Globalization, costs of transportation and communication, and the

Globalization, being the prevailing
trend of the modern world, which is deeply ingrained in formal ideologies and
in public discourse, is nevertheless a very controversial concept that is
defined and interpreted in a variety of ways. The notion of globalization has come
to the researchers’ attention dating back to the 1970s and a scope of globalization
studies is now forming through a variety of disciplines (Appelbaum and
Robinson, 2005). Whether globalization is and should be identified with
Westernization is still a matter of controversy among scholars.

Although globalization
includes a variety of dimensions, scholars mostly tend to think of this phenomenon
in economic and political terms. Thus, an Internet resource ‘Globalization101.org’
offered by the Levin Institute has defined globalization as the “acceleration
and intensification of economic interaction among the people, companies, and governments
of different nations” (Levin Institute, 2013, p.2). In the view of the economist
J. Stiglitz, globalization is  “the
closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world … brought about
by the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the
breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital,
knowledge, and people across borders” (Stiglitz, 2003, p.10).

Meanwhile, globalization can also
be explained in sociological contexts. For instance, M. Waters defines
globalization as “a social process in which the constraints of geography on
economic, political, social and cultural arrangements recede, in which people
become increasingly aware that they are receding and in which people act
accordingly.” (Waters, 1995: p. 3). Whereas, for Giddens it is “an intensification
of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that
local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa”
(Giddens, 1990: p. 64).

However, globalization is a
complex process and focusing only on changes occurring in the economic and
political spheres would be misleading, for it also contains cultural dimensions.
In this sense, R. Robertson provided perhaps the most widely accepted
definition of globalization among scholars: “Globalization as a concept refers
both to the compression of the world and to the intensification of consciousness
of the world as a whole . . . both concrete global interdependence and
consciousness of the global whole in the twentieth century” (Robertson, 1992:
p. 8). The creation of this ‘global consciousness’ has led to the introduction
of the term ‘cultural globalization’ into vocabulary of the international
community. For example, Encyclopedia Britannica defines the concept as “a
phenomenon by which the experience of everyday life, as influenced by the
diffusion of commodities and ideas, reflects a standardization of cultural
expressions around the world” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013). Thus, the
cultural globalization deals with the formation of shared norms and knowledge
with which people associate their individual and collective cultural
identities, and increasing interconnectedness among different populations and
cultures (Inda & Rosaldo, 2002). 

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