Globalization, costs of transportation and communication, and the

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Last updated: May 28, 2019

Globalization, being the prevailingtrend of the modern world, which is deeply ingrained in formal ideologies andin public discourse, is nevertheless a very controversial concept that isdefined and interpreted in a variety of ways. The notion of globalization has cometo the researchers’ attention dating back to the 1970s and a scope of globalizationstudies is now forming through a variety of disciplines (Appelbaum andRobinson, 2005).

Whether globalization is and should be identified withWesternization is still a matter of controversy among scholars.Although globalizationincludes a variety of dimensions, scholars mostly tend to think of this phenomenonin economic and political terms. Thus, an Internet resource ‘Globalization101.org’offered by the Levin Institute has defined globalization as the “accelerationand intensification of economic interaction among the people, companies, and governmentsof different nations” (Levin Institute, 2013, p.

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2). In the view of the economistJ. Stiglitz, globalization is  “thecloser integration of the countries and peoples of the world ..

. brought aboutby the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and thebreaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital,knowledge, and people across borders” (Stiglitz, 2003, p.10).Meanwhile, globalization can alsobe explained in sociological contexts. For instance, M.

 Waters definesglobalization as “a social process in which the constraints of geography oneconomic, political, social and cultural arrangements recede, in which peoplebecome increasingly aware that they are receding and in which people actaccordingly.” (Waters, 1995: p. 3). Whereas, for Giddens it is “an intensificationof worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way thatlocal happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa”(Giddens, 1990: p. 64). However, globalization is acomplex process and focusing only on changes occurring in the economic andpolitical spheres would be misleading, for it also contains cultural dimensions.In this sense, R.

Robertson provided perhaps the most widely accepteddefinition of globalization among scholars: “Globalization as a concept refersboth to the compression of the world and to the intensification of consciousnessof the world as a whole . . . both concrete global interdependence andconsciousness of the global whole in the twentieth century” (Robertson, 1992:p. 8).

The creation of this ‘global consciousness’ has led to the introductionof the term ‘cultural globalization’ into vocabulary of the internationalcommunity. For example, Encyclopedia Britannica defines the concept as “aphenomenon by which the experience of everyday life, as influenced by thediffusion of commodities and ideas, reflects a standardization of culturalexpressions around the world” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013). Thus, thecultural globalization deals with the formation of shared norms and knowledgewith which people associate their individual and collective culturalidentities, and increasing interconnectedness among different populations andcultures (Inda & Rosaldo, 2002).

 

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