Culture and Globalization

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Culture and Globalization, The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter famously characterized capitalism as a process of creative destruction. While this phenomenon may help propel economic development many people around the world are coming to question. the impact that the worldwide expansion of the capitalist model is having on the most precious aspects of their identity. For many people their own cultural values are too important to put a price tag on and no destruction can be considered. creative On the other hand globalization can also be a profoundly enriching process opening minds to new ideas and. experiences and strengthening the finest universal values of humanity. Many policy makers have not yet considered how the protection of local or indigenous cultural values conflicts with the. forces of globalization Many of the questions raised pertaining to cultural issues are new and as you will see some of. the ways that cultural issues are approached may be of questionable merit This Issue in Depth seeks to explore some of. these especially sensitive and subtle issues involved in the globalization debate. Readers of this Issue in Depth should try to think of cultural issues pertaining to globalization in terms of conflicting values. and decide for themselves what aspects of globalization may be positive negative or truly indifferent to cultures around. Introduction, Globalization101 org has defined the phenomenon of globalization as the acceleration and intensification of economic. interaction among the people companies and governments of different nations Most studies of globalization tend to. focus on changes occurring in the economic and political spheres The details of those issues such as tariff rates and. international agreements have fallen within the traditional province of government bureaucrats and political leaders. However the dramatic changes wrought by globalization have forced policymakers to respond to public pressures in. many new areas Observers of globalization are increasingly recognizing that globalization is having a significant impact. on matters such as local cultures matters which are less tangible and hard to quantify but often fraught with intense. emotion and controversy, Jeremy Rifkin a prominent critic of globalization writes that. The powers that be have long believed that the world is divided into two spheres of influence commerce and. government Now organizations representing the cultural sphere the environment species preservation rural. life health food and cuisine religion human rights the family women s issues ethnic heritage the arts and. other quality of life issues are pounding on the doors at world economic and political forums and demanding a. place at the table They represent the birth of a new civil society politics and an antidote to the forces pushing. for globalization, Generally speaking issues surrounding culture and globalization have received less attention than the debates which. have arisen over globalization and the environment or labor standards In part this is because cultural issues are more. subtle and sensitive and often more confusing, The homogenizing influences of globalization that are most often Many societies particularly indigenous.
condemned by the new nationalists and by cultural romanticists are peoples view culture as their richest heritage. actually positive globalization promotes integration and the removal not without which they have no roots history or. only of cultural barriers but of many of the negative dimensions of soul Its value is other than monetary To. culture Globalization is a vital step toward both a more stable world and commodify it is to destroy it. Culture and Globalization,http www globalization101 org. better lives for the people in it Maude Barlow The Global Monoculture. David Rothkopf In Praise of Cultural Imperialism Foreign Policy Earth Island Journal Autumn 2001. June 22 1997,Globalization vs Local Cultures, The globalization of the production and distribution of goods and services is a welcome development for many people in. that it offers them access to products that they would not otherwise have However some are concerned that the changes. brought about by globalization threaten the viability of locally made products and the people who produce them For. example the new availability of foreign foods in a market often at cheaper prices can displace local farmers who have. traditionally earned a living by working their small plots of family owned land and selling their goods locally. Globalization of course does more than simply increase the availability of foreign made consumer products and disrupt. traditional producers It is also increasing international trade in cultural products and services such as movies music and. publications The expansion of trade in cultural products is increasing the exposure of all societies to foreign cultures And. the exposure to foreign cultural goods frequently brings about changes in local cultures values and traditions Although. there is no consensus on the consequences of globalization on national cultures many people believe that a people s. exposure to foreign culture can undermine their own cultural identity. The Influence of U S Corporations on Local Mores, One of the principal concerns about the new globalization of culture that is supposedly taking place is that it not only leads. to a homogenization of world culture but also that it largely represents the Americanization of world cultures The. spread of American corporations abroad has various consequences on local cultures some very visible and others more. subtle For example the influence of American companies on other countries cultural identity can be seen with regard to. food which matters on two levels First food itself is in many countries an integral aspect of the culture Second. restaurants can influence the mores and habits in societies where they operate The French are proud of having a. localized cuisine including crepes and pastries which reflects their unique culture Because of their pride in their cuisine. some French people are concerned that U S restaurant chains crowd out their own products with fast food Some French. people would argue that fast food does not belong in French society and is of lower quality than their own. Moreover restaurant chains not only affect eating habits but they also influence the traditions and habits in countries. where they are located Starbucks causes cultural concerns in Italy because of the association that Italians make between. coffee and leisurely sidewalk cafes Coffee in Italy is more than a drink it is part of the way of life and Italian mores While. in the United States it is common for people to buy takeaway coffee for drinking in the street or office in Italy people. usually prefer to relax and chat with peers while drinking coffee Coffee shops offer a personal friendly atmosphere that. many Italians believe a large chain could not provide Similarly many people would prefer to frequent coffee shops that. are each unique while Starbucks offers a standard formula. Another example can be seen with the worldwide influence of McDonald s Fittingly enough the sociologist George Ritzer. coined the term McDonaldization In his book The McDonaldization of Society Ritzer states that the principles of the fast. food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world. Statistics show that within the last fifty years McDonalds has expanded to over 31 000 restaurants worldwide. Video McDonaldization Interview with George Ritzer. May191 2007 October 24 McDonaldization theory of George Ritzer Retrieved June 22 2012 from. http www youtube com watch v Fdy1AgO6Fp4, McDonaldization Ritzer argues is a result of globalization and ultimately leads to global uniformity influencing local. habits and traditions Take for example the previously mentioned example of Starbucks coffee disrupting the traditional. coffee culture in Italy This sometimes leads to negative reactions such as in the case of the Starbucks coffeehouse in the. Culture and Globalization,http www globalization101 org.
Forbidden City in central Beijing This particular Starbucks branch which opened in 2000 was shut down in 2007 due to. heavy protests Critics called it a stain on China s historical legacy. Global Graph of Starbucks and McDonald,Monopolies, Starbucks McDonald s global dominion graph Electronic image 2006 Retrieved June 22 2012 from. http consumerist com 2006 08 starbucksmcdonalds global dominion graph html. Concerns that globalization leads to a dominance of US customs and values are also present with regard to films and the. entertainment industry more broadly This is the case with French films in France for example As will be discussed later. in the brief governments from countries like France have attempted to intervene in the functioning of the market to try to. protect their local cultural industries by taking measures such as restricting the number of foreign films that can be. But if a government imposes domestic films TV shows or books onto its people it limits their choice to consume what. they prefer In other words the government is effectively saying that it does not trust its people to make the choices that. are right for them, Throughout history cultures have changed and evolved Globalization may accelerate cultural change However because. change is driven by the choice of consumers the elements of a particular culture will inevitably reflect consumer choice. The Dominance of the American Market, Why is the American market so dominant within the force of globalization The United States can be seen to play such a. prominent role in cultural globalization for a number of reasons. 1 The size of the U S market With nearly 300 million consumers the United States is one of the largest markets. in the world When a company has access to the U S market and these 300 million people it can take advantage. of economies of scale, 2 The wealth of the U S economy Although the United States contains only four percent of the world s. population it accounts for nearly 25 percent of global economic output The combined effects of being one of the. richest countries in the world and one of the largest in terms of population put the U S market in a dominant. position Only the European Union now exceeds the U S market in size and wealth. Culture and Globalization,http www globalization101 org.
The EU achieved unity of currency in 2002 Currently the Euro has been adopted. by 17 member states of the European Union and is shared by 500 million citizens. making it one of the world s most important currencies and one of the EU s. greatest achievements European Commission 2013, 3 A comparatively homogenous culture When measured in terms of the. numbers of languages and ethnicities present the United States ranks as. one of the most diverse countries in the world However when measured. by the size of minority ethnic linguistic or cultural groups it can be. considered relatively homogenous Consider that 97 percent of the U S population is considered fluent in the. English language and that the U S Census Bureau classifies 77 9 percent of the population within one major. ethnic group Caucasian non Hispanic US Census 2012 This contrasts dramatically with countries such as. Nigeria or India where no language is spoken as a mother tongue by any segment that accounts for more than. 30 percent of the population The ability to speak English grants one access to almost the entire U S population. as well as hundreds of millions of other people around the world. The U S Market Versus the World,GDP per capita vs population. In 2012 the United States had the world s 7th largest nominal GDP per capita with a per capita GDP of 49 965. superseded by various nations including Qatar Luxembourg and Norway. Population vs GDP per capita The United States was the world s third largest country by population in 2012 Of the. world s 10 most populous nations only one other country Japan had a GDP per capita above 11 000 World Bank. Language Linguists estimate that more than half a billion people around the world speak English as a primary or. secondary language and that nearly one billion people understand some English Only Mandarin Chinese has more. primary and secondary speakers It is important to note however that Mandarin Chinese is limited to South East Asia. while English has virtually reached a global spread. As a result of the size of its market the US is the largest import destination in the world According to the World Trade. Organization WTO in 2012 US imports totaled 2 3 trillion which constituted 12 7 percent of the world share This has. greatly exacerbated the trade balance exports imports in the country which currently stands around 600 billion. U S international trade 2012 Ironically this access has allowed other markets around the world to grow. considerably Since the US market keeps buying foreign goods foreign producers are becoming more prosperous This. is particularly visible in China who exported 425 5 billion worth of goods to the US in 2012 As a result the Chinese. economy has been growing at an astonishing rate and is currently challenging the US dominance of the world market. US Census 2013 For example Chinese exports have recently taken a strong hold in the Latin American market where. China has become the 1 import market for Brazil the largest economy in the region. greatest achievements European Commission 2013 3 A comparatively homogenous culture When measured in terms of the numbers of languages and ethnicities present the United States ranks as one of the most diverse countries in the world However when measured by the size of minority ethnic linguistic or cultural groups it can be considered relatively homogenous Consider that 97 percent

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