The Brief Introduction Of Globalizations Cultural Studies Essay

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Globalization is a main trend in today's world, which brings about great changes to the whole world in many fields. With the globalization of culture, economy, politics, ideology and so on, the communication and interconnection between countries become more frequent and fast. It seems to have made the world smaller, and yet a country more complicated. However, such changes don't take place in one day; on the contrary, it takes a long time and gradually comes into the present form through the interaction of different countries or areas.

With the rapid development of globalization, it makes one of the more developed countries and of less developed countries, flow of communication between the two kinds of countries .It enables the growth of trade, capital and education, increased mobility, and better allocation of resources is held around the world. We can not deny the benefits brought by the globalization almost in every aspects of our life. Particularly, there are many companies around the world which can benefit lot from the outcomes of globalization. A number of multi-national companies have got into the position of the less developed countries' growth and development, such as employment, technological knowledge, profits and other factors in the host country, and they also make investment in their own countries. However, there are several negative aspects of globalization issues. For example, the more developed countries are more likely to benefit from the less-developed countries in many different ways in the process of the business negotiation. Multinational enterprises in less developed countries can gain a lot from many ways, such as cheap labor, cheap land and tax rates. However, in the final analysis, a number of multinational companies will eventually leave a negative impact in the less developed countries by taking all profits to go home, on these aspects as in society, political pollution and finally they may also rely on bribery of local government to cut tax rates or other charges, which would greatly hurt he host country's economy.

Therefore, this paper mainly focuses on the concepts of time-space distanciation and time-space compression about globalization to show the historical process of globalization and how globalization affects our world in order to help us make an better understanding of globalization. Then I will illustrate some debates and critiques about the challenges of globalization based on views of some previous critics and skeptics.

2. The Definition of Globalization

The term "globalization" has become one of the most fashionable word of current political and academic fields, for it stands for a wide range of political, economic and cultural trends. According to Anthony Giddens's view, globalization is defined ' the intensification of world-wide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa' (Giddens,64). We have to admit that there is no universal definition about it. The concept of globalization doesn't come into the form at the very beginning in human history. It develops into the present being through a long historical process. Widely speaking, it refers to the exchanges and utilizations among different resources and production factors, and the interactions, conformity and coordination of human activities and their achievement. Therefore, it includes at least two essential factors: firstly, the activity in space must overstep one area or one nation, at the same time it has to show the trend of continuing development. Secondly, the participants should be related to each other, not being isolated. From the countries around the world, the spread of globalization means the spread of other 'languages' in the world. In other words, the 'global society's goal is to make every country around the world connected and people more concerned and make the entire world are more independent each other at the expense of the national self-development, and self- interests.

Fortunately, some contemporary social theorists have provided a more accurate concept of globalization. Although there is still fierce difference existing in the definition of globalization, most contemporary theorists agree that globalization refers to significant changes taking place in the spatial and temporal of social existence. It also means the dramatic shifts which happen in the temporal structure of crucial forms of human activity. Geographical distance is measured in time. Theorists of globalization don consider that current spatial and temporal shifts shape human life, but they approve those magnificent changes in the space and time of society is crucial for human endeavor in local and even boundaries in many areas. In short, globalization involves every facet of human life.

3. Globalization in the History Views

3.1. Time-space Distanciation of Globalization

The term globalization was brought in and completely recognized as late as the 1970s by some academic theories which has become a fashionable buzzword in the last two decades (Modelshi, 1972). However, nowadays, globalization has been an unstoppable world trend which changes the whole world so greatly that no countries and nations can be separated from it. the constitution of globalization involves many fields of human society, including economy, politics, culture, ideology and so on. Time - space distanciation refers to the process by which people in one locality are influenced by what is happening elsewhere, following the expansion of culture, civilization, region or ideology, etc.

Integration of world economy

The integration of world economy is regarded as the foundation, main cause, motivation and symbol of globalization. It is first shown by the internationalization of manufacturing systems. Economic integration through trade, migration, capital flows and communication flows has been officially around since 1870. This new concept could noticeably profit if based on D. Ricardo' economic theory of comparative advantage. The latter theory states that each country should produce those products/services, which they can produce/provide with the lowest opportunity cost and total production cost.

The formation of world market also offers a good environment for the integration of world economy. World market refers to place which provides a room for world- wide exchange of products, servers and technologies. The current world market is a veritable global universal market, whose main symbols shown in the way the sharp expansion of the exchange scale, the unification of the market rules and the expansion of market capacity and overseas business.No matter as a phenomenon or an economic trend, globalization has greatly affected every country around the world. Economies of every country are becoming more related. They infiltrate, influence and depend on each other more than ever before. Globalization has become an inevitable fact and trend that will not change by the force of people's will.

b. Integration of world culture

Culture and economy interdependently support each other, because they often develop hand in hand. With the global application of production factors, global capital flows and the formation of world market, different cultures from various nations and areas are surely to exchange, conflict and integrate each other in the range of globe. The conflict and collision of different cultures help to speed up the metabolism of a new culture and form a mechanism for developing the superior and weeding out the inferior and initiate the ideological trend of parochial nationalism and cultural hegemony but cannot result in the homogeny and unification of the cultures, which is bound to result in a harmonious situation through such conflict and integration and finally reaches a state where balance is kept.

The integration of global culture refers to different cultures coexist and intergrow harmoniously under the same sky. As an important content and symbol of globalization, culture is the magnification of the integration of globalization in all directions. Geographically speaking, it includes the conformity of the west and east cultures; seeing from national perspective, it includes the integration of the cultures of both native and foreign areas; considering form different levels, it includes the integration of both individual and collective cultures, and folk and official as well as academic cultures; viewing from the essence of culture it includes the integration of the scientific culture and the literary culture; from the connotation of culture perspective it also includes those aspects on sense of value, ways of thinking, structure of knowledge in different counties and areas (Roland Robertson, 1992, 211-228). All these aspects provide a vital foundation for the integration of global culture, and it also serve as an important precondition of the realization of economic globalization. However, Globalization is sword with two blades(Joseph, 2003,288-230). For one thing, it helped to highlight a nation's culture, draw on the srength of other cultures and contribute the cultural diversity. For another, some small countries' native culture are being challenged. Their distinctive cultures are driven towards extinction. For them, to preserve national identity is a must. Anyhow, it is an unavoidable for a country to take part in globalization or else, it will be kicked out of world competition sooner or later. So, what merits our special attention is how to keep and promote native culture under globalization. The priority is to enhance the cultural awareness of native people, make them cherish and glory in one's country's culture. Inclusion, globalization has given rise to a greater sense of nationalism in many countries and therefore has helped people to realise and protect their own national identity including their culture from these outside forces. In conclusion, although globalization is changing the way a lot of us behave/eat/dress and even speak it has also helped to highlight aspects of our own cultures.

Mutual recognition of people in the world

Men are the center and main part in the process of globalization, so the development of globalization is out of men's sense of global view and the increase of their mutual understanding each other in certain degree. However, on the other hand, the essence and magnification of globalization stimulate men's practice and enhance the mutual recognition and understanding. In other words, people's mutual recognition around the world can both be regarded the cause and precondition of globalization as well as the content and magnification of it. These two aspects are interdependent and mutual reliant in the process of globalization.

But what does people's mutual recognition refer to? It means that people's mutual understanding and recognition of different countries and areas air highly increased. The interaction of their sense of value and way of thinking are also strengthened. The reason for this firstly is due to the expansion of the communication scale and the acceleration of human source exchange. Today's world is a widely opened society, with more and more people participating in such activities in business, economic trade, cultural exchange, and touring, etc, which take place in different countries and regions. The all-direction exchanges and interaction are sure to strengthen a better communication and understanding.

People's mutual recognition is firstly shown by the increase of the level of people's recognition of the present mutual understanding. Before the modern times, owing to the backwardness of communication means, people of different counties and nations were isolated from each other, so communication between people in sun situation seldom happened, not mention to mutual understanding. Nowadays, people of different areas can get contact with each other in a more direct way, under the help of modern communication technology, by a close intercourse. The popularization and attachment to the education of the world history and world geography greatly strengthen people's understanding of the world theoretically. At the same time, the modern technology of media and the development of traffic tools has shortened the distance of people in different areas and deepened the communication between people living far away.

Besides, people's mutual recognition is also shown in the way of infiltration and assimilation of people's sense of value. The sense of value is the essential part of human culture as well as the guidance of people's action. The trend of globalization can be accepted by the people around the world, because they share some common concepts such as in culture, politics, way of economic development and especially in the way of thinking. It's hard to imagine if people don't share the simmilar ideology on these aspects, what the world be like.

3.2 Time-space Compression of Globalization

According to the view of David Harvey, time-space compression of globalization means "As space appears to shrink to a 'global village' of telecommunications and a 'spaceship earth' of economic and ecological interdependencies … and as time horizons shorten to the point where the present is all there is …" (David Harvey,1989, 240). The communication and understanding between people in different region are transformed via the way of information exchange. Under the help of the modern communication technology and the increase of the input information, people can have a better international view toward the world. Nowadays, we have entered a society of knowledge economy, the main feature of such society is shown by taking information technology as the essential technology, and treating information industry as the leading industry. In nineteenth and twentieth-century, all facets of society, including philosophy, literature and social commentary all aware that the appearance of high-speed forms of transportation(like rail and air travel) and communication(foe example, telegraph and telephone) have unavoidably altered the experiences of apace and time of human beings (Harvey, 1989; Kern, 1983).

An Association with Deterritorialization

Nowadays, some theorists relate globalization with deterritorialization without consideration of the geographical location of participants of social activities. As Jan Aart states that global events can be known at the same time almost everywhere in the world via telecommunication, digital computers, mass media…(Scholte, 1996:45) Although some undertakings, such as farming to meet the local market's needs, are closely associated with the geographical location, globalization increases the possibilities of interaction among people situated in different locations. In view of its in different regions, despite the controversial position, such as the Asian tigers or Asia's newly industrialized countries, some countries have gained from globalization incredible in the past 30 years. Other continents, however, has proved himself not yet ready for this change. An example of the latter in Africa and South America, where a variety of factors such as corruption, lower level of education, the fragile political policy and the poor transport facilities in Asia as they benefit from globalization, not a high rate (Manas, Pqrtha,2005, 277-289). Besides, business people can manage electronic commerce even in different continents; television guarantees people to observe global events anywhere; academics can organize simians and lectures via the modern video conferencing equipment which ensure people to participate them in different places. Therefore, the traditional sense of territory is no longer considered into 'social space'. From this point, globalization stands for the spread of new organizations of non-territorial social activities(Ruggie, 1993; Scholte, 2000).

A Link to Geographical and Political Boundaries

Contemporary analysts also associated globalization with the growth of existing geographical and political boundaries. In terms of this view, deterritorialization is an essential part of globalization but over concentration will be misleading. We can not deny that a majority of human activities still have a close association with concrete geographical location (Tomlinson, 1999:9). The use of encyclopedia may be a good example of a deterritorialized social space because we can share ideas of it in cyberspace. Once accessing to the internet, we can make use of the encyclopedia almost without any specific geographical location though necessary inequalities in Internet. Globalization refers to the processes of geographically distant events and decisions imposing on 'local' life. Besides, a huge mount of financial capital move at a high speed in the range of whole word. Since the World War11, driven by the market demands and investing interest, a large mount of money has been use beyond the issuing countries. With the exploration of overseas business and production and development of technologies, financial capital finally broke from the constraintion of national boundaries and practical tools which made become real international citizens. It also refers to magnificent changes taking place in the transformation which associate human activity with regions and continents (Held, McGrew, Goldblatt, Perraton,1999:15) . From this sense, we can see that globalization is a matter of degree even though social activities may be in distant continents or remain local or regional in scope. Finally, we may consider the degree of connectness across frontiers of globalization is not occasional but predictable and organized(Held, McGrew, Goldblatt, Perraton,1999).

A Reference to the Speed of Social Activity

It is not ignored that the globalization can not be separated from the speed of social activity. Globalization is inherently associated with modernity. Globalization, a significant character of modern world, and modern history also presents many examples of globalization (Giddens,1990). Owing to the modern science and technology, the treasure activity with a huge sum of money can be conducted by a call or whatever fast means. With the huge treasure accumulation high movement of the international financial capital, the pace of the integration of world economy has highly been accelerated. Detrerritorialization is mainly spatial in nature while these alternations are directly linked to the speed of essential innovations in social activity. The mid-nineteenth century was characterized by the acceleration of high-speed transportation, communication and information technologies which constitutes the immediate source for the globalization. Time-space compression refers to the shrinking or collapsing of time-space barriers liked to development of capitalist production process. The compression of space represents rapid forms of technology while high-speed technology only accounts for a small part of globalization. Besides the essential role in the rapid development of human affaires, many other factors also play important role in speed and space of social activity. Accordance with the view of Eriksen, deterritorialization and the expansion of interaction are closely associated with the acceleration of social life, while social acceleration itself presents in different forms(Eriksen,2001; Scheuerman,2004).

4. Challenges of Globalization

Globalization exerts a wide-ranging of influence on human existence. It is unavoidable that there are several negative aspects of globalization issues. For example, the more developed countries are more likely to benefit from the less-developed countries in many different ways in the process of the business negotiation. Multinational enterprises in less developed countries can gain a lot from many ways, such as cheap labor, cheap land and tax rates. Besides, globalization also involves many philosophical questions. Globalization requests that the rich western world should concern the neglected voices and intellectual traditions of other peoples (Dallmayr, 1998). John Rawls, a contemporary liberal political philosopher, insists that the fundamental structure of bounded communities consists of "self-sufficient schemes of cooperation to serve human life's crucial purposes" (Rawls, 1993).

4.1 Challenges to Traditional Assumptions

Globalization is considered as a basic challenge to traditional assumptions. Under the circumstances of intensive deterritorialization and the acceleration of social relations across borders, nation-states can not be simply defined as self-sufficient cooperative schemes to realize all crucial purposes of human life. Faced with the dramatic shifts in the spatial and temporal of human life, even the most powerful and privileged organizations, such as global financial markets have to comply with the orientation of dererritorialized activities and conquer their limited scope explode the constrictions of national borders. Under the wave of globalization, the attempts to form a distinct separation between domestic and foreign makes some juncture in history which is also not adaptable to the developmental trends in many areas of society. With the dissipation of the domestic-foreign frontier, the traditional conceptions that consider domestic arena as a privileged area to realize profits become argumentative. Globalization makes a clear division between domestic and foreign become impossible and the domestic-foreign frontier also become more and more ambiguity since 'foreign' affairs interweave with 'domestic' political life each (Scheuerman, 2004). Faced with the dissipation of the domestic-foreign division, to a great extent, how to make political life effectively achieved on a global scope is a big event to consider. In a globalizing world, it is impossible to realize ideals at home without going out.

4.2 The Normative Implications of Globalization

In recent years, the implications of globalization have been a hot topic addressed by some academic professors and theorists. One highly debate focuses on the possibility of achieving justice at the global level, mainly between the debate between of cosmopolitanism and communitarianism. Cosmopolitans is a typical symbol of globalization which appeal to 'justice' should be applied to those people who reside in long distance and share almost complete different language, customs and culture(Appiah, 2006; Beitz, 1979). From this point, cosmopolitans exert a direct influence on the modern moral and political thought. Contrastly, the view of communitarians is that we share the same moral obligations to foreigners as well as the members of particular communities. Of course, communitarians has never deny to emend the inequalities in globalization but they are always skeptical about the tendency of cosmopolitanism's to safeguard legal and political reforms (Jones, 1999; Pogge, 2002). Communitarians do not deny the rapid processes of globalization although some of them do not believe its significant impact on society (Kymlicka,1999; Nussbaum, et al, 1996). However, communitarians are skeptical about that humanity can achieve a global justice. Cosmopolitans criticize that communitarians pose a threat of globalization on the particular forms of community. According to these views, the communitarian is likely to favor the moral obligations.

4.3 Debates and Critiques about Globalization

About globalization, contemporary political theorists and academic professors hold different views about it, particularly about the prospects of democratic institutions at the global level. About the cosmopolitan, David Held (1995) claims that globalization need the rule of law and elected representative institutions to transform. Habermas argues that with the dissipation of nation state-based democracy under the circumstances of globalization, the EU should strengthen its position as representatives and ensure that all Europeans' civil, political, social and economic rights can be guaranteed (Habermas, 2001:58-60). Others argue that globalization should consider a multi-facet process, since it covers a wide ranging of social activities, involving economic, political, and cultural areas of human life. Every facet of globalization also consist of a complex series of developments and requires careful examination to reveal it(Held, McGrew, Goldblatt, Perraton, 1999 ). Every kind of illustration of globalization also produces many conflicts and paradoxes. For example, some big companies have achieved effective results in the process of operation by making use of advanced technologies and organizational management, so called 'global players'. The high-speed financial market is another symbol to the economy under globalization which makes cross-border financial transactions be accomplished in a moment.

On the contrary, some skeptics argue that democracy plays an essential role in the transitional level which refers to deep trust, obligation and belong. Trust, commitment, history and custom occupy the preconditioned roles of any practical democracy and if these preconditions are lost in the nation-state, both globalization and cosmopolitan is a failure finally, without any doubt (Archibugi, held, and Koehler, 1998). In spite of these critics, cosmopolitan has become an unstopped trend in current society and it tends to involve more and more political democracy.


Globalization is a long time process of in the human's history. About the definition of globalization, political theorists and academic commenters hold very different opinions. Fortunately, in recent years, contemporary theorists all reach an agreement that there are mainly two concepts of globalization, time-space distanciation and time-space compression, namely globalization as a historically and geographically specific discourse. Globalization has become an unstopped wave involving a wide range of human life, which unavoidably imposes great influences on economy, culture and recognition of people. Globalization is basis on the development of economy which provides the essential precondition for globalization. Culture is the carrier of any human civilization, so it is another integration of globalization. Just like the integration of world economy, people can also benefit from the integration by learning from each other. However, while we bear the diversity of different cultures we should also keep our nationalism. The mutual recognition of people also involved in the globalization because only with mutual recognition and understanding, can globalization achieve a better development.

In meanwhile, there are many critics and debates about globalization, mainly presented in challenges of globalization to traditional assumptions and normative implications of globalization. In order to have a complete recognition of globalization, I have a brief introduction about the definition of globalization, history ideas of globalization as well as challenges of it.