Globalization is one of the most vibrant, contested, and debated issues in modern international relations. Some argue that globalization brings great benefits, while others argue that globalization is fundamentally flawed. Countries in the world today are largely Interconnected, whether through trade relations, cultural exchanges, multinational cooperation on world issues like the environment and natural resources.
The term “globalization” is a process of worldwide movement towards economic, financial, trade and communications Integration, where the world becomes ore Interlinked and connected. Whether the concerns over globalization Is Justified or not, questions if the worries of globalization is supported by logical and substantial reasons. As much as globalization has its pros sand cons, I feel that the concerns over globalization are valid.
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The reason being that globalization results in culture leveling, ethnocentrism, economic disparity, technological disparity, environmental degradation and lastly, unemployment and labor drain One concern of globalization Is culture leveling, where cultures become homogeneous and local culture Is lost. This Is process by which different cultures become increasingly similar to one another, most often as a result of travel and communication. The danger of cultural leveling is that it can erode the traditional cultural practices, beliefs and interests of one group, in favor of another, therefore creating one culture that dominates all others.
Due to globalization, countries have been opening up to trade and welcoming foreign investments to their country. Local cultures feel threatened and overwhelmed by foreign products and their associated values Like In the phase of Singapore, there are many foreign investments, such as the all-famous McDonald’s. Those foreign eateries are slowly replacing the hawker centre and food courts here, as more people preferred eating at such places compared oat hawker centre and food courts. As a result, there is homogeneities of culture, loss of cultural diversity and the erosion of culture.
For example, cultural products now make up the second largest United States’ export behind aircraft. In 1992, the united States purchased only $288 million in cultural products from the nations of the European Community (SEC) combines, while the SEC nations bought $3. 7 billion in US cultural products. Culture leveling is a serious and long-term problem cause once the cultural sites are gone, It Is difficult or almost Impossible to revive them again. Even If It Is possible to construct similar bulldogs, It may not have the nostalgia feel.
Therefore the concern of culture leveling over globalization is Justified. Another concern of globalization Is ethnocentrism whereby we make false assumptions about another culture, can often lead to misinterpretation, prejudice and negative relations between social groups, due to the exchange of cultures encouraged by globalization. Globalization allows people from all over the world to exchange cultures with one another. The problem with this is that there will be increased proximity arising from increased trade, which could lead to conflict because different groups have divergent values, beliefs and norms.
As a result, there will be increasing outbursts of violence that run along ethnic and cultural lines. An example is the Samuel Huntington Clash of Civilizations, a theory that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. There are basically six main explanations to his theory. First, differences among civilizations are not only real; they are basic. Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition and, most important, religion.
Second, the world is becoming a smaller place. The interactions between peoples of different civilizations are increasing; these increasing interactions intensify civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between civilizations and commonalities within civilizations. Third, the processes of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities. They also weaken the nation state as a source of identity. Fourth, the growth of civilization-consciousness is enhanced by the dual role of the West.
Fifth, cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and hence less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones. Finally, economic regionalism is increasing. This problem of ethnocentrism might be serious if people continue to differentiate others with their values, beliefs and norms. Tension might build up among the people with different values, beliefs and norms, as they will misunderstand one another thus causing long-term problems because it is unlikely o resolve the conflict overnight and their way of thinking may be negatively influenced by their peers.
Therefore, the concern of ethnocentrism over globalization is Justified. The third concern of globalization is economic disparity. Globalization may result in greater economic disparity between the rich and poor, basically the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This is because the rich seek to benefit themselves; the rich countries are also better equipped (in terms of infrastructure, educational level of their people and amount of capital etcetera) to reap the benefits. One example is the growing concentration and monopolizing of economic resources and power by Multinational Corporations (Macs) and global financial firms.
Only 20% of the world population in the developed countries receives 82. 7% of the world income. In 1989, the average income of 20% of the people living in the richest country was 60 times higher than 20% of the people living in the poorest countries. Shockingly, this ration had doubled 30 times from 1950. However, this cannot be blamed on globalization solely because the higher income of the rich in less developed or developing countries has not been translated into investment, exulting in unemployment and the growing income disparity. Even if they had done so, this does not narrow the income gap between the two groups significantly.
Thus, this problem of income disparity is serious and long-term because countries would only want to speed up the rate of the improvement of their economy so that the parts of the country will be more productive than to improve the less developed parts of the country. Thus, government tends to ignore the poorer parts of the country or improve it at very slow rate, causing the widening of income gap. It also takes a lot of mime and money to narrow the income gap of the rich and poor which would be detrimental to the country’s economy. Therefore, the concern of economic disparity over globalization is Justified.
Another concern of globalization that should be addressed is the increasing technological disparity between the rich and the poor countries. Globalization may result in greater technological disparity between the rich (e. G. United States of America) and the poor countries (e. G. Africa). The emerging world economy is electronic. Countries will be integrated through info systems and technology. The ore developed countries are better equipped in terms of infrastructure and the educational level to harness the advanced technology. The less developed countries will thus remain on the periphery.
For example, Nikkei industry in Vietnam and Thailand tends to be labor intensive and therefore rely on low-tech or less skilled labor Just because they have a lot of labor. But this is not exactly caused by globalization. Different countries have different capacities to adopt technology. Thus, Olds must find their own balance between globalization and use of IT and the pace of trade liberalizing. Many countries suffer from absence of science and technology infrastructure and technology policies. Also, they have poor utilization of available technical manpower.
Governments and non-governmental organizations should also step back and allow markets and private sector to play greater role in transfer of technology. The problem of technological disparity is rather serious. Technological disparity is also linked to income disparity, if a country does not have enough incentives and funds, the country is unable to purchase new or more advanced technology, thus the productivity of that particular cannot may not be as efficient as entries who are able to purchase advanced and latest technology to help in their production.
Countries that do not have the purchasing ability are most likely the less developed countries or poorer parts of a country while countries that are able to enjoy such blessings of advanced technologies are the more developed countries and the richer parts of a country. Hence the poorer regions will remain poor as their productivity remain low while richer regions continue to prosper. Thus technological disparity between the rich and poor countries is a long-term problem of liberation, which is Justified.
However some may argue that the concerns over globalization are not Justified because the problems can be minimized. Globalization has caused the improvement of technology and transport making transport more convenient and efficient to carry goods and people from one place to another. One example that globalization has improved transportation is the creation of cars. There is an increasing trend in the number of people who owns a car. Cars emit greenhouse gases such as carbon deplete and leading to the increase rate of global warming.
Thus with advance genealogy, the catalytic converter was invented to convert those pollutant gases to less harmful gases. But not all countries actually make it compulsory for all cars to instill the catalytic converter in their vehicles unlike Singapore. Hence even if there is this converter to convert harmful gases to less harmful gas, it will not have a large impact on the environment if very few people use that. Greenhouse gas emissions are also caused by rapid industrialization in the developing world and the heavy dependence on fossil fuels. Environmental depletion is also caused by the overuse of sources.
This is because there has been a rise in demand and ecosystem removal as a result of population growth. The need for disposable products has caused logging to be on the increase, which result in the excessive deforestation. Once the ozone layer is depleted, it is non-reversible, neither can it be cured. Thus this is a very serious problem and it is long-termed because there is nothing that can be done to reverse the effect of ozone depletion except to slow down the rate of global warming. Therefore environmental degradation is a concern of globalization that can be Justified.