Due to economic and political globalization, the West continues to hold an exploitative sway over the rest of the world. Globalization had provided a space for the cultures to gain from each other by integrating some features from other cultures. However, instead of integration, it had led to western culture’s hegemony over the other cultures. It is because of unequal power relations among the various nations of the world.
International cultural traits have overpowered the local cultural traits due to globalization. The west has also defined the concept of international culture. Developments in communication and transportation have heralded the emergence of a global mass culture. Increasing “homogenization” is a universal culture fact and a direct consequence of globalization. It is feared that this will lead to stripping away of individual identity of cultures and a bland uniform world. Traditional societies losing their uniqueness have become common. Some refer to it as ‘McDonaldisation’ or ‘coca-colasation’. It can lead to socio cultural conflicts. Several countries have accepted globalization only because the wave from the super powers is strong and it becomes inevitable to welcome it. Several leaders also think that capitalism is the way to development and hence, globalization enhances the process of development. The profit motive is also taken into consideration by many core countries; as a result, developing countries aspire to make more profits through the process of globalisation.
Global media, which supposedly play a significant role in the process of globalization are also concentrated in the West. Sixty- eight percent of global media brands originate from the United States. The center of power remains the US at the present times which tries to impose its views and culture on the rest of the world. They have created an idea of what ‘modern’ is and that.
and all countries can attain that through the path of globalization. They also directed the path. This aggressiveness has produced some good and some horrible results. It is interesting to see foreign media, helping to spread the American popular culture.
The television industry is also influential in spreading the American popular culture. CNN, which is an American Company exemplifies the global news network. The television reaches every part of the world. It is more local than movies, magazines or books. The younger audience is more attracted to this. This trait influences generations to come. Also, this industry has brought about several positive changes at the global level. Countries have helped each other when they come to know about certain severe mishaps in other nations. Each other's policies have influenced them and leaders have over time changed policies considering the global importance of any field.
Globalization is often equalized with global Westernization. The process of globalization has led to the spread of Western civilization. This kind of Westernization is looked as the continuation of Western imperialism. With the dominance of capitalistic ideas, the West established trade rules that would benefit them the most and not the poorer nations. It is the re-defining of the ‘dependency theory’ in today’s era. The core countries still exploit the countries in the periphery.
Over several decades, in the Middle East has had several historical implications owing to the controversy over Westernization. Shah of Iran in the 1960s and 70s met great resistance when he accepted globalization as a process to extend voting rights to women, land reform policies, and allowing the population to form other political parties. His efforts for reforming the society was seen as taking out faults in the Iranian society which globalization could solve. This resentment brought about a radical revolutionary movement that sought to expel all the features of Westernization from Iran.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had adopted a policy of ‘Modernization without Westernization.’ The leaders limited the encroachment upon values after they saw what happened with Iran. The country does not guarantee any voting rights and involves censorship of any media that include elements from the West. This clash between the Islamic values and globalization came to its peak with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City. This event led to several anti-American riots in certain Islamic countries, or the example of increasing assaults or discrimination against Arabs, Muslims and South-Asian Americans have increased drastically. America’s heightened security has led to several complaints by privacy groups saying that it has grown racial profiling.
However, more recently, during the Arab Spring, Western cultural values were propagated and led to achieving several political goals by the leaders in the Middle East. There was extensive use of social media and networking sites like Facebook and Twitter which were used to gain support and organize the uprising. It has been used by leaders of several unstable economies to achieve short term political goals. They took advantage of the feature of anonymity and its reach to spread false rumours and to influence public opinion.
However, we cannot consider this as a curse. Globalization has helped in the progress of the world through the dissemination of information to spread knowledge and understanding. There have instances of on-going globalization away from the West and has not necessarily increased Western influence. We can take certain examples to give an elaborate explanation. Around 1000 A.D., the flow of information dissemination was quite the opposite of what it is today. It included the flow of knowledge in mathematics, science, and technology. High technology included several aspects such as the paper, the printing press, the magnetic compass, gun powder, the rotary fan, and wheelbarrow, were used extensively in China before it spread to parts of Europe due to globalization. Similarly, the decimal system started in India between the second and the sixth centuries. Soon after that, the Arab mathematicians started using it. It was only in the tenth century that it reached
Europe. Hence we see how Europe would have been poorer- culturally and scientifically- had it not been for globalisation. Today, the same flow is there from the West to the East.
Sulehria, F. (2012). Globalization as Imperialism. Global Research. Accessed from -http://www.globalresearch.ca/globalisation-as-imperialism/5304699
Brooks, M. (2006). Globalisation and Imperialism. In Defence of Marxism. Accessed from - http://www.marxist.com/globalisation-imperialism-economy110406.htm
Sen, A. (2002). Does Globalization Equal Westernization? The Globalist. Accessed from - https://www.theglobalist.com/does-globalization-equal-westernization/
Pfaff, W. (1995). Is Globalization Just Another Word For Imperialism? Chicago Tribune. Accessed from - http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-06-05/news/9506050190_1_western-imperialism-luxembourg-institute-japan
Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.
Get all our posts, blogs and video content via e-mail.