Unit 20 Economic, Social and Cultural Dimensions of Globalisation Contents 20.1 Introduction 20.2 The Concept and Definition of Globalisation 20.3 The Features of Present Day Globalisation 20.4 Economic Dimensions of Globalisation 20.5 Social Dimensions of Globalisation 20.6 Cultural Dimensions of Globalisation 20.7 Conclusion 20.8 Further Reading Learning Objectives In this unit you should be able to critically analyse:
Critique of Knowledge Society
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the term globalisation and its various features; the social and economic dimensions of globalisation; and the various cultural processes and relate them to globalisation.
As you know, the theme of Block VI is Globalisation. It is a fact that in the contemporary world there is hardly any social, cultural, economic and political realm which can said to be impervious by the process of globalisation. Globalisation as an interchange of various attributes among different societies is not a new phenomenon, but an ongoing process. What makes the present day process of globalisation different and distinct from the earlier ones is the rapid increase in the frequency and the density of these interchanges. It is important to learn more about the current pace of the process of globalisation and related aspects. Block VI deals with the process of globalisation and its impact on the notion of development. In this unit the concept and features of globalisation and its various dimensions are discussed. The first part of the unit deals with the very concept of globalisation and how different scholars have defined this concept. Then it goes on discussing the economic, social and cultural dimensions of globalisation in more detail. Each aspect has been elaborated in general and in relation to the Indian situation as well.
20.2 The Concept and Definition of Globalisation
In very simple terms globalisation can be depicted as increasing global interconnectedness. It is a process rather than an outcome, which refers to the trend toward the growing interconnectedness of different parts of the world, not to their being interconnected. It primarily is an interchange of economic, social, cultural, political, technological attributes that takes place between societies when different societies come into contact with each other. Though this interchange is going on for times immemorial, this process was termed as “globalisation” for the first time around the second half of 20th century while much of the literature on this has appeared since the late 1970s and 1980s (Beyer 2003). 63
Development, Displacement Globalisation as an idea of modernisation within the global market was and Social Movements mentioned in the writings of Marx and Saint-Simon also (Cable 1999). Certain
scholars even argue that this process of globalisation has been going on since the beginning of mankind and it has affected all cultures, even remote and isolated, though in varying degrees (Griffin 2004). The contemporary globalisation differs from the process that could be observed in the past primarily in terms of the quantum of interchange and inter connectedness. Everything happens much faster today than it did in previous eras. The current process of globalisation, which is popularly described as gradual removal of barriers to trade and investment between nations, was started towards the end of the 20th century. It is said to aim to achieve economic efficiency through competitiveness, while seeking the broader objectives of economic and social development. It touches all spheres of human life; economic, social, cultural, political and environmental. The most common definition of present day globalisation refers to the growing integration of various countries to the world economy. It results mostly from a freer movement of capital, products and information, which affects not just the economy, but also, as we said earlier, the political, cultural, social and environmental arenas. Different...
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