Globalization and Individual Freedom

Topics: Globalization, Culture, Overseas Chinese Pages: 5 (1709 words) Published: October 11, 2010
Individual Freedom Increase by Globalization
A young Chinese girl is dating her new boyfriend in Starbucks. They drink Frappuccino, taste Tiramisu, and chat in English sharing interesting experience of studying abroad. A hearty laugher could be heard all the time. The girl’s grandmother might be shocked by this and the girl’s mother would probably shake her head in disbelief (Friedman 4). Thirty years ago, marriages were arranged by the family, the young had no voice in who their future husband and wife would be. Drinking American coffee, tasting Italian pastries or having a romantic date was almost impossible, not to speak of learning English and studying abroad. Changes did not happen until recent years when the upsurge of globalization is sweeping across China, bringing the thought of liberty. Same as China, globalization impacts Asian people’s lives by bringing a great variety of goods, increasing access to learn foreign cultures and casting off old customs that against human rights and liberty. Asian countries benefit from culture exchange. Globalization is not a threat to Asian countries because globalization increases individual freedom. One of the freedoms that contributes to Asian countries is that globalization supports diversity and freedom of choice by giving Asian people an opportunity to buy foreign products. People have more convenient way to do world shopping than before because the global common market has a freedom of exchange of goods. With worldwide free trade, trade between countries increase and goods are transported with more easiness. There is a wider range of options for Asian people to choose among the products of different nations. For example, a Chinese could eat hamburger or spaghetti for dinner, drink Starbucks coffee or Chilean wine, watch Hollywood movies or BBC news, listen to jazz or rap, practice football or kickboxing and read Elle or Economist (Legrain 516). Just because someone was born in China does not mean they can only eat Chinese food, read Chinese book, listen to Chinese music and so on (Legrain 516). As Legrain notes in his article “Cultural Globalization is not Americanization,” “globalization can free people from the tyranny of geography” enabling them to eat foreign foods, watch foreign movies and listen to foreign music. People in Asian countries can experience more of the world without always having to leave their countries. However, there is a concern that the expense of greater individual freedom is the loss of national identify. Although people in Asian countries have diversity and freedom of choice, they often choose similar things. For instance, people in China are more like to choose eating KFC or MacDonald’s instead of traditional Chinese food. The Chinese fret that if they all individually make similar choice, they might unwittingly lose their own food culture (Legrain 520). People in China prefer fast food than traditional Chinese food because consumers need not wait for a long time in KFC or McDonald’s and the food there are delicious. Fast food suits most people’s taste and severs individual need in modern high-speech daily life. According to a report released in 2007, there are nearly 60% young people in China do not know how to cook traditional Chinese food, but 80% of them can make hamburger and sandwich. If most Chinese people did not know the way of cooking traditional Chinese food and they prefer eating fast food, Chinese food cultural may lose one day in the future (Deen 9). Fear about loss of national identify is overdone. Most Asian countries are well-known for the long history in the world; especially China has 5000 years history. Their cultures have taken root in every citizen’s mind and full of every corner of their heart. Globalization could hardly change people’s way of life if the culture is a part of national identify. As Legrain notes, “Natural cultures are much stronger than people seem to think. They can embrace some foreign influence and...
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