2 What is Globalization?
3 The Dynamics of Globalization
4 The History of Global Expansion
4.1 The pre-modern (before 1500)
4.2 The early modern (1500-1850)
4.3 Modern Globalization (1850-1945)
4.4 Contemporary Globalization
5 Globalization and Culture
5.1 A definition of culture
5.2 How cultures differ
5.3 Cultural Homogenization
6 Could one system work for all? – A conclusion
Globalization and Culture – could one system embrace all cultures?
The paper “Globalization and Culture” deals with the question of whether it is possible for one system to embrace all cultures. Globalization is the development towards an integrated world system embracing all main schools of thought across all levels of society. The main proponents of this development are technological and institutional advancements. After looking at the main stepping stones in the historical development of globalization a definition of culture is given. Culture is seen as an agreement between people belonging to a group and concerns the meaning of certain actions. Cultures consists of attitudes, beliefs and values. Their elements differ between families, companies and nations. Although these differences exist, there is a tendency towards cultural homogenization caused by globalization. The paper discusses whether it is possible that one system could work for all. It outlines that deep cultural differences still exist. International organizations and national governments have made attempts to save local cultures showing how important it is to protect them. In conclusion it is stressed that it is more important to work on a global acceptance and awareness of other cultures than on creating a global village with a global culture.
Today it is no longer a problem to travel from Europe to Australia within in couple of hours. In supermarkets one can find products from all reaches of the globe. The news shown on TV inform us about events happening in every corner of the world. It seems as though the world gets smaller every day as nations grow together. Often times the term globalization is used to describe these developments. Technological and institutional advancements lead to a more integrated world. This is also true for cultural developments. New and common needs arise all over the world. Culture is often a missing factor in developmental policies. With the formation of the World Commission on Culture and Development (WCCD) the task was set to prepare a policy-orientated report on the interactions of culture and development. The report “Our Creative Diversity” discusses how “economic, governance and social activities are embedded in value systems and practices of societies”1. Cultures are continually evolving. This paper is concerned with the question whether it is possible for one cultural system developed through globalization to work for all cultures. This question may be answered with the use of an explanation of globalization and its impact on culture.
2 What is Globalization?
Globalization is the shift from a decentralized world structure to a more integrated system. It is “…the blanket term to describe the process through which sovereign national states are criss-crossed and undermined by transnational actors with varying prospects of power, orientations, identities, networks… .”2 The development towards a united world embraces politics, economics, culture, sociology and of course all aspects of the daily life. According to Williamson there are three main levels shaping modern societies namely the Individual, the Contractual Governance and the Institutional Level3. Globalization at the Individual Level can be seen as a change in people’s dispositions to a more open-minded point of view. New demands arise by expanding beyond their own countries and cultural borders. In modern times this occurs due to the strong influence of media and the possibility of world travel. On the Contractual Governance Level there exists the development of global production. One strategy of growing importance for many companies is going abroad in terms of acquiring goods, resources, and services to take advantage of national differences in the cost and qualities of factors. Because of competitive pressure and declining domestic sales companies seek markets outside the borders of their home country. Global competition thus occurs and therefore economic activities of many countries are no longer independent from each other. Already in history a tendency to globalization can be observed on the Institutional Level. Economic and politically powerful nations always attempted to spread across borders to gain even more political control and economic benefits. Today the formation of allies and unions eases trade between countries and also builds strength and security. Nations cannot risk becoming politically and economically isolated. This creates an inherent need to participate in the global economy.