Does Globalization Threaten Cultural Diversity Media
Globalization can be defined as the phenomenon of interaction and integration among people, organizations and the governments of different countries. It has not only affected UAE in particular but also nations across the globe. It is a complete process driven by the forces of international trade and investment and at the same time aided by information technology. Globalization is a very vast subject and so its effects are also wide spread (Lechner, 2001). Globalization had negative and positive views, so that it can not be accepted or rejected, the serious matter now is to what extent globalization is permitted to spread. There are both positive as well as negative impacts of globalization. It has its effects on the environment, on the political system of nations, on economic development, prosperity of nations and most serious threats is apparent on cultural diversity and also on well being of societies around the world. Cultural diversity has both its pros and cons. On the positive side, the interaction across boundaries has resulted in the mixture of cultures, languages, traditions habits and costumes. The major drawback on the cultural aspect is the materialism of globalization. Author Frank Lechner has claim that, the movements of the multinational corporation (MCN) today is promoting consumerist culture, and this is done by promotion of standard commodities by exploiting basic material desires, creating similar lifestyles (Lechner, 2001).
Globalization has taken an unprecedented spread worldwide, despite of the great challenges this phenomenon is facing. It is becoming clear that the media, politics and economy has been globalized, and these are methods of extending globalization. The consequences of spreading globalization threaten social aspects and cultural identity.
The questions arises how it all started. Well, the answer is simple enough. Economic reasons, free trade and international business deals, immigration and education were the reasons for globalization. The researchers who spoke about the emergence of globalization, identified globalization as a cumulative process, meaning that there is a small preceded factors that paved the way for progressing globalization and that what we are witnessing today. Including trading, most big corporations move their business operations to foreign countries by going global. The major reasons for the globalization of business are: trade barriers, customer demands or need for customized products and globalization of competitors. Also immigration, one of the main factors that had facilitated the globalization movement. People immigrate to other countries in the pursuit of better standard of living, career and job prospects and better health care. All this had resulted in the commencement of what is called globalization today (Okolo, 2010). Education it is also worth mentioning as a one of the factors that helped in progressing globalization, The prospects of pursuing higher studies abroad also has give rise to globalization. Students are moving out of their countries to developed nations for studies and jobs.
The subject of discussion is whether globalization has direct and indirect negative effects on cultural diversity. This shall be discussed in detail in the following paragraphs of this essay.
Globalization has myriad influence on society. And it has touched, influenced and involved societies across the world. A close look at the following facts shall make this idea more clear about who was involved and how. The world' population was at 6.5 billion in 2006. It shall grow to 7 billion in the next six years. 99% percent of this growth shall be witnessed in the developing nations like India and China. This is happening due to globalization of MNCs, immigration of people to other countries for better career prospects (The Globalist, Society & Globalization, Oct 2006). Despite reluctance of governments to liberalize immigration policy, the number of people living outside their country caused an obvious increase growth from 120 million in 1990 to 200 million in 2008. An estimate of the United Nations confirms this. It might seem that Studying Abroad is also involved in globalization phenomenon. In 2007 gathered reports stated that, a higher percentage of UAE students studied abroad than Indian or Chinese students. The number of Arab students that earn PhD's annually comes to 12,000. The problem lies in employment and contribution to development to the UAE. The Arab brain drain is four times greater than that of China and five times that of India. As a result, there is no employment generation locally (Zahlan & Albert, 2007).
Governments involvement with globalization and worldwide trade connections have made countries more interdependent. National economies increasingly got affected by trends in the global economy. As a result, risk of global recession is very high resulting in economic downturn. In such a scenario, national government shape and influence their economies. The government promotes or checks globalization so that it benefits their economy and population. Thus, government involvement plays a key role in controlling the impact of globalization on a domestic level and also globally (Carlos M. Peláez &
Carlos A. Peláez, Govt. intervention in globalization, Macmillan Publishers Limited, 2010).
It is obvious that international treaties facilitated globalization movement. The
huge number of international laws and treaties have made globalization possible. Treaties and agreements among nations set protocols for international trade and finance like the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) and worth to mention the Kyoto Protocol foster co-operation on protecting the environment and it was adopted 1997. It may be objected that some organizations are involved in progressing globalization such as UNESCO. This international organization helps in supporting culture as culture is the foundation of societies. UNESCO promotes access to education. Its program Education for All by 2015 is prioritizes on developing skills for the work force through education. Its program also aims to use technology to enhance learning and to expand educational opportunities. UNESCO also partners with big MNCs to bring education to all. MNCs like Intel, Microsoft and American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics (CISCO) helps to provide consultation, partnerships, technology and funding for projects. These companies involve in programs assisting education to absorb a talent pool of employees with 21st century skill sets (The Levin Institute, UNESCO, 2010).
People are divided in their opinion about the impact of globalization on cultural diversity. Some believe it undermines culture, while others are in support of it. There are reasons to consider why globalization promotes cultural diversity. The interaction among boundaries promotes mixing of cultures in specific places and practice, it helps in the integration and the spread of ideas and images, resulting in acceptation or resistance
reactions. These global practices are often interpreted differently as per local traditions and takes different particular forms. It may be objected that International organizations movements have made diversity become a global value.
The main concern arises here, why are people divided over globalization threats on culture diversity. Simply, because globalization has different advantages on cultural diversity. It is obvious that globalization can be useful tool in improving education. Globalization has resulted in the improvement of education by; highly qualified and experienced educationist experts in schools, colleges and universities helping to improve the standard of education. Restructured online professional degree courses like master of business administration (MBA) has helped students and people who may already be working or those who need a higher degree for better career prospects. These advanced courses are enabling students to acquire specialized knowledge a and skills as opposed to offering them a general education on a subject (Doherty, 2010). Also one of the most important contributions of globalization is improving health sector, with globalization the concept of more private hospitals with international experts and doctors were introduced. The benefits are to give patients the choice of hospitals and physicians. Private health care allows patients to be attended promptly. And provides high quality services to patients with expert doctors supervision and trained nurses. Private sector hospitals create employment for thousands of people. It may be objected that private health care premiums are generally paid by employers and that helps in reducing government expenses (Willman, 2010).
Globalization has provided more services for entertainment through new technologies and equipments, for example, mobiles. Toady mobile phones are offering more than just making and receiving calls. It is a form of entertainment with the globalization of mobile phones. Listening to music, watching videos, browsing the internet and even watching TV on mobiles (Mark, 2009). At last but not least worth to mention the video games. Video games provide entertainment in terms of action packed games. Besides that, it enhances creativity and develops interest for graphic design and technology. Youths have a very prospective career in the video game and technology industry (June Soh, 2010).
There is no doubt that the system of globalization has clearly imposed itself and its influence globally through several methods helped in easy progressing globalization ideas. Satellite television, computers and other means of communication creates different kind of communication among peoples and nations. Regarding to the new means of modern technology , it may be objected that globalization had direct and In-direct negative effect on culture diversity .
Internet, the excessive use of the internet can lead to a kind of addiction affecting the individual both socially and culturally. Opponents of this stance argue that, the massive use of internet effects the person socially and culturally. The addiction can be detrimental to one's health and social well-being. This is because extreme addiction leads to anti-social behavior. The addiction can be so severe that it can lead to the inability of the person to communicate with the real world. It affects inter-personal communication. People addicted to the net soon develop personality disorders. They start identifying themselves with their
internet representation than their real self. This finally may lead to one's disability to maintain a healthy social and happy life (Breedon, 2009).
Admittedly, it could argue that globalization had direct cultural effects. The influence of the western culture is rampant over the internet. Internet is based on the English language. This results in the weakening of other cultures and languages like the Chinese, French and Arabic. It also affects the moral perceptions and the ethics of an individual. The pornography
industry of the western countries is basically driven by the million of dollars of profits. Numerous porn sites over the internet depicting nude females and males corrupt the mindset of the modern youth. This finally leads to the decline of culture of a nation (Guangrong,1998). Another effect important to observe is the violence effects of video Games. Video games are directly linked to violence and youth aggression. When this becomes an addiction, the young generation is more likely to act with violence in a real world scenario. They lack empathy for others and develop delinquent activities. Other adverse effects are heath issues like obesity, poor heart conditions. It also results in social isolation and poor grades for students addicted to video games (Konstantina, Violence in Video Games, 2010).Globalization does affect the cultural diversity, by influencing the national identity of a nation in terms of traditional food, clothes and language. Its important to point out how globalization effects traditional food. The idea created by fact food that it is cheaper and faster reduces the demand for traditional food. Western diet also affects health and nutrition as they are rich in animal products, refined carbohydrates and low in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The consumption of Coca Cola, Pepsi and McDonald's is moving the world towards a deskbound lifestyle (Frank B, 2008). Traditional Clothes, western and globalized fashion trends are moving people away from traditional wear. Traditional clothing enhances the traditional identity of a country. Thus, the expression of identity through traditional wearis psychologically beneficial. Moreover, traditional wear keep women in a more protective environment than adolescents wearing western outfit (Anthes, 2008).Critics for this position point out that globalization has helped in developing one common global language for easy communication, the language of the media, business, education and medicine. It might be true; however, we must consider the serious globalization harm to culture Language. The use of one language in trade, education and profession leads people to stay away eventually from their traditional and cultural language. Globalization ahs resulted in the endangerment and extinction of many languages. An endangered language is one that is not spoken by children and the youth. According to an estimate, the number of endangered languages is about 6000. Language serves as a sense of belonging and without a cultural language, the people of a nation shall lose their cultural identity (Shelly, 2008).
The globalization of media also threatens cultural diversity. Through Media perspectives globalization making Indirect threats on culture diversity such a, advertising globalization affects health. Health Advertisers of fast food chains try to project that even after eating a 2000 calorie meals daily can make the younger generation, especially girls look like models on the beach in their commercials. As a result of such global advertising concepts, the youth are getting more and more addicted to hamburgers, pizzas high in calorie resulting in diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart ailments and stroke (Erica Winters, Negative effects of advertising on Girls health, July 2010). Some people believe globalization has some negative impacts on global politics news. Global politics news often tries to portray the
idea that Islam is a religion of terrorism. It also creates conflict between people. For example, Muslim women wearing veil caused conflict between people. A British man was given jail of
3 years for removing the veil of a UAE woman (Buray, 2010). Worth to point out the Adverse indirect economic effects of globalization impacts individual financially. Globalization also affects individuals financially. As a result of pressures on prices of products, people tend to migrate to other countries (having low cost of living) in search for better career options and better salaries. Globalization has created income inequalities especially in the developing countries like India and China. This has affected the income of individuals across households (Alli, 2007, Pg. 92).
In conclusion it can be said that globalization is making economical, cultural and educational threats on cultural diversity in unconstructive ways. It has been discussed that how our contemporary world is witnessing new trends, through using the latest achievements of technology progress. These trends had become globally spread and known as globalization phenomenon. The globalization movements is taking different forms and different methods, and certain way to practice its activities. And this what had became cleared in recent decades due to development of technologies that contributed to facilitate globalization movements. It has been mentioned that how the media, politics and economy has been globalized and how are these methods helped in easy processing the extent of globalization. Admittedly, I object that these globalization methods reflecting serious threats on social aspects and cultural identity. To extent, co modification of education is in practice with the advent of globalization. There is also income inequality in the developing countries. Despite economic development, the poverty level of the people of the developing countries is increasing owing to unemployment problems. The invasion of newer technologies like mobiles and video
games are affecting the culture of a nation. As an alternative the government must take proper measures to control the prices of products that are consistently rising. Educational institutions like schools must have subjects and materials to foster the sense of national identity. The society too can promote and enhance national identity by way of traditional celebrations, festivals, traditional clothes and most important educating the future generation with these values of national identity.
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