Jabir Al Fatah

Globalization is a very commonly used term in modern period. Besides cultural and social changes, globalization has impacted in almost all aspects of our life including global economy and politics. Although most of the time we consider globalization as positive contributor to our societies and culture, in many cases they remain non-trivial and disadvantageous. As Giddens (2000), in his book, has mentioned that the meaning of the notion of globalization is not always straightforward, and it is not entirely clear that in what ways globalization has something to do with the thesis of one world in which we all live now. Moreover, the remaining big question is “is the idea of globalization valid?”.
According to Giddens, there are two associations (groups) regarding this globalization controversy: sceptics and radicals. Sceptics people barely acknowledge the prosperity of globalization, where they believe all the talk about globalisation is only that- just talk. The author has expressed a pessimistic view of globalisation that would consider it largely an affair of the industrial North, in which it is believed that developing nations on the other hand has no active participation. It is however, a sign of destroying local cultures, promoting world and gender inequalities, and increasing the poverty in the nations. That is why many say that globalization creates a world of winners and losers. Although a few become beneficial and gain prosperity, the majority end up with a life of despair and misery.

John Tomlinson (2003), has written in his article that the impact of globalization in the cultural sphere has, most generally, been viewed in a pessimistic light. Typically, it has been associated with the destruction of cultural identities, victims of the accelerating encroachment of a homogenized, westernized, and consumer culture. Because of the destructive power of globalization, the cultural identities have suddenly burst around the middle of the 1980s. The author admits that globalization, in many cases has cleaned like a flood tide through the world’s enriched cultures, destroying the tradition of localities, bringing a market-driven, thus obliterating the differences between locality-defined cultures which had constituted our identities for many millennia. Even though globalization is a general process of loss of cultural diversity, some cultures and traditions have been able to hold their identities. So, the essential point to mention is, cultural identity is at risk everywhere with the depredations of globalization, but the developing world is particularly at risk. Many scholars believe that the western nations are not yet fit to provide a suitable response to cultural globalization. This is because it is being challenged by numerous social and cultural predicaments, itself.

However, the latter association (radicals) argue that globalisation is very real, and its consequences can be felt everywhere. Many social scientists believe that various societies should deliberately modernize their cultures and identities. In that way, they can cope up with the ever-changing world events and to preserve their identities in the modern world. It is important that they must be engaged with the development of technology.

It is also widely believed that not all good norms were born in one civilization. Our today’s world is a result of unity among many cultures. Several cultures had to come together and build bond to donate us the civilized societies. Because of the existence of globalization, it has become possible for us to welcome other cultures and learn their good things, and eventually increasing our potentiality to become stronger in culturally and economically. For example, Cooking styles from other cultures, languages of other nations, and customs have spread due to globalization.

So, one thing is obvious from the discussion above that the concept and implementation of globalization is not very matured yet, and it remains controversial, especially from cultural perspective. So, the Gidden’s statement is a reflection of the effect of the practice of globalization.

[1] Sharma S. Impact of Globalization on World Society. http://www.hsu.edu/academicforum/2004-2005/2004-5AFImpact.pdf (accessed 16 November 2016).
[1] Tomlison J. Globalization and Cultural Identity. https://www.polity.co.uk/global/pdf/GTReader2eTomlinson.pdf (accessed 17 November 2016)
[1] Babran S. Media, Globalization of Culture, and Identity Crisis in Developing Countries. http://web.uri.edu/iaics/files/18-Sedigheh-Babran.pdf (accessed 19 November 2016)

Jabir Al Fatah

Globalization as we know today is no more an isolated concept, it is rather interrelated with culture, society, nation, and almost all aspect of our life. However, the impact of globalization in culture, both in developed and developing part of the world, is intense.
For example, online and social media has greatly influenced the modern generation, as well as promoted the multiculturalism and universalism. Tomlinson (1999) has discussed this phenomenon in his books several times, especially in the chapter of Why Globalization Matters for Culture. He argued, globalization disturbs the way we conceptualize ‘culture’.

Today we see an enormous diversity among culture and behaviour- per my opinion, there is no such thing called cultural boundaries. Looking back few decades ago- cultural and traditional identity was realized through the geolocation and ethnicity. The widespread use of internet and communication media, the increasing affordability of air travel have changed the way we live our life, the way we interact with other object, and maintain our friendships & socialization. As Tomlinson mentioned, globalization promotes much more physical mobility than ever before, but the key to its cultural impact is in the transformation of localities themselves. So, the social and cultural norm we practice today is no more any consequence or inheritance of our own cultural ethnicity and nation.

KOÇ (2006), in his article, has broadly discussed the issue of national and cultural identity crisis: ICT have minimized geographic limitations and have enabled virtual relationships and new social identities through instantaneous global communications. As he also said, “the development of these relationships and identities radically increases the number of interfaces between people and provides increased opportunities for cultural, social and political exchanges between and among people on a global level regardless of geographic location and time zone”.

So, to wrap up my whole discussion, I would admit that under the conditions of globalisation we witness a crisis of national identity. I would however, not agree that this process of globalization is strengthening our national identity, because the enormous tendency and curiosity to other cultures will gradually demolish the love affection towards our own cultural and traditional identity that we have been holding for few millennia. So, what I argue is that this process of being globalized will less likely to form nationalism, I would instead call this “internationalism”- which also a lacking one’s national identity.

[1] Tomlinson, J. (1999) Globalization and culture. Oxford: Polity Press.
[2] KOÇ, M. (2006) ‘CULTURAL IDENTITY CRISIS IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY’, The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 5(1), pp. 37–43

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