Sunday, September 11, 2011

Globalization and Contemporary World Culture

Contemporary World Culture

Globalization is very controversial. Most recently, President Obama was speaking on the outsourcing of American jobs that are now being held by citizens in India. President Obama stated that they are not harming the American economy by taking jobs, but rather boosting the American economy by helping American producers to thrive. However, there are many who see globalization differently. Generally speaking, demographics tend to guide a person’s outlook on globalization. A person’s country in which they reside, their economic status, race, age, etc. tend to guide how an individual perceive globalization (Johnson).

Those who favor the spread of globalization stand on the idea that the sharing of economic developments, such as technology and modern knowledge, will help make the world a more productive place to live for everyone. By improving the standard of living for all humans the quality of life improves as well as the longevity of each life. Global trade enhances the world as a whole, by sharing products that would not otherwise be available to everyone in the world.
Those who oppose the spread of globalization state that benefits that are reaped from globalization are unevenly spread throughout only the financially superior countries. 

These are typically countries that have helped contribute to the knowledge and technology that is spread across the globe. The countries that are unable to assist with the spread of globalization are not only typically lower in economic status, but also do not benefit from the shared technology. This is not an accurate spread for true globalization because only the wealthy, industrialized countries will benefit. Many are also concerned about the potential for poorer people to be exploited, for example working sweatshops under poor, unsafe conditions, due to the spread of globalization. Also, encouraging consumerism also creates additional waste.

The homogenization of globalization will lower wages and prices to the consumer. However, the lower wages prevent people from being able to live a higher level of life which is often the goal of the “American dream.” Having foreign companies pay their employees cheaper wages saves the company money, thus allowing the company to pass along the savings to the customers. However, the lower wages for the employees prevent the economic and social growth for those individuals.

If companies took the road of keeping industrialization within US borders then the potential for growth for US citizens is increased. The higher wages that would be paid in the US would be provided to American workers. However, the company would be less likely to be able to afford lower prices to pass along to consumers. This would also decrease the growth for the individual company.

Consumerism is essentially the consistent use of products available. The over-consumption of products around the world leads to additional pollution everywhere. Consumerism has the potential to be limited if globalization was restricted. The spread of modern products would not be so widely spread, thus would decrease the amount of byproduct and waste as a result.
Immigration also contributes to the spread of globalization. Not only do the immigrants bring their ideas, products, and labor to other parts of the world, but they are also willing to work any job in order to survive in their new home. By working for lower wages, this directly impacts those who were originally being paid to do comparable work for higher wages. This is an ongoing issue that often comes up when immigrants, legal and illegal, move to the US. The idea of the immigrants taking jobs away from Americans is one that leaves a sour taste in many people’s mouths. This decreases the number of jobs available to American citizens. The same applies in Japan, China, or Germany. If immigrants move to that country and are willing to work for lower wages, this decreases the availability of work for citizens.

Nutrition is an interesting factor when looking at globalization. Many parts of the world are not able to grow foods that are needed for a healthy, balanced diet. Whether it is due to poor crop conditions, unpleasant weather conditions, lack of knowledge for growth, or any other reasoning that is not controllable, permitting globalization nutrition for many is dramatically improved. The spread of fruits that do not grow in the desert or grains that do not grow in colder regions can help drastically improve the quality of life for everyone.

Johnson, June. Global Issues, Local Arguments: Readings for Writing. New York:

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