Globalization is often misunderstood by people who claim to understand what it really is. Considering that globalization is synonymous to anything that has to do with progress and industrialization, among others, opposing sides try to point out its pros and cons as both sides gain support and acceptance from people who believe their causes. While there are poor nations that experience the negative effects of globalization, there are still more who believe that the only way towards cultural and economic advancement is through globalization. Therefore, understanding what it really is all about is the first step to recognizing its benefits. The effects of globalization are huge and in my opinion, globalization is more positive than negative.
Globalization is the integration of various factors such as investments, trade, technology, capital, and manpower. Through it, countries are able to reach out to a global market instead of just focusing on inward trading, thus, making the world a global marketplace (Friedman). Brands that used to be very expensive have become available in the local market, which allows consumers access to goods that used to be unreachable for them. Economically, globalization has opened up employment opportunities for the local people, as in the case of Nike, which set up a manufacturing house in Vietnam. When Nike invested in the country, it also brought in high technology machinery and competent management personnel, among others, which paved the way for increased employment productivity. As productivity increased, the company was able to raise employees’ salaries as well (Norberg). Another case in point is Bangladesh, which is said to be second to China when it comes to clothing exports. Because production costs, including employee wages, are steadily increasing, companies with factories in China are considering moving to Bangladesh for their apparel production, which gives the country an opportunity to increase its economic standing and provide work opportunities to its people (Bloomberg).
While globalization is often associated with economic stability and employment opportunities, globalization is also about the events happening within the country and how it is able to preserve its cultural make up. Thus, to think that globalization and modernization are synonymous to Americanization is false because not all global and modern countries are replicas of the United States, although there may be some traces of borrowed culture from America. Japan, for instance, is one country who, despite its openness to international trends and a leading manufacturer of high technology goods, is able to maintain the country’s cultural identity. Youths may have exchanged their traditional kimonos to jeans, blouses, and rubber shoes, but one thing that is very much alive in their spirit is their love for their culture and traditions, despite American influences (Nye).
Globalization is no longer dominated by the American culture, considering that now, a lot of American households have been introduced to Asian influences in terms of entertainment and food choices, among others. Who does not know Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Ang Lee, and Michelle Yeoh? Who have not tried Chinese noodles, dim sum, sushi, and wasabi? Who have not heard about the new aerobics that is called yoga, or another form of medical healing called acupuncture (Lam)? These are only some of the examples of how globalization has changed the world in general and not only a small part of the world. With the union of these different forces, a new global culture emerges – that is, a homogeny of different cultures, traditions, and beliefs.
With the help of technological advances, everyone participating in the economic and cultural collaboration of nations benefit from trading relationships they develop among one another. Culture does not have to drastically change, but rather preserved and enhanced by contemporary methods of doing things.
Bloomberg. “Factory Collapse Spurs Concern Only If $6 Bikinis Stay.” The Business of Fashion. 2013. Web. 18 September 2013 < http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/04/factory-collapse-spurs-concern-only-if-6-bikinis-stay-retail.html>.
Friedman, Thomas. “Longitudes and Latitudes.” N.d. Web. 18 September 2013 <http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/bookshelf/longitudes-and-attitudes/prologue>.
Lam, Andrew. “All Things Asian are Becoming Us.” SF Gate. 2004. Web. 18 September 2013 <http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/All-things-Asian-are-becoming-us-2628199.php>.
Norberg, Johan. “The Noble Feat of Nike.” Yale Global Online. 2003. Web. 18 September 2013. < http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/noble-feat-nike>.
Nye, Jr., Joseph. “Fear not Globalization.” Newsday. 2002. Web. 18 September 2013 <http://www.newsday.com/fear-not-globalization-1.343498>.