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Give A Reasoned Definition Of "Globalization."

1475 words - 6 pages

Since its first appearance in the Webster dictionary in 1961 , the term "globalization" has veryquickly made its way into the standard vocabulary. As Anthony Giddens puts it, it almost appears that the word "has come from nowhere to be everywhere" . But nevertheless, its importance and relevance in today's society is undisputed, which can be seen by its constant usage in relation to various developments and trends in the world, describing things from the spread of McDonalds throughout the world, the stock exchange market and Hollywood tomusic and DVD piracy in the Internet, Coca Cola and Nike. But because the term "globalization" has entered our world so suddenly and with such an immense impact on our lives, opposition against globalization and its implications cannot be seen as surprising. However, much of this opposition results out of misconceptions about the process of globalization, because the meaning and concept of "globalization" is not, yet, clearly defined. For example, globalization is part of the process which makes the world grow steadily together, but it is also the reason for it. Hence: what exactly IS globalization and what would be the best definition for it? There are many significations for the word "globalization", of which the most common ones will be addressed in this essay.The definition of "globalization" is as complex and ambiguous as the process of globalization itself. This is also the reason why "sustainable explanations, precise evaluations and effective policies" for globalization are so difficult to find. But nevertheless, "the impossibility of a definitive definition does not reduce the need for rigorous conceptualization" , hence all the approaches addressed in this dissertation have to be treated as subject to alternation and revision.From the sociological point-of-view, Anthony Giddens argues that "globalization can...be defined as the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occuring many miles away and vice versa."This is particularly true when talking of a globalised communications network, whichsupports and enhances this "intensification" of social relations. A good example of how the world has socially grown together is the terrorist attack of September 11th in New York. When the WTO Twin Towers collapsed, not only the local New York and national Americancommunity was affected, but also the entire Western hemisphere, which felt the impact of this attack economically, politically and socially. To some extent, it can be even said that since September 11th, the process of "social globalization" has even more accelerated.This point is leading us to one of the most common, but also most controversial approaches to globalization, which defines "globalization" as "westernization". This usage has arisen particularly in various arguments about post-colonial imperialism . In this case, "globalization is associated with a...

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