In a world where “connectedness” is a prevalent theme for future-focused learners and learning, understanding what is happening at a global level becomes important, and making connections with others in other parts of the world is an essential unit of today’s developing world, with this arouses the concept of Globalisation.
Globalisation is ‘characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information’ (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler 2012, p. 458). With this knowledge we can assume that globalisation can be extremely beneficial to the culturally, political and economically advancing world as it allows great communication between nations and establishes growth financially and technologically. A binary can be recognized with the term of a ‘Global Village’ coined by Marshall McLuhan defining the world as a single utopian community linked by telecommunications.
However, negative ramifications can be identified pin pointing upon nations of the second and third world status. The negative intakes of unemployment, it’s environmental factors affecting individuals and people as a collective and the degrading of diversity within cultures all have been a result by today’s vision of globalisation. In the works of Appadurai, ‘Americanisation’ is explored; how a monoculture has taken over the world as what can only be describe as wiping out every other culture and this can be directly linked to many of the negative impacts of globalisation in hindsight. These higher powers such as the stated US and many other first world countries can be seen to use the disadvantaged to create the wind beneath their wings.
This is evident in the world of import and exportation, as it progressively grows larger due to methods of global networking. One of the world’s leader in sports apparel, Nike, found itself in the midst of controversy after the brand was exposed of its product manufacturing located and outsourced in Bangladesh, where poor working environments, child labor and below minimum salaries were prevalent in the case. “turned Bangladesh into an exporter of $20 billion of clothing a year.”
It is up to nations like Bangladesh and of course the vigorous ‘world factory’ China to be the catalyst behind the exponential multiplication of the world trade cycle. Aspects such as cheap labor and resources from foreign land give power to company’s like Nike to exploit human beings and their worth to reap handsome benefits, leaving a much larger footprint that what is conveyed through what some may think or witness through the media. Furthermore, globalization can be distinguished by using whole continents to gain leverage but of course, the larger your leverage is, the more vulnerable it becomes, and the more deep you can fall. For example, as cheap oil is (or was) one of the most effective leverage instruments, its end could of course threaten the whole system; this too could be adapted culturally and politically.
Perspectives vary toward the concept of ‘Globalisation’, they are determined by one’s circumstances. With myself coming from a background where elements such clothing and technology change before my very eyes, I am surrounded by the positive implementations of this theory. Through further exploration behind those brand new shoes, or my new phone the negative side begins to unravel. The blurred line between the super power conglomerates behind globalisation begins to clear and a truly ugly side is depicted.
- O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471.