Essay: Globalization and its spread of culture

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  • Subject area(s): Sociology essays
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  • Published on: January 14, 2020
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  • Globalization and its spread of culture
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The word “Globalization” is one of those words that many people have different meanings for. By definition, globalization is the free movement of goods, services, people, capital, technology, and information. However, I think it includes much more than that. I think the largest thing missed in the official definition of globalization, is the spread of culture.

Globalization goes back much farther than when the term was coined. The term was first used in 1983 in The Globalization of Markets, posted by Harvard Business Review (Levitt, 1983). According to Silk Road: A Glance at Archaic Globalization, one of the first well documented cases of globalization is the silk road, where goods from the East were traded to the West, and vice versa. The Silk Road was one of the first large scale connections of very different people and cultures. It contributed to the prosperity of The Ancient Chinese, Roman and Persian empires. The author, Mousumi Ghosh explains that “the globalization process created by interactions and exchange of commodities, culture, technology and religion in the ancient world sought to enrich the world without destroying its cultural diversity.” (Ghosh, 2015).

I think the most interesting aspect that Ghosh touched upon was that globalization interconnects the world, without destroying each individual’s cultural diverse identity. An example of this, is the debate between the United States being called a “melting pot” or a “salad bowl”. The U.S. is traditionally called a melting pot because its immigrants are melted together, where many immigrants have abandoned their cultures to become assimilated into American society. However, some argue that diversity in the U.S. is becoming more positive and encouraged. Therefore, immigrants are maintaining their traditions, native language and own culture. This model of ethnic integration is described as a salad bowl, with those of different cultures living peacefully simultaneously. Personally, I am a first generation immigrant and my family has tried to keep our native culture, including the holidays we celebrate, words we use and the accent that we have.

That being said, globalization is not favored everywhere in the world. One of the reasons for this, I believe, is because people have the wrong definition of globalizations. However, countries like France have had trouble adapting to globalized world because of their own cultures reasons. Three of these reasons, according to The French Economy’s Adaptation to Globalization, are that “it directly threatens the French dirigiste tradition, because of the loss of state control of the economy—and society—that it implies” (Gordon and Meunier, 2016). Globalization also doesnt sit well with the French because historically, they are very attached to their cultural identity, which they see as threatened by a “globalization that is often confused with Americanization” (Gordon and Meunier, 2016). Thirdly, the French find globalization difficult to accept because they think that French having a large international role in today’s day and age is difficult to achieve.

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