Nationalism in the Global Village

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INTRODUCTION

With the dawning of the information age there has been a shrinking of relative distances between people and places all over the world. With an increase in international communication comes an increase in cultural sharing. Cultures all over the planet reflect influences of neighboring cultures and other international trading partners. As these and many other factors work towards creating a global village many people are baffled by the increase in nationalism. Nationalism is a highly emotional phenomenon and as such is very unpredictable. Nationalism is far beyond its peak and the current rise is likely only an indicator of the transitional stage of globalization.

GLOBAL VILLAGE

Today it is common to here the term "global village" used in every day conversation. It is also common to here someone say, "What the hell is the global village?" The global village is the idea that the world and its people form an interconnected social whole, a village of common interests and concerns, linked by global communication, media, and rapid international transportation. The global village has emerged via the birth of the information age. Technological advances have continually stretched the bounds of our communication abilities and by using improving cellular phone technology or the Internet any individual can interact with another individual from a completely different culture. Since it is so easy and affordable to engage in these cross-cultural experiences, more and more people have been doing so. Cross-cultural exchanges often rise from or result in common interests or concerns developing. For example, international companies have a vested interest in the economies of the various countries in which they conduct business. The stronger the economies the better business will be. This is the sort of common interest and concern that the global village encompasses. All cultures are continually evolving and the information age has increased the ability of one culture to influence another culture. As all cultures begin to adopt features of other cultures the population of the planet begins to develop a homogenous culture. Recognition of this global culture is what led to the belief that a global village exists. Global media, while a strong influence of global culture, is not the only way a global culture is nurtured. Migration is a big influence on the adoption of global culture. With the increased ease of travel, migration has also increased. As people travel and migrate they are not only exposed to new cultures but also expose other cultures to their own ways. For example, a man from Italy may move to North America. While there he will grow accustomed to eating new foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers. He will also introduce a new way to enjoy these foods to the natives via his extensive use of spices. This sharing of culture is not to stop here. As the man corresponds with relatives in his homeland he will share stories of the strange new culture of which he has become a part. These stories lead his relatives to dream new dreams of new lands, customs, and products. The creation and spread of global culture is complex, timely, and far-reaching. The evolution of this ethnic melting pot or global village installs fear in some and jubilation in others. While some people continue to doubt the existence and access to the global village it is a reality for others. Academics, activists, and business use the global village to promote global concerns. Transnational social movements, movements where participants seek to influence the policies and actions of nations and international organizations, have been growing. Organizations such as Greenpeace or Amnesty International are strong catalysts of the global community. They operate on three different levels, individual, national, and international. By tying individual concerns into national and international concerns these organizations are...
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