The Expansion Of Culture And Globalization Cultural Studies Essay

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Which part of cultures are highly influenced by globalization and how? Are there advantages and disadvantages?

The influence of the U.S.

The primary concern about the globalization of culture is that it is leading to "Americanization" of world culture. The Americanization has spread in a foreign countries, which there are consequences on local culture, for some of them it is visible and for other less. Like for example, the American food industry in the foreign countries, food is in many countries an issue of culture and therefore food restaurants can influence the societies in the countries. Almost everybody worldwide knows the restaurant "McDonald", the number one fast food, it influences many people's eating habits.

The sociologist George Ritzer founded new term: "McDonaldization", he has also written a book about it: The McDonaldization of Society. George Ritzer's statement: "McDonaldization,...is the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world". [1] 

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In the video [2] , Ritzer mentioned 4 principles of McDonaldization: efficiency, which mean you look for the best goal whatever you have in your mind. The second is predictability, things are the same at one time to another time or one place to another place. The third is calculability, it emphasis the quantity rather than quality. And the fourth is a emphasis of non-human technology rather than human technology, that is what we see, taking away the skills from people and building them into these technology.

These principles has expanded into other segments in our lives like, exercise, shopping, reading and education.

It is not only affecting eating habits, another example of Americanization would be the drinking habits, like "Starbucks". Also Starbucks causes cultural concerns, for the Italian it is very visible. For the Americans, Starbucks is a easy way to takeaway the coffee and drink where ever they like, but for many Italians are drinking coffee a way of relaxing and chatting in a friendly environment. With the rise of Starbucks it is actually disrupting the traditional coffee culture in Italy.

In Beijing where critics about disrupting the major historical side (the forbidden city), so Starbucks closed the coffeehouse.

Will there be in the future the term: "Starbuckzation"?

Figure shows the global graph of Starbucks and McDonald.

Cultural impacts

The influences of globalization on culture are broad, but there are three principals that globalization has an impact on it: Global professions, pop culture and the global village.

Global professions

Global professions are every where now, they are well educated and exchange their professions in foreign countries. It has also seen as a driver towards a global economic processes. Many of the professions around the world speaks English, this is the way how they communicate, it leads more towards a Western cultural values.

According to Robert Reich, an American political economist, these professionals accounts 15 to 25% of the U.S. population. He observed that this group has a high level of skills; high education levels; speaks foreign languages; are travelling internationally and not easily to lose their jobs. These are called more likely "citizens of the world". It has also became a multicultural issue, for example, there is a huge project and they hire people from every where around the world, or people that are living in America and born in another country.

Pop culture

Have you ever seen "Sex And The City", "Gossip Girl" or "Friends" or just heard of it? Well, these television soaps refers to global pop culture. Pop culture are broadcasted through, for examples, movies, soaps, music, television shows, magazines, newspapers. Again, it refers to Americanization, because U.S. is by far the largest producer of pop culture goods. It becomes for teenagers over the world a habit and they might integrate into the American culture. Also the music are very popular among the teenagers, like who doesn't know Rihanna now? Or 50 cent and Eminem? It is more than just television soap and music, the stars is like as a role model for the teenagers, for example the fashion clothes, it inspired them.

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By globalization, the American can spread their cultural products into the worldwide. The movies, music and televisions soaps and shows has shown in more and more countries in the recent years. For example, in The Netherlands is very popular to watch MTV, go to the cinema, most of the movies are van America and watch American television shows, like Gossip Girl. It is already spread in The Netherlands. Of course they have their own local culture, but still it is already spread in The Netherlands. These trends are already observed by the teenagers in The Netherlands, but it has not only affected the teenagers, of course also another target groups. It is not just only movies, music and television shows, like the CNN, the global news, already reached over 200+ countries.

Nowadays, these cultural products are very important to the U.S. exports, however the raise of these products are concerned by the foreign countries, afraid that it will hardly affects on their local culture, and especially among the younger ones.

According to the sociologist Peter L. Berger: " … the diffusion of popular culture is not just a matter of outward behaviour. It carries a significant freight of beliefs and values". Robert's example: " Rock music also symbolises a whole cluster of cultural values - concerning self-expression, spontaneity, released sexuality, and perhaps, most importantly, defiance of the alleged stodginess of tradition".

According to Berger, it is also adding value to the pop culture.

The Global village

The cultures, like mentioned before, especially pop culture is becoming larger and is expanding to more foreign countries. In fact, globalization is in other word Americanization. To many people it is a opportunity and very attractive to exchange their cultural aspects, and that leads to a "global village".

Globalization is therefore not just only an access to foreign products and services, it leads also to an awareness for people in every country. For example, democracy, human rights and a very important concern namely, health. The UN is an example of global health care.

A great example of a health movement is: Discourage smoking, according to Peter Berger.

He had a sponsored conference, the main purpose was to support an international organization to discourage smoking. Many countries have taken actions and inform their citizens about the danger of smoking. In The Netherlands were many commercials that were telling people that smoking is very dangerous, also in the packaging of the cigarettes says: "Smoking kills".

But what about the developing countries, like countries in Africa? There is also lots of campaigns against the HIV/AIDS, and other diseases. The "global village" has their values to collaborate with each other.

Asian values

Many people are familiar with the western culture, what about the Asian culture?

There are cultural and value differences between Asia and in the West. Asian values do not give freedom to most people in the Asian countries and they have a high priority to the political system. They are seen as giving respect for the authority, hard working, and for them is community more important than the individual.

The economy in the Asian countries, like China, South Korea are rising, although there is economic growth, still there is a few countries that protects their traditions, include the globalization.

On the other hand, India is other way around, its economy is quite low, but with the political and historical aspects, India does not show an alien culture and its cultural aspects is in the direction of the world culture.

Critics about Korea in short: a "strange" country and difficult to understand their culture. Although its economy is far above than the economy in India, but despite of that, Korea is still a puzzle to the world, who are trying to understand its ways. Its because of the fact that Korea do not know the English language, which is hardly to communicate to the world. Many Koreans have poor English and even though they know the English language, foreigners still cannot understand it.

Even China wants to protects its language, against from using the English language and other languages. The GAPP, General Administration of Press and Publication, said it is abusing its language and according to them it is also damaging the Chinese language and disrupting the harmonious and healthy language and environment.

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2. Hypothesis

In my opinion globalization has influenced the culture a lot. Globalization is a broad term, but my main focus is on cultural globalization. It plays a huge role in our societies, especially the Western culture, the most effect on the world.

It gives people the opportunity to exchange their ideas and education. Without education means less well educated people in the world and without the skills how are the people going to develop their culture abroad to the foreign countries and with education you learn more foreign languages. Otherwise it is very difficult to communicate with each other, and therefore how can they spread their culture? But is not only exchange of language and ideas but also beliefs, religions and values.

On primary and secondary school I learn a lot of friends with different beliefs and religions. My friends were multicultural, and so I learn a few things about their religion, like I have Turkish friends, and they believe in Allah, and I learn al lot about the Islam and that is to me very interesting.

Nowadays the music and television have influenced people's culture, for example teenagers like the American Rap/R&B music rather than their own local music. Well, I am also influenced by that, especially the American music and Asian television series. I were born in The Netherlands and still living here, so I am not familiar with my own Chinese culture, so therefore I have like I already said, Asian( Hong Kong) series, that I can watch and learn more about the language and culture, and that by globalization. In The Netherlands there are many young Chinese people, that like to watch Korean drama and listen to Koran music. It inspired them a lot, like the fashion clothes.

For me the most important influence by globalization on culture is the food. I love to eat food from different cuisines, not only Chinese food, for example I love to eat sushi, and that comes from Japan. Already know about some cuisines now, like pizza from Italy, paella from Spain, Turkish food, Greece food and a good example the fast food, Mc Donald house from America. I did not eat everything, but more to come.