Today’s world is becoming increasing more globalized as new high tech gadgets make it easier to connect with people overseas and around the world, and countries and regions engage in international trade. Globalization is the increased interaction between countries and cultures of different regions as an effect of trade, the media, travel, education, cooperation, and more. Countries and cultures pick up aspects of the culture, politics, economy, values and technology of those with which they interact and assimilate to some extent toward these countries and cultures. Many associate globalization with westernization, however, the two terms are not actually synonymous. There are many factors that have led to the increase in globalization throughout the world. And globalization has had a definite effect on many countries and cultures, some of which are positive and some may be considered negative.
I believe that the effects of globalization are for the most part positive. Societies benefit from learning about and interacting with different cultures and regions. Members of both societies get a change to observe the positive qualities about the other cultures and can add these aspects to their culture. The people of different regions, when exposed to other cultures, have chosen to adopt some of the aspects of those cultures that they enjoy or feel are beneficial. This increased interaction also leads to mutual respect for each other’s culture and an increased spirit of cooperation between nations. Furthermore, globalization increases production and enhances the economies of both developed and developing countries.
Throughout this paper, I will discuss the effects of globalization. I will detail why I believe that globalization has had a positive effect on both developed and developing countries. Additionally, I will present the arguments that some have raised concerning the negative effects that they attribute to globalization.
Positive Effects of Globalization
“Globalization is the tendency of investment funds and businesses to move beyond domestic and national markets to other markets around the globe, allowing them to become interconnected with different markets. Proponents of globalization say that it helps developing nations “catch up” to industrialized nations much faster, through increased employment and technological advances, and Asian economies are often highlighted as examples of globalization’s success” (Smith, 2012). Therefore, it is obvious that globalization does have some definite benefits to both developing and developed nations. These benefits include the increased access to technology for developing countries as well as the increased awareness of other cultures for those in developed countries.
Globalization has had a number of positive effects on countries and cultures throughout the world. Globalization had helped to increase the understanding of other cultures and helped people start to see similarities about these cultures and enjoy their differences. It has helped to decrease some of the fear that was previously present when discussing foreign interaction. Evidence of this phenomenon can be seen in clothing styles, movies and television, on the internet, in building styles, in technology, and in travel and tourism.
Globalization has definitely been responsible for the increased interaction between people of different cultures. This increase in interaction has led to an increased understanding of these cultures. With the number of multinational corporations out there today, the existence of individual countries in a vacuum no longer exists. One thing that globalization has had a definite effect on is the job market. As “the search for multilingual personnel increases, people moving from country to country for jobs or traveling all over the world for their business. Also, the internet business seems to have a major effect on competition and market developments as the actual location of a company does not really matter anymore” (Herrmann, 2012).
Furthermore, the increase understanding of other cultures and regions can benefits those in a country of culture who may feel that their way of life can be bettered. Steven Fisher gives an example of this in his article “Globalization and Its Challenges.” In his article, he states that globalization has led to an increase in communication and transport systems. “On the positive side, improvements in communications and the spread of information were critical to the collapse of the Iron Curtain. People learned what was happening in other countries and understood that they did not live the way they were living, and the Iron Curtain fell” (Fisher, 2003, p. 4). Therefore, the citizens of one country can benefits by learning about the cultures of other countries by adopting the portions of the way of life of other countries that they feel are positive attributes of the other culture. This can add to the quality of life of the first culture.
Negative Effects of Globalization
There are many who contend that globalization is having a negative effect on countries and cultures that do not have the power and influence in international trade that countries such as the United States have. Critics in those countries argue that globalization has started to erode their culture. They believe that the homogony promoted by globalization is starting to take away some of the significant aspects of their culture. Moreover, some argue that their cultures and regions are being pushed to westernize in order to establish and maintain trade and other relationships in the ever-globalizing economy. Furthermore, they believe that the values societies such as the United States possess are not similar enough to their own values; therefore, they would like to keep these values from affecting and influencing their culture and societies. One of the values that globalization promotes is capitalism, at least to some extent. Countries with socialist and other forms of government feel that the increase in globalization also leads to the increase in the focus on the almighty dollar, oftentimes at the expense of focusing on people.
“Critics of globalization say that it weakens national sovereignty and allows rich nations to ship domestic jobs overseas, where labor is much cheaper” (Smith, 2012). Therefore, there is an argument that globalization does a bit of damage, not only to developing countries, but also the more affluent developed countries to an extent as well. Companies in search of cheap labor will move factories and warehouses to developing countries where they can employ people at lower wage rates. This move has a tendency to affect those who may already be struggling to make ends meet in the affluent, developed country. Therefore, it is the citizens who are in the least position to complain in the developed countries who are affected negatively and must pay for globalization. The goods that are produced in the factories of these companies that have been relocated overseas are often sold in the more affluent country for the same price as they previously had been. This helps to increase the company’s profit margin, while making it tougher for those who work in the fields of labor that the company generally employs to get jobs. The article “Globalization: Progress or Profiteering?” goes on to state that it is a classic situation where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (Smith, 2012).
Many countries fear the effect that globalization is having on their culture and national identity. The article “Globalization and its Effects on International Business” states that globalization has led to an increase in travel between countries for jobs and business. However, the article goes on to state that with this increased travel between countries, traditional cultures move to the background (See Herrmann, 2012). Instead of sticking to the cultural norms with which the people of a country or region are accustomed, they adapt to world habits. These habits, many argue, are the habits set by the more affluent countries that have a more dominate position in the world economy and in globalization. This is very troubling for some, especially those of Middle Eastern culture where globalization has faced some very strong opposition. In fact, the push for globalization in the Middle East has often been met by acts of violence. Many in these cultures feel that their culture and values are being lost as globalization increases.
In the article “Regions, Globalization, Development” appearing in the 2003 issue of Regional Studies, the author asserts that globalization not only effects developing countries as a whole, it also effects regions of the developing countries differently. The differing effects that globalization can have on different regions of a developing country can lead to economic disparity between regions of the country. Thus, areas surrounding areas that are suitable for factories from overseas, may experience a different rate of globalization that other region throughout a developing country. This will, in turn, lead to a significant disparity between the inhabitants of those regions as opposed to other regions. This is because the country was not at the stage of development that it needed to be to build its own factories and employ its own workers for the sale of its own merchandise. Therefore, the benefits of globalization may not run to developing countries as a whole; instead, it may simply run to those areas of the country that a suitable for factories and international business. The author suggests that this needs to be taken into account when developing countries determine their policies with respect to globalization. Lee and Vivarelli counter this argument, however, in “The Social Impact of Globalization in Developing Countries” by suggesting that the labor that these factories and businesses that relocate to developing countries are seeking is lower-skilled and often lower-paid labor in that country. By making lower skilled worked more sought out for employment in developing countries, this helps to reduce the wage disparity between skilled and unskilled workers in those countries. As lower-skilled workers become more easily able to obtain employment in developing countries, this helps to elevate their position in that society.
More and more multinational corporations are popping up all over the globe every day. And with the increase in the number of multinational corporations comes the increase in the number of people entering the debate concerning the effects of globalization. Those who are for globalization argues that there are a number of benefits of globalization to both developing and developed nations. These benefits include increase in awareness of other cultures, an increase in access to new technologies, an increase in job opportunities, a decrease in fear and loathing of other cultures, and a betterment of the economy of countries on both sides. Members of different cultures and countries travel back and forth increasing interaction between the cultures, thus learning about these cultures. This allows cultures and countries to adopt portions of other regions’ cultures which they feel are beneficial and desirable. Those who are opposed to globalization feel that globalization has a negative effect on both developed and developing nations. These critics contend that developed nations will ship the jobs opportunities of worker who are considered to be lower-skilled overseas in the hopes of obtaining cheaper labor. These companies will sell the goods in the developed countries for the same price; thus, increasing the company’s profit margin. Additionally, this practice may cause economic disparities between regions of developing nations to occur. Furthermore, some argue that the cultural identities of developing nations and those with less affluence is being eroded. Thus, one can argue that there are both positive and negative effects to globalization.
Fisher, S. “Globalization and Its Challenges.” Richard T. Ely Lecture. May 2003.
Herrmann, A. “Globalization and its Effects on International Business.” “Globalization and its
Effects on International Business.” Global Awareness Society International 21st Annual Conference – New York City, May 2012. Retrieved from: http://orgs.bloomu.edu/gasi/2012%20Proceedings%20PDFs/Herrmann2012-06%20Globalization%20and%20its%20Effect%20on%20International%20Business%20-%20Publication.pdf
Lee, E. and Vivarelli, M. “The Social Impact of Globalization in the Developing Countries.” IZA
DP. No. 1925. January 2006.
Scott, A. J. Storper, M. “Regions, Globalization, Development.” Regional Studies, Vol. 37, 6 &
7, pp 579-593, August/October 2003.
Smith, L. “Globalization: Progress or Profiteering?” Retrieved from: