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Understanding The Globalization Phenomenon Essay

1609 words - 7 pages

Is it possible to understand the nature of globalisation? This is a question that has led to fervent debates, and has confounded sociologists in their pursuit to explain the mechanics of globalisation (Machida 2012). Globalisation is the most dominant social phenomenon that has shaped social interactions around the world in the modern age (Ritzer & Ryan 2002). In an age where people socialise beyond their immediate communities, where a Japanese person can purchase an American product that’s made in China, and where government policies in Africa can be written by people in the Netherlands, it is impossible to ignore the current, globalised state of the world. Globalisation has led to the blurring of national boundaries, which allows nations around the world to communicate its ideas conveniently, at an unprecedented scale (Christou 2003). These global interactions allow for diverse cultural forms to disperse around the world, to be consumed by a wide array of people (Adams 2008). Despite the large, global impact of this phenomenon, it can be problematic to comprehend the nature of globalisation to a full extent, because of its vast nature and endless complexities (Mythen 2012). How is it that some nations have embraced the full extent of globalisation, and others are more closed off? Is it possible for cultures to maintain their traditional identities despite the influx of foreign influence? This essay attempts to explain the nature of globalisation through the discussion of various sociological concepts and perspectives that underpin the phenomenon. These key concepts and perspectives allow for globalisation to be understood in a more distinct and thorough way, as globalisation has moulded a global village that displays itself as displaying aspects of both cultural homogenisation and heterogenisation, through the shifting influences of an array of cultures around the world.

The phenomenon of globalisation can be understood through the inequalities of power between nations, as one cultural group becomes more dominant globally and homogenises cultures as a result of transnationalism. The increase in the transmission of consumer goods around the world increases the spread of dominant cultures, as one nation’s product becomes more desirable than others (Medina 2010). Globalisation can be understood as a phenomenon that homogenises cultures because a nation’s culture gradually becomes subdued as the dominant culture passes influence onto the nation’s people. As dominant cultural ideologies proliferate around the world, there has been an increasing need for cultures to standardise their cultural forms in order to effectively compete with other nation-states (Adams 2008). As cultures assimilate to the dominant ideologies, this creates inequalities between cultures, as it decreases personal agency in favour of predictability, thus contributing to the homogenisation of cultures (Piper & Garratt 2004). As a result, local cultures in globalised nations...

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