Over time, societies across the globe have demonstrated increased interactions. Globalization has been reputed for this success. Globalization is an international integration among people of different cultures, organizations and governments (Fotopoulos & Takis, 2011). It provides a platform for exchanging worldviews, ideas, cultural aspects, and goods and services. Hopkins (2013) views globalization as the interconnectedness of different markets across the globe. Though some scholars trace the history of globalization to the third millennium BCE, majority of them allude that it began in the 19th century when connectedness of the global cultures and economies spurred. Due to globalization, unprecedented changes have been noticed in communication, transport and lifestyle. Besides, raw materials and products now swiftly move across national borders than ever.
Vujakovic & Petra (2010) note that advances in technology are the driving force for globalization. Technology has given a new shape to globalization by providing countries tools for pursuing investment opportunities by making informed analysis of economic trends, smooth transfer of assets and cooperation with far-flung economic partners (Sorrells & Kathryn, 2012). This has led to increased international trade and economic development globally. Global investment trends indicate that the world has become one global market. Since 1950, the volume of global trade has increased up to 30 times by 2014. World investment report indicates that in 2014, the global foreign direct investment returns rose from $1.45 trillion in 2013 to $1.6 trillion in 2014. Differentiating this kind of shift in international business, Robertson & Roland (2012) contend that today’s globalization is faster, cheaper and deeper. Since the Second World War, many governments across the globe have adopted free-market economic systems. This has potentially increased their productivity, foreign direct investment returns and created myriad opportunities for international trade.
Globalization has an enormous and diverse impact on culture. This impact is duo-fold. On the positive effect, globalization has made communication easy. Far from the traditional ways of communication that were slow and often ineffective, globalization as brought a digitalized world. The emergence of televisions, satellites, phones and radios has changed people’s lifestyle. Hopkins (2013) note that technology has brought mass marketing of culture and global access to cultural heritage. Conversely, globalization has led to the commercialization of culture. The rate of consumption of cultural foods has tremendously reduced. Besides, traditional music, clothes and sports have now been replaced with modern ones. Foods are now bought from supermarkets that are driven by imported goods.
There has been a long-standing debate on the advantages and disadvantages of globalization. Robertson & Roland (2012) contend that globalization is multi-fold. Proponents of globalization opine that it accelerates the exchange of ideas, commodities and expatriates across the globe with ease. Besides, it is a roadmap for developing countries to be at par with industrialized countries. On the other hand, critics of globalization argue that it weakens a country’s sovereignty and gives room for industrialized countries to ship cheap labor from developing countries. It widens the gap between the developing and industrialized countries by benefiting their multinational corporations at the expense of the developing countries that cannot favorably compete in the globalized free market.
Finding a striking balance between benefits and the cost associated with globalization will help build a framework and understanding of international cooperation. All countries especially developing ones need a better understanding of issues and controversies on how globalization works, its policies and likely challenges. Based on culture, Sorrells & Kathryn (2012) opine that efforts should be made to protect culture extinction from forces of globalization.
Fotopoulos, H., & Takis, K. (2011). Globalization, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalization Movement: Democracy & Nature. The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, 7, 23-25.
Hopkins, G., (2013). Globalization in World History. New York City, NY: Norton.
Robertson, H., & Roland., T. (2012). Globalization: Social theory and global culture. London: Sage.
Sorrells, R., & Kathryn., S (2012). Intercultural Communication Globalization and Social Justice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Pubs.
Vujakovic, & Petra (2010). How to Measure Globalization? A New Globalization Index (NGI). Atlantic Economic Journal, 38, 69-71.