Globalisation: the shrinking world by Phillip Ho
Globalisation was a word lacked from most vocabulary until 1980s when the global culture started to form. Technology advanced and the world transformed, from stretches of lands separated by water to the global community. Passer-byers on a street in a major city may see globalisation everyday, anything from billboards advertising coca-cola to an import car, has “Globalisation!” written all over it.
Globalisation can help us explain how the world is changing. It is a process which has changed society and the way people live. Throughout history there are individuals who have been unemployed and hence stressed out. Workers can blame poor effort in application letters, oblivious to the fact that the world is in recession. They are unable to explain failure, if only they possessed a “sociological imagination”, a term coined by American Sociologist, C. Wright Mills. Others find a job with ease in the midst of an economic boom. They congratulate themselves, without the knowledge that some astronomical figure also got the job. Changes in society explaining events within an individuals life is, the sociological imagination. These examples describe external forces shaping the lives of the individual. A major external force affecting individuals through modern society is globalisation. Globalisation is a key concept used by a sociological imagination to explain modern trends of biography. It is used to distinguish between social issues and private matters. The study of globalisation reveals many truths, the world is getting smaller, closer and individuals are being influenced and affected by various players of globalisation.
Information is spread across the globe so fast that the world seems smaller and a trend of society to be influenced by other cultures is imminent and consequently the world forms a global culture. The individual has been empowered by an increase in freely known knowledge. Globalisation has increased the flow of information between nations across the internet. The internet is connected to individuals in industrialised society by those who seek information. Comparisons of prices and specifications for consumer products produced local and foreign are performed. International stock markets can be accessed almost anywhere. Telecommunications are worldwide and satellites broadcast international television everywhere. Word travels fast and within minutes of breaking news it becomes known by all. An entire archive of research papers are available to everyone online, so when it comes time for the office worker to write his next fancy conference speech or university student to write his next essay, he or she will always have an inconceivably large database of information within fingertips reach. Individuals now have an increased ability to plan, organise and schedule their daily routines which make them more in control of their lives. One would think this control gives the individual freedom to choose identity. However, think globalisation and it becomes apparent that conformity to the global culture is more important than freedom. Conformity means everyone buys the same types of clothing, eats the same food and performs the same past-times. This means individuals across the globe are becoming more similar and are consuming similar products. International trade for these products such as jeans and soft drinks are therefore going to be intensely competed for, considering the impact of global advertising and tendencies to go with mainstream preference it becomes harder for new corporations to enter the market. The global culture spreads news of celebrity fashion, music and other consumables quickly. Individuals are likely to follow these consumption patterns because they want to fit into the global culture. This is especially true for those at the age of adolescence. Marxist perspective of conflict holds true in the societal trend of bigger corporations because...
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