Sunday, December 19, 2010

Globalization and its effects

Globalization refers to global alliance and reliance in the matters of trade, culture and economy. It heavily banks upon worldwide expansion and integration. Due to amazing innovation and rapid advancement in the field of information technology, the world has literally shrunk into a village today. Globalization has virtually swept away the political boundaries.

No distance is now big enough and no country or nation really foreign! Due to the staggering volumes of business and the astounding profits that come with it, even the most reluctant countries have opened up their doors to globalization. The ramifications of such a revolutionary change in policy are much bigger than one may think. The profound consequences and affects of globalization are already visible. In today’s world, globalization affects every area of our lives be it law, education, religion, medicine or technology.

Since, globalization is largely about making loads of money and quick profits; utilitarianism is its chief ruling principle. The negative impact of such a highly profit-oriented new economy is colossal indeed. According to Bole, “‘no long term’ has become an apt slogan in today's economy of short stints and contingent work. What does that do to the social bonds of trust, loyalty, and mutual dependence?”

Globalization has brought in a new kind of oppression in the form of flexibility, contracts, projects and ever-changing working conditions, instead of long-term steady jobs and income. The availability of cheaper labor abroad and the outsourcing are some of the factors that have made job security a thing of distant past.
Globalization causes erosion of jobs in the country and fuels unemployment. Since, the employers often threaten to take jobs abroad to save money, millions of employees in this country constantly face the fear of pay cuts and lay offs. Service and white-collar jobs are particularly vulnerable to this kind of a risk. Such an unpredictable scenario can cause serious emotional unrest and can disorientate an individual.

This may also lead to a corrosion of character that can have a far-reaching affect on society’s overall health. “How do we decide what is of lasting value in ourselves in a society which is impatient, which focuses on the immediate moment? How can long-term goals be pursued in an economy devoted to the short term? How can mutual loyalties and commitments be sustained in institutions which are constantly breaking apart or continually being redesigned?” (Sennett, 1998, p.9).

Globalization is also responsible for the ever-rising gap between the affluent few and the impoverished majority. The resulting feeling of despair and resentment can never augur well for the society. Globalization makes big multinationals and corporations powerful enough to seriously interfere with the policymaking of a country. Since, they can call shots; the interest of the common man tends to get seriously jeopardized. Globalization has also been criticized for contributing to the horrors of ecological risks and rising global inequalities.

No nation can remain untouched by the long-term fallout of such a narrow policy of short-term gain. Courtesy globalization, some of the American multinational corporations have bigger revenue than the total GDP of some of the countries of the world! Such glaring contrasts can very well prompt a terrorist group to instigate an insidious attack on America.

For long, globalization was thought to have one way impact on culture i.e. the impact of the U.S. culture on smaller nations and economies. It is only in the recent present that America has started to realize that globalization is a sharp double edged weapon that cuts both ways. Cultural identity is a sum total of one’s unique personality, traits and a sense of recognition that one gets out of one’s identification with one’s race, religion and nationality.

This unique cultural identity is hard to preserve in the face of multiculturalism, consumerism, secularism and materialism propagated by globalization. The founding fathers of America welcomed those immigrants who could assimilate in American culture. Folke points out, “globalization has weakened the process of assimilating immigrants and the concept of American citizenship itself.”

Global economy or globalization has not made America economically indestructible or insulated from financial risks. Since, wealthy countries like America tend to invest heavily in the developing countries; any financial crisis there triggers a cascading effect on the economy back home. Hence, global economy has made the life of small investors and pensioners more hazardous than ever before. There money in the bank, stocks or mutual funds is far less secure than it ever was. It is high time that we give precedence to values in life over material things.

It is incumbent upon us to save ourselves and the future generations from the devastating affects of globalization. This resolve alone would “determine whether the 21st century marks the descent of our species into an anarchy of greed, violence, deprivation, and environmental destruction that could well lead to our own extinction. Or the emergence of prosperous life-centered civil societies in which all people are able to live without want in peace with one another and in balance with the planet” (Korten).


Bole, William. (2000,October). Center Explores Globalization's Impact on U.S. Cultures. National Jesuit News . Available:

Fonte, John. (2007, April 28). American Conservatism Meets Globalization: The Challenges from the Transnational Left and Transnational Right. Hudson Institute. Available: SocietySpeech.pdf

Korten, David. C. (2001). When Corporations Rule the World. San Francisco: Berrett

Sennett, R. (1998). The Corrosion of Character - The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism. New York: W.W. Norton

Author & copyright owner: Academic

No comments:

Post a Comment