Globalization produces a cultural identity that is homogeneous

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Senior (College 4th year) ・Sociology ・Harvard ・10 Sources

Globalization is how cultural traditions and goods associated with one group in the world spread to other areas of the world, eventually becoming a global product. It has been a defining characteristic of society, with documents dating back to before the Industrial Revolution. Arguably, the world's overall technological advancements can be traced to globalization efforts as society strives to make the world a global village. The dimensions are represented to define the cultural scope within which globalization is defined since the ultimate goal is that there is a chance that there will be a creation of one entity over all the minor groups. Many parts of the world are now identified by behaviors that were not characteristic in the past. The case of China presents an effect that is argued to be a negative consequence of globalization with the country displaying behaviors that were initially thought to be unique for the western world. In fact, it is observed that the greater Asian continent has been reporting trends of obesity, smoking, and engaging in sexual promiscuity. Other cultural groups such as the Tibetans have been victims of political influences of globalization with the effects leading to adverse outcomes. It is, however, important to identify that regardless of the negative effects, globalization enables the identification of a particular group. Overall, it is anticipated that globalization will result in “togetherness” because it is supposed that the planet of the lifeboat of the human species and the environment where the significance of local knowledge is cherished. Thus, depending on how one perceives the new culture, globalization results in cultural identity.

Annotated Bibliography

Örnek, Y., 2010. Globalization and Cultural Identity. Available at: http://www.studienkreis.org/common/news/referat_oernek.pdf.

The article by Örnek (2010) describes, in a defensive approach, that globalization does not result in the erosion of cultures. It is selected because it argues that instead of being destructive, it protects the identity of particular groups. The article will be relevant because it will be used to focus on the example of the trends observes in Asia by arguing that in this continent, some behaviors have nevertheless stood out.

Wang, Y., 2007. Globalization Enhances Cultural Identity. Intercultural Communication Studies. Available at: http://web.uri.edu/iaics/files/09-Yi-Wang.pdf.

The article by Wang (2007) describes the effect where author affirms the idea that homogenization results in cultural identity. The selection is motivated by the fact that author identifies the key definitions of globalization. The resource will thus assist as a foundational material for the research paper because the author covers the subject by examining the background and present processes.

Tomlinson, J., 2003. Globalization and Cultural Identity. Identity as Treasure. Available at: http://www.polity.co.uk/global/pdf/GTReader2eTomlinson.pdf.

Tomlinson's (2003) article also focuses on cultural identity but in a more detailed perspective as the author explains the features that define homogenization. The selection of the resource was motivated by the fact that the author arranges the information in subtopics that eases the identification of the relevant concepts. The article will be used as a resource for defending the trends observed in cultural integration.

Seytoff, A.A., 2014. China’s Uighurs claim cultural “genocide.” Al Jazeera. Available at: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/china-uighurs-claim-cultural-gen-20146165946224857.html.

The newspaper article that featured in Aljazeera on 2014 describes the setbacks of globalization in the Chinese context. The selection of the resource is motivated by the fact that the author identifies the disadvantages of globalization in the political context. The article will, therefore, be useful as a case example to examine the effects of globalization.

Cai, C., 2011. Globalization & its Impact on Youth Health in Asia. Health and Development Section Health and Development Section Emerging Social Issues Division Emerging Social Issues Division. Available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/workshops/regm_asia_cai_cai.pdf.

The article by Cai is a summarized assessment of the effect of globalization in Asia. The author approaches the topic in a broader context and rather than focus on one country, outlines the different counties in the Asian continent that have been affected adversely by globalization. The resource, article will thus be useful in describing the negative effects of globalization in the perspective of the Asia continent with the key effects of sexual promiscuity, smoking and obesity being significant.

Introduction

Globalization, described in the perceptive of the political, economic, and cultural perspectives, entails the scenario where the world uses a free market structure that eases the movement of capital, products and services as trade is freed. There is a lack of consensus about the exact time when it originated but any observers have agreed tat it has existed for as long as humanity has exited (Örnek 2010). To warrant the hypothesis, it is supposed that the advancement in communication and transport, that later became manifested with the industrial revolution and the discovery of the internet, have all been the inherent basis for the definition of globalization (Pagel 2014). As an irreversible process, debates have been focused on the question of whether homogeneity as a consequence of globalization has resulted in the erosion of cultural values. The indispensable nature of globalization has led to better advances in communication through international influences leading to homogeneity with the added value of promoting cultural identity.

The Case of Globalization in Asia

The Asian perspective offers the most appropriate examination of the issue related to globalization. It is established that the global media and marketing schemes promote cultural integration and as a result, have an effect of the youth attitude and behavior. The case of Thailand is particularly relevant in this scenario because as a result of global media and marketing scheme, the average age of teenagers who engage in sexual acts has dropped to below 13 years. It has since been noted that in Thailand, 1448 out of the 6700 who were surveyed demonstrated to be experienced in sexual acts. A similar case has been noted in China where the majority of population have since resorted to drug abuse. The trend was unpopular in the Asian country in the past decades. Out of the 49000 registered drugs users, over half of the population was reported to be under the age of twenty-five years (Cai 2011). Still in Asia, it is supposed that 40 percent of the new HIV infections occur as a result of injecting drugs with reports noted in Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, China, and Vietnam. Overall, the most likely implication is the effect of the erosion of cultural values that spread due to the effect of globalization.

Globalization has also been identified to be the primary reason for the advances in obesity, and the development of a smoking culture in Asia. Usually, it is a consequence of the effect of under nutrition with the trends now being notable in developing countries. It is a major risk to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and other types of cancer with reports confirming that South Asia population is imposed of a third of the population being obese. In Thailand for example, the prevalence of obesity among children aged 5 -12 years has since risen from 12.2 percent to about 16 percent in two years. In China, between 1992 to 2002, 60 million of the population was declared to have acquired obesity with 200 million being identified to be overweight (Cai 2011). The cases have similarly been identified for smoking as evidence approves that 50 percent of those who begin smoking worldwide are introduced to the behavior at the age of between15 to 20 years. In Asia, half of the 80,000 to 100,000 children who smoke globally have been reported to be in China (Cai 2011). It is apparent that the trends observed in China are a consequence of the observed dynamics around the world.

The tendencies that have been identified in Asia represent a perfect scenario where globalization has an influence on a particular culture. The first inference is the interplay of globalization and poverty, where it is seen that migrant workers who are a significant proportion of the young people are isolated from the mainstream society and they tend to spend most of their time on drinking, sex, engaging in other promiscuous activities that are typical of the Western cultures. Other trends of the interplay of globalization and poverty have also been reported to account for the use of transactional sex as a source of livelihood as it is typical of other parts of the world.

Setbacks of Globalization

In the assessment of the theme of globalization, it is important to consider the outcomes of geo-political and geo-economic influences. The dimensions are described to define the cultural scope within which one defines globalization because overall, the goal is that there is a chance that there will be the creation of one entity over all the minor groups (Wood-Wallace 2009). Thus, the major argument has been noted on the subject of whether globalization is likely to result in one culture becoming dominant. Negative claims against the spread of globalization have been focused on the fact that it leads to the erosion of cultures because many communities lose their values due to the influence of the dominant groups. Regardless of whether the advances are made in a slow process or made in a vicious and forceful manner, research has shown that when the dominant group is less considerate about the welfare of the minority cultures, there is likelihood that the lesser group will be masked.

The most significant example to justify this negative influence of globalization is the consideration of how it has affected the inhabitant of the Northwestern China, the Uighurs. The group that lives in the Xinjiang region nd adjoining areas has complained of feeling powerless and accused the dominant Chinese settlers and Beijing’s onslaught (Seytoff 2014). The problem arose when China suppressed efforts portrayed by the Uighurs to demonstrated unrest by transferring loyal Chinese settlers to East Turkestan and denied the Uighurs with bank loans, housing and other privileges which were favored to the settlers who inhabited the land (Seytoff 2014). The case is so complicated that it has led to mortal effects with the Chinese government feeling the pressure of the need to adhere the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Laws or risk perceiving them as non-citizens with the threat of self-determination being the likely foreseeable future. In an effort to resist the cultural erosion as an outcome of globalization, it has been noted that the Uighur, just like the Tibetans, will continue resisting the advances of China’s apartheid and colonial rule.

Homogeneity and Cultural Identity

It is, however, important to emphasize that globalization inherently enhances cultural identity regardless the manner in which it adversely influences the minor groups that are involved. Most of the advocates of globalization identify tend to view it as homogenization in the new global era (Blank 2015). Products for consumers are becoming homogenous which explains the trends where people use the same type of things and engage in the same service (Thomas-Hoffman 2010). The idea thus warrants the observed effect where the Asian population is increasingly becoming aware of the diversity in the consumerism culture as they similarly engage in eating junk foods and participating in smoking activities. The understanding of homogenization is, therefore, the concept where something is imposed on the people by the influence of market forces as t has been over served with the rise in sexual immorality, obesity, and smoking in Asia. It is also supposed to be a result of the interplay of political forces as it has been described with the trends in the oppression of the Tibetans and the Uighurs of the Chinese nation.

Thus, homogenization and globalization do not end in erosion of cultures but preserve cultural identity. Usually, the people who are affected tend to view themselves as subjects and have the liberty of integrating the traits into their way of life. Populations are not passively accepting because they have the freedom to select their way of lives regardless of external factors. The key question that cultures should ask themselves in the wave of globalization are ““Who am I ?”, “Where are we going ?” and “What do we Have ” ( Wang 2007, p. 85) . Thus, with the new era of globalization, the most sensitive groups are more concerned about the uniqueness and popularity of their cultures that assures the group of local knowledge and a sense of self and the nation.

It is thus apparent that in the context of science and technology, it is easy to assume that globalization is a reflection of some kind of theory of convergence where many cultures end up as one unit. While this idea hold’s truth, it is critical to examine the issue from a deeper perspective and note that globalization enhances cultural identity through focusing on uniqueness (Grau 2008). Overall, however, it is anticipated that globalization will result in “togetherness” because it is supposed that the planet of the lifeboat of the human species and the environment where the significance of local knowledge is cherished. In fact, observers have cited that the effect of globalization in the long run will be a trend where people become “deeply-rooted-in-one’s-culture” because they will be more interested in fruitful interactions (Tomlinson 2003).

Conclusion

Cultural integration is a consequence of globalization results in homogeneity but does not affect cultural identity in the process. The case of the Asian nations embracing the western traditions of obesity, sexual promiscuity, and smoking explains the extent within which market influences and economic forces in the mainstream media affect behavior. The oppression of the minority groups in China such as the Tibetans further explains the effects of homogeneity due globalization in the political context. It is thus affirmed that homogeneity is indispensable in the globalization era. Regardless of the controversies it is associated with globalization of world trends preserves cultural identity as it depends on the manner in which individuals perceive their uniqueness.

References

Blank, S., 2015. The Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015. The Startup Ecosystem Report Series. Available at: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/compassco/The_Global_Startup_Ecosystem_Report_2015_v1.2.pdf.

Cai, C., 2011. Globalization & its Impact on Youth Health in Asia. Health and Development Section Health and Development Section Emerging Social Issues Division Emerging Social Issues Division. Available at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/workshops/regm_asia_cai_cai.pdf.

Grau, H.R.M.A., 2008. Globalization and land use transitions in Latin America. Ecology and Society, 13(2), p.60p.

Örnek, Y., 2010. Globalization and Cultural Identity. Available at: http://www.studienkreis.org/common/news/referat_oernek.pdf.

Pagel, M., 2014. Does globalization mean we will become one culture. BBC. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120522-one-world-order.

Seytoff, A.A., 2014. China’s Uighurs claim cultural “genocide.” Al Jazeera. Available at: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/china-uighurs-claim-cultural-gen-20146165946224857.html.

Thomas-Hoffman, E.A., 2010. Cultural Preservation and Protection. World Intellectual Property Organization. Available at: http://www.mesacc.edu/~bricl07041/un/hs/culture.pdf.

Tomlinson, J., 2003. Globalization and Cultural Identity. Identity as Treasure. Available at: http://www.polity.co.uk/global/pdf/GTReader2eTomlinson.pdf.

Wang, Y., 2007. Globalization Enhances Cultural Identity. Intercultural Communication Studies. Available at: http://web.uri.edu/iaics/files/09-Yi-Wang.pdf.

Wood-Wallace, D., 2009. Globalisation, Homogeneity and Cultural Diversity’. Unpublished MediaCoursework (Undergraduate). Nottingham Trent University. Available at: http://www.academia.edu/4240756/_2009_Globalisation_Homogeneity_and_Cultural_Diversity.

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