about before such as the Maasai and Kikuyu cultures. Featherstone asserts that when cultures come into contact with each other, a discourse based on power relations occurs that determines whether cultural exportation or imposition will take place (Globalization, Modernization and Cultural effects 9). Globalization has enabled the opening up of boarders for people from different geographical regions to access other areas. Human mobility is a crucial element in our existence and globalization has enhanced human mobility for the attainment of different objectives. People cross geographic and political boundaries for different purposes such as tourism, surgery, dental treatments and so forth all which are results of globalization.
On the flip side, mobility on a globalization level has also had a negative impact on me and my family. Globalization has made possible the deployment of various personnel to various parts of the world on specifics tasks. A while back, my husband, military personnel, was deployed to Iraq on a military mission. Although his deployment was great service to our nation, it caused my family a lot of psycho-social disturbances. The amount of stress, anxiety and uncertainty experienced by us on one hand and he on the other were taunting.
Acquisition of Information/Knowledge
Globalization has brought information closer to me through technological advancements in telecommunication infrastructure and the increase in internet. I can access several internet services that have enabled me to gain knowledge of different phenomena from around the world. Globalization has led to the bridging of the gap between me and various other parts of the world because now, at the click of a button, I can virtually transport myself to another part of the world and get to know of the events that take place there. Through the use of a mobile phone, I can contact anyone from another part of the world and exchange information with them. The internet has also enabled me interact with people from across the globe through the use of social networking sites such as face book and twitter. These platforms have been instrumental in providing a channel for us to exchange not only ideas, but cultures as well. It has been stated that globalization is as a result of technological advancement which has led to the shrinking of distances around the world while accelerating speeds to lead to materialization of a global economy (Globalization, Modernization and Cultural effects 9).
Globalization and Economic Growth
The city of Evansville is endowed with myriad industries that produce a great percentage of the country’s exports. It is also strategically situated for access via the river ways and highways. Globalization is bound to have impacts on Evansville in years to come as based on the potential it has. With proper investment in improving the infrastructure, Evansville will open up to trade with the rest of the world. This will be facilitated by the fact that globalization has led to the establishment of free trade and free markets that have in turn made exportation possible. According to Anderson, the establishment of a free market will not only lead to maximization of profits but that everybody will benefit from such profits (12). Anderson further asserts that the theory of free market will lead to the creation of wealth which will be spread and political and social change in line with human rights.
My neighbor who engages in the printing of clothes and textiles is one among the many beneficiaries of globalization. Through economic liberalization he has been able to do business with less government controls. He has been able to expand his business by procuring some of his raw materials from other countries such as China and India. Most of the procurement is done online and this minimizes the costs for him thus resulting in increased profits. Another advantage to this effect is that most of these raw materials are cheaper than the ones produced locally but with no compromise on the quality.
Globalization and Labor Force
There is a large population of immigrants in Evansville who migrated to their present location from different countries. Globalization is crucial in enabling people migrate from one country to another in search of opportunities. These immigrants have been very useful in providing labor for the many industries located in Evansville such as the coal fields, furniture industry, textiles industry, metals and machinery industries. On the other hand, there has been an increase in the internal pressures as a result of an ever increasing number of illegal immigrants.
The presence of Italians, Africans, and Hispanics among other immigrants has led to the introduction of cultural diversity in Evansville. According to globalization, modernization and cultural effects “Globalization not only makes us aware of cultural diversity, but also diversifies national cultures both by introducing new cultures into the national environment (penetration) and by providing new opportunities to speak up for previously excluded cultural identities”.
In conclusion, globalization has given me a variety of opportunities to experience life and share these experiences with different people in my community. It has its advantages and disadvantages as discussed in this essay, but the most important effect it has is the impact on humanity. Globalization has been able to link up people’s cultures, economies and even societies towards the creation of one highly interconnected globe which achieves its goals as a unit.
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“Globalization, Modernization and Cultural Effects.” Ankara Papers 15.1 (2004): 8-20. Ebscohost. Web. 14 Mar. 2012.
“History of Globalization.” EBSCOHOST. EBSCO Publishing., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012.
Mackie, Vera & Stevens, Carolyn. “Globalization and Body Politics.” Asian Studies Review 33 (2009): 257 273. Ebscohost. Web. 14 Mar. 2012.