Westernization refers to the process by which the western culture is assimilated and absorbed into another culture. It is the social process in which the customs and practices of the so called western civilization becomes the order of the day in a different culture.
It is the process of absorbing one cultural group into another and assimilating it in away that they, to some extend show your culture and practices in them. Westernization is also called occidentalisation i.e. a process by which societies adopt the Western culture in such matters as technology, industry, politics, lifestyle, economics, language, law, diet, philosophy, religion and values. (Ankerl & Guy, 47)
Westernization has always been associated with globalization in that it forms part of the on going globalization. Thus, this means that westernization can be observed as a subset of the wider globalization.
Ankerl & Guy (p. 56) say that for westernization to take place, it has to be transmitted. The modes of transmission or the agents of westernization include people, the media i.e. both print and audio visuals, social networks, technology in general, transportation, and tourism among others. These agents do transmit certain aspects of the west in the people of the native societies.
In this paper we will majorly dwell on the communication technology and how it has affected the culture, politics and technology in terms of westernizing the societies involved.
Cultural globalization refers to the rapid pass of culture in any angle through thoughts, information and morals from one nation to another. It allows for the sharing of ideas and these ideas make individuals of different cultures to interact and connect with each other (Ellis & Goodwin-White, 910).This process of globalization is facilitated by individuals moving from one place to another and in this way they mix with different people and thus happen to adopt each other`s cultures and their ways of their living. Factors that have contributed to the smooth flowing of information include the emergence of global organizations, highly developed technologies, televisions and internet and worldwide entertainment industries,
Cultural globalization can be identified majorly in three ways i.e. heterogenizing, homogenization, and hybridization. Cultural globalization does happen due to the fact that very many and different cultures are uniformormonized i.e. homogenized into one cultural practice thus making it very difficult to identify the different features of those cultures.
Communications technology has made very vigorous steps in westernizing different cultures. To start with, the aspect of language in very many cultures has been really tampered with. Many western countries think that their languages better than other languages. Thus they impose on other people the ideas of learning their languages. For instance, the Americans, the British, the French, the Germans among others have their languages but are trying as much as possible to make their languages to be known. Though the British and the Americans use English but their English are different, both written and spoken. The worst part is that language and culture cannot be separated. In this sense, westernization simply degrades other cultures on one side while on the other hand it uplifts other cultures. The communications technologies act as platforms on which people meet to chat, being taught on how the different languages, the words and their pronunciations among others.
Westernization has also led to the adoption of certain types of lifestyles that were initially not their. For instance, in Africa, initially, there were the kinds of foodstuffs that they used to eat, types of dressings that they were used to, all these are no more simply because other cultures have encroached in their land and overpowered their styles of living and thus adopting the new styles. These majorly take place because the communications technology gives them priorities as the current and the civilized ways of living. So the communications technologies do play a very big role to make sure that other people do away with their lifestyles and adopting others’. This is made easier by the free materials that are often found in the internet, cheap means of communications through mobile phones commuters which offer a range of services at very cheap fees (Ellis & Goodwin-White, 917).
Also, through the technology various societies have abandoned their cultural practices including wife inheritance in various parts of Africa, polygamy in very many societies, some initiation practices like removal teeth in the Luo community in Kenya, the traditional ways of circumcision that used to happen in very many ‘lesser’ societies are no more. In this sense the technology brings in good information to the world at large and to some extend make people accept the ideas.
Lastly, media such as internets, publications have led to sharing information that has eroded the initial moral culture that was there in many societies. Practices like homosexuality, lesbianism, among others are now shared everywhere and the degree of morals has really gone down.
This really brings the world to its knees.
In the political sphere, communications technology has a good number of impacts which results from westernization. Politics is defined as the science and art of governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs of the same entity. (Robert & Grauman, 79)
It involves a lot of decision making and politicians, the people who engage in politics do have this responsibility in order to rule well and give directions to their people since they are the eye of the people they lead.
Politics generally has got both direct and indirect effects upon the people of a given society. Directly, politics affects the developments, education systems of a country, the security of the country, and of course the resources of a country. Indirectly, politics influence the people’s living standards, type of leadership almost in every sector in a country among others.
Robert and Grauman (87) say that in politics, communications technology has done a lot to ensure that things are either in order or in a mess. To start with, communications technology has made it possible for political ideologies some which are of no benefit to the benefit of the people of a country. This is because the politicians are the decision makers of most societies, in this perspective some political leaders may make decisions in favor of certain foreign but powerful countries whose interest may not be the people in these weak countries but the resources. It is thus clear that very many countries suffer at the hands of their leaders because their leaders get a lot of information from the televisions, internets, telephoning among other technological means.
Secondly, through technology, politics has gone ton new heights. Activities like spying, terrorisms among others do take place from the planning countries. Nowadays people need not go into the societies they are interested in order to get the information require, instead technology has brought things at the peoples doorsteps. This way, communication technology has made it possible not to have political secrets. It is thus exposing countries which are not developed to security threats. The secrets of countries concerning their plans are leaking to others at a very high rate (Philip & Kottak, 24).
Through communications technology, countries are getting to know of deadly weapons that are developed in different countries. These weapons some are mostly are used to kill political rivals in these countries, political critics, some who have better ideas to help the common man in the society. In this sense, communications technology forms the base of such evil thoughts of crating deaths and reducing chances of societies to develop. Societies lives are posed to danger because their leaders are able to get a lot of information from the outside world transformed with this information and are finally applied on the people that are being governed.
Also, with this kind of technology, countries are able to restructure their political structures and adopt new ones which are seen to be better than the primitive ones. This comes with accepting legal documents such as the constitution, treaties among other legalities that may affect the government structure.
From these, it is possible to deduce that westernization has very many effects on the society, some of are positive while some are negative. This implies that with the increased rate of developed technology, the society will be more developed and politics will no longer be a dirty game as it has been perceived in the passed.
In business, communication technology has done wonders. Business can be simply be defined as the buying and selling of goods with an aim of making a profit. Business transactions are very diverse and have never ended, from the production time of selling of goods, from the times when ideas are shared to the time when they are put into practice and goods are produced and sold.
Robert and Grauman (198) say that communications technology has opened new markets for different countries, people and societies (business). In this sense, many countries have got revenues from their imports and exports. This adds to the gross national product of a country. This is then used to develop the countries infrastructure. With infrastructure in place, the doors to developments will be open. This has direct impact in the lives of the citizen.
In business, great ideas have been shared from all sphere of live. From agriculture to education several innovations have taken place. These innovations have lead into great products, some of which are producer products which are used for production of other goods. This hastens the rate of societal development. In this, communication technology acts as the main source of information for the sharing and developments of these ideas and thus the development of the business sector at large.
Business has gone to another level with communication technology. Various multinational companies have found makers in foreign countries. This enlarges a country’s job market for its products and labor. The countries that accept to host these multinational companies do benefit a lot from these companies, from tax, job opportunities for their citizens, living standards of the citizens, markets for their local products among others. However, these companies come accompanied with lots of negative influences to the local people and to the government as well. To the people, western influence is the major threat in that many countries are faced with adoption of the new culture which is against of the common trend in these counties (Robert & Grauman, 72).
Also, this type of technology has led to the widespread of the western ways doing business in other countries. The advanced levels of business, business investments and high technological machines are being in use in very many countries that westernization has dominated. This can be evidenced from the rising levels of trade in Africa countries, some countries in the Latin America among other places. This simply shows the influence of western oriented method of trade to the trades in different developing countries.
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