Globalisation: a Study of Traditional Communities in Change

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Globalisation: A Study of
Traditional Communities in Change
It has been argued that social changes in the contemporary world have resulted in local communities not being sustainable in its traditional form. Globalization has been a leading component of this social change that has accelerated in recent times. Hawkins (2006) has defined globalisation as a process by which the world’s societies and cultures are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent. Whilst this process has helped to narrow social hierarchies in certain respects, in other ways the process has widen structural gaps in life chances. The very speed of these changes has been problematic for communities trying to adapt to and resist change. In this essay I will discuss three broad issues: first, the concept of globalization and its’ consequence on community development; second, the challenges posed to community development practitioners; and third, and some characteristics of a successful community development policy that can be implemented locally. Stafford & Furze (1997) states the German sociologist Tonnies developed the polarised positions of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft, which signify community before modernisation and society after modernisation and diversification; that the former is characterised by close relationships, ascribed rather than achieved status based on clear, specific and relatively unchanging roles without role conflict; strong faith in traditional institutions, values and sanctions. The latter is seen as demonstrating the opposite of the features: it means large-scale, impersonal contractual relationships that encourage mobility and heterogeneity; challenging traditional authority; and invoking rational-legal authority. Nostalgia is being expressed for the loss of community accompanying globalization and the resultant waves of immigrants. This divergence in social and cultural values is often the start and forms the basis of conflict. The promotion of...
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