Globalization is neither a theory nor a description of the future world. It is something people live in nowadays. With the development of global market and economy, international cooperation and multiple unions, as well as social networks the modern world can be fairly called a global village. Despite the inevitability of globalization there are still many critics of this developmental trend. This paper is aimed at analyzing three sides of the process (economy, ethnicity, and culture) and defining that despite the hazards that many see in globalization, it is in fact a beneficial trend of the modern world.
Some might say that the globalization has risen from the response to the post-war fears and a desire to establish world peace. The financial side of the issue, however, has as well played a significant role. Economy was a basis for the development of globalization (Al-Rodhan). The common market that has emerged after the 2nd World War led to the creation of a number of political, cultural, and social institutions, such as the UN. The first international financial institutions were the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund (Collins). The United States played a significant role in the creation of global market. The US have suffered the least from the 2nd World War and thus were able to dictate their rules to other Western states.
The global market has one major flaw – it does not give all the countries a possibility to develop on equal terms, therefore all the states were almost immediately separated into leaders and followers on the basis of economic competitiveness. As a result, the majority of world countries are not able to compete with such economic giants as the US or Germany. This problem is currently being solved by the formation of smaller unions, such as the EU or the Organization of African Unity (Collins). These regional organizations give smaller states a possibility to benefit from the global market as parts of larger entties.
It would be fair to say that global market is benefitial for some states but at the same time creates great problems for other states. The majority of countries are not able to compete on the global financial arena and thus are not able to benefit from the new form of economy. Therefore, one can say that the global market did not succeed in giving possibilities for the main part of the world (Wagner & Berger 2). At the same time it would be fair to state that some countries have benefitted greatly from the global economy and its possibilities. Despite all the negative consequences of the global market, it has led to one major change – the creation of regional unions. And regionalism has to be perceived as a benefitial consequence of globalization.
Many critics of globalization say that it has endangered the notion of nation and national belonging. In fact, the situation is totally different and globalization is one of the main reasons for the current strengthening of nationalism and national movements. Researchers say that the notion of nation is relatively new and is thus strongly connected to the notion of globalization (Conversi 347). Under the growing external influences people began to feel that their culture and identities are being absorbed by some universal trends and that has called upon the need to unite and support own nations.
When put in the new conditions people and nations began to develop various patterns for adjustment. The two notable ones would be intercultural communication and multiple identities. The latter one can be seen through the example of the European Union. All the Member States strongly protect own national identities but at the same time they share the common European identity. And along with being German or Spanish people begin to define themselves as Europeans. This is a new tendency in self-identification, which was stimulated by the growing globalization.
Intercultural communication is another quality that modern people had to develop. It is currently required in all spheres, which include but are not limited to business, economy, politics, social relationships (Wokabi & Owino). Furthermore, with the growing globalization not only the neighboring countries have increased their interaction, but in fact nations from different parts of the world had to learn how to communicate through the national and cultural dissimilarities (Conversi 356). Therefore, it would be unwise to say that globalization has created a hazard to national identities. On the contrary, it has stimulated the development and strengthening of nationalism.
The overall decline of cultural development has always been considered as a possible consequence of globalization. Cowen described this fear as turning the globe “into one big, tawdry strip mall” (qtd. In “Globalization and Culture” 8). As it was already noted, the creation of global market was the first step towards globalization. It meant that the role of business and economy was constantly growing. Thus, many researchers assumed that culture should be consequently declining. The world is developing in a different way.
Artists are using globalization and the dominating role of business and economy for development and promotion of their works. Firstly, the growing unity of the world gives people a possibility to see the works of artists in different parts of the world. Globalization created a chance to explore works that one would have never seen in a less globalized world. Secondly, the global community and the possibility to explore various cultures gave artists an inspiration for the creations of new artistic forms. Thirdly, in the world that tries to unify everyone, art remains a niche that gives people a possibility to be different and express themselves (Globalization and Culture 8). Lastly, the access to donors from all over the world gives artists more ways of getting financial support and thus developing own work. It is easy to say that globalization destroys culture because it seems to be so from the first glance but if one looks deeper into the issue, it would not be hard to see the advantages that modern tendencies bring to the artistic world.
Although globalization as a tendency has developed for more than half a century ago, there are still numerous movements and theories against it. However, despite all the fears, the world gets more and more united and people are learning how to benefit from it. This can be seen on different levels. There are many factors that have changed under the influence of the new tendencies, but this paper focused only on three of them: economy, ethnicity, and culture. Countries have created regional unions, which have already become a new form of cooperation. People are more concerned with their identities and thus either strengthen their national selves, or try to develop identification through art. As a result, instead of being a great hazard for everyone, globalization stimulates the development of the world community.