‘Globalisation’ – A seem-to-be-big word but has become familiar with all of us in the recent days. Many people think of globalisation as a life-changing event in lives and yet, it will not happen in the period of five or ten years time ahead. In fact, instead of saying ‘We will soon face globalisation’, we had better say ‘We are now living with globalisation’.
What do I mean by the phrase ‘We are now living with globalisation’? To be more specific, what is ‘globalisation’ first?
Dictionary.com has defined the term ‘globalisation’ as ‘the act of extending to other or all parts of the world’ or ‘worldwide intergration and development’. From an academia perspective, Michael (2012, p. 459) stated that ‘Globalisation refers to an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political and military interests’. In fact, it is not difficult to find evidences of globalisation in these days across the world. Once, a hungry person in Vietnam can search around for noodles like a person in Italy search for pizza, but now they seem to have more choices. The same hungry person in Vietnam and/or Italy can also have a roll of Japanese sushi or a bowl of pad Thai as their different meal choices. Similarly to movie taste, teenagers in India nowadays can watch Hollywood movies instead of their traditional Bollywood dramas.
Globalisation is not a new process and itself has a lot of impacts on many approaches of the society including the economic development, the environment, etc. However, there are either advantages and disadvantages related to this controversial issue. The utopian view of globalisation is creating a society which Marshall McLuhan called ‘Global Village’, where ‘people of the world can be brought closer together by the globalisation of communication, no matter how far apart we may actually live’ (Michael 2012, p. 459).
On the other hand, the dystopian view has showed that ‘globalisation’ equals ‘domination’. This means one(s) will obviously have more power than others. For instance in the media industry, Rupert Murdoch owns a mass media part in which he has a noticeable control over what people can view and this, in some ways has shaped the world the way Rupert wants it to be. With that kind of developing trend, the rich will grow richer and more powerful, and the poor will remain poor. This view has been supported by Jimmy Carter, the former President of the United States when he argued:
“Globalisation, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing… You are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cellphones, you are talking about computers. This does not affect two-thirds of the people of the world”
(Jimmy Carter Quotes and Speeches)
I myself also think that globalisation has more of the bad effects when obviously there are no countries which have the same pace of development or the same lifestyles. In developed Western countries where the governments and citizens are now worried about big issues like climate change or better future healthcare, the other parts of the world are still searching for ways to save their people from dying because of poverty. They do not have an idea on what a smartphone mean or how people have been affected by the current mass media industry. People simply do not start at the same place with each other so we cannot expect them to live the same ‘trend’ with the world.
O’Shaughnessy, Michael 2012, ‘Globalisation’, in Media and Society, 5th ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 458-471.
Jimmy Carter Quotes and Speeches, US History Site, viewed 22 August 2016, <http://ushistorysite.com/carter_quotes.php>.