Globalisation Is Westernisation

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Globalisation is Westernisation

Globalisation is Westernisation, and aspects of ‘the West’ can be found all around the world today – from the consumer culture of Western capitalism (with cultural icons such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Levi Jeans and Starbucks), the spread of European languages (such as English), styles of dress, eating habits and TV viewing habits (Tomlinson, 2002).

Tomlinson (2002) notes that globalisation is “the rapidly developing process of complex interconnections between societies, cultures, institutions and individuals worldwide” (p. 22). Globalisation is a social and cultural process that diminishes traditional geographic, social and cultural boundaries (Banerjee and Linstead, 2001). Globalisation makes the world seem smaller, and in a certain sense, bring human beings closer together through shared experiences and understanding (Tomlinson, 2002).

Globalisation can be viewed as a negative continuation of colonialism through the ongoing expansion of Western capitalist society and culture around the world (Banerjee and Linstead, 2001). The West has made a powerful impact and influenced cultures all around the world (Tomlinson, 2002). While aspects of Easternisation can be seen globally, it is not as influential or as widespread as Westernisation.

For example, British consumers are far more likely to consume ‘Indian’ cuisine than they are to wear ‘Asian’ clothing such as salwaar-kameez or saris (Jackson, 2004). The same cannot be said for individuals from South East Asia – they are more likely to consume Western food (e.g. McDonalds) and dress like a Westerner (e.g. Nike and Levis) than the reverse scenario in Britain.

Globalisation has also led to cosmopolitanism – when people from all around the world view the world as their market place, consciously seeking to consume products, places and experiences originating from cultures other than their own (Caldwell, Blackwell and Tulloch, 2006). Individuals from large cities all...
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