Globalization refers to the increasing integration of production, development and communication among nations on a worldwide scale. Globalization is often divided into three categories: economic, political and social. Though all three are interdependent, economic and political forces are usually the driving factors of globalization, while social changes generally occur as a result of those activities. Social globalization pertains to human interaction within cultural communities, encompassing topics like family, religion, work and education.
Globalization is propelled by technological advances and policies that encourage international business relations. Specifically, business outsourcing, education and mass media contribute to the social aspect of globalization. Business outsourcing creates the need to for professionals to communicate with and relate to people of many different cultural backgrounds. Educators prepare students for this diverse workforce by enhancing school cultural and language programs. Additionally, popular Internet-based media and social networking organizations reduce cultural barriers by providing the opportunity to exchange information with people around the world.
Social globalization is evident in the similarities of social trends between cultures, from consumerism to arts and humanities. For example, note the worldwide popularity of chain restaurants like McDonald's or a specific fashion trend. Historically, social globalization has involved the continuous dispersion of ideals and religious beliefs, whether civilly or by force. Most importantly, though, it is marked by the increase in association among people from separate parts of the world. This is often countered by a diminished affinity between people in the same region.
Arguments in Favor
Those in favor of globalization often note the benefits of free trade (more freedom in business means a more prosperous society) and of a global culture (widespread humanitarian aid, more economic and political stability). This argument also states that interdependency encourages harmony. It contends that cultural assimilation provides exposure to information that would otherwise remain unknown. Such knowledge contributes to improvements in areas like health care, education and ecological practices. It also introduces unlikely treats such as French fries, Belgian waffles and karate.
Social globalization adversaries argue that the benefits of a global culture are outweighed by the negative impact cultural assimilation has on individual communities. From this perspective, a global culture would devalue features that were significant to its predecessors, resulting in a collective society with watered-down ideals. Another popular argument points out that there are "winners" and "losers" instead of improvements that reach across the board. The winners -- developed countries and large corporations -- guide global activities to benefit their own specific interests. Educated, skilled workers may also be considered winners. Low-wage, unskilled workers, however, are the "losers," who face potential unemployment due to displaced jobs (because of outsourcing.) This scenario could, contrary to the previous supporting argument, actually result in political and economic instability.
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