The development of the contemporary world is characterized by the growing impact of the process of globalization. Being originally a purely economic term, the globalization became a diverse phenomenon that affects practically all spheres of human life, including economic, political, social and cultural life of society.
Nevertheless, the process of globalization has preserved its economic roots and, in actuality, socio-cultural and political effects of globalization result from the growing economic integration, progress of free trade and development of cooperation between countries. In such a situation, culture often becomes a “victim”ť of economy since the globalization produces a profound impact on the development of pop culture which grows more and more homogeneous to the extent that it is even possible to speak about the process of “McDonalidization”ť of the world. In such a situation, the world culture tends to the unification, including the language and lifestyle of modern people where western, English-American language and American culture prevail
Communication traditionally plays an extremely important part in the life of people. Nowadays, the importance of effective communication has increase consistently due to the progress of technologies and rapid development of international cooperation. Basically, the modern epoch may be characterized as the epoch of new communication styles since traditional ways of communication are starting to change and replaced by new ones such as communication by means of modern telecommunication devices, e-mail, etc. At the same time, at the age of the progress of information technologies and increasing role of information effectiveness of communication is crucial.
This is why it is necessary to avoid communication faux pas which destruct the communication process and lead to miscomprehension and even serious conflicts between people, which, though, are caused by the ignorance and inability of people to avoid these faux pas. In this respect, professionals working in the health care setting are particularly vulnerable to the negative impact of communication gaps, which are often provoked by language barriers. At this point, it is necessary to lay emphasis on the fact that language barriers should be viewed in broad terms because language barriers affect not only verbal communication of health care professionals but also their non-verbal communication because each language implies certain culture of behavior during conversation and, thus, non-verbal communication. In addition, language barriers affect writing and messages exchange via modern means of telecommunications. In such a way, language barriers are a serious problem and one of the main causes of communication gaps in health care setting. Therefore, they have to be eliminated to minimize the risk of errors and miscommunication in health care setting.
Basically, the use of verbal communication is the major way of communication and it is very people that people could use their verbal potential effectively. The use of language defines the effectiveness of verbal communication and if people have poor language competence they cannot understand each other adequately. In fact, many people suffer from inability to construct their speech properly to convey their ideas. Often such problem is the result of the lack of the vocabulary. In other words, people simply lack the right words they could say at the right time. It should be said that this problem is purely language problem. This means that people should enlarge their vocabulary and, what is more important, it is necessary to practice the use of new words in everyday communication. In such a way, they will be able not only acquire new words but they will also practice to apply them in their speech that is very important because people, in the course of their life, can learn a huge amount of words but they cannot remember them all. In such a situation, practice is of a paramount importance since the more words people use the more they will remember them and easier they will use them. Consequently, language practice facilitates communication.
Basically, speaking about the globalization and pop culture, it is hardly possible to distinguish economy from cultural life. In this respect, the example of McDonalds, a symbol of globalization, is particularly noteworthy. In fact, McDonalds is one of the largest and probably the most recognizable multinational corporation. At the same time, the major strategy of the company is the introduction of identical standards that work in all subsidiaries of the company. In such a way, the company has created certain set of standards which are accepted in the company worldwide. However, these standards are basically oriented on an average American or, at least, Western customer, and they do not take into consideration national peculiarities of different cultures. Moreover, even in Western countries, such as France, McDonalds became a symbol of the destruction of national culture since the wide spread of McDonalds led to the rapid decline of national cuisine and small restaurants which proved to be unable to compete with McDonalds. The same trend may be observed in other countries of the world where local small restaurants are unable to compete with McDonalds.
As a result, this company became a symbol of globalization since it imposes its own standards on all countries where it operates. In fact, McDonaldization of the world may be otherwise defined as Americanization. It is important to underline that this is a global process that affects the cultural life of many countries since the spread of such companies as McDonalds leads to the establishment of new, American standards of life. As McDonalds is viewed as a leader, the company has originally a positive image in the world, and meeting its standards is considered to be good. On the other hand, such McDonaldization of the world pop culture leads to the disappearance of unique cultural identity of different peoples. They forget their traditions and accept new standards imposed on them by McDonalds and other companies. In such a situation, the growing impact of American culture in the world is based on political and economic dominance of the USA in the world.
Consequently, the American culture becomes the mainstream culture.
Naturally, it contributes to the unification of the world, since all people share the same set of values. But, on the other hand, it eliminates cultural diversity and contributes to the cultural imperialism of the USA.
The development of the contemporary culture is characterized by the growing impact of the process of globalization on the culture of different peoples and the dramatic change in the culture under the impact of the development of new technologies. In fact, it is possible to estimate that the globalization and new technologies are the major, determinant factors that define the development of the contemporary culture. At the same time, it is necessary to understand the fact that culture is a very complicated process and the changes that occur in culture may not be obvious at first glance that means that this field needs to be researched and studied carefully in order to better understand the major trends and perspectives of the future development of culture.
In this respect, studies of modern scientists, especially sociologists and specialists working on socio-cultural problems, are very important because they give an insight into the contemporary culture and help understand its distinguishable features compared to the traditional culture of the past. Among such specialists it is possible to name Arjun Appadurais, Stuart Hall, and Hamid Naficy who researched the development of the contemporary culture and their studies naturally accomplish each other revealing the profound impact of the globalization and the introduction of new technologies increasing the role of media and changing not only traditional communication of people but also leading to a significant cultural changes in global termsÂ Before discussing views of different specialists on the major trends and influences in the contemporary culture, it is necessary to briefly discuss the current background in which the contemporary culture develops. It should be said that the contemporary culture is developing in the situation when the international cooperation on all levels constantly grows. This means that countries develops the cooperation not only in economic sphere that actually led to the emergence of the economic globalization, but also in political and even socio-cultural spheres. The geographical boundaries gradually disappear due to the development of new technologies which, on the one hand, facilitate human life, while, on the other hand, make it more saturated, the rhythm of life increases and the opportunities to develop contacts with other socio-cultural groups increase. At the same time, it should be said that the mass migration of the population, which became particularly significant in the late 20th century led to the growing cultural interchange and assimilation of some socio-cultural groups. On the other hand, the significant migration of people stimulated the development of multiculturalism which flourished in ethnically diverse societies. As a result, various socio-cultural groups in different parts of the world tend to the integration and development of new trends in culture.
In this regard, it should be pointed out that one of the major trends in the development of the contemporary culture is the Westernization of cultures of different ethnic groups which results from the political dominance of the US and its European allies. In such a way, western ideology and lifestyle is currently dominant in the world that could not have failed to affect the development of other cultures of the world, including such traditionalist and conservative cultures as those of the Middle East and Eastern Asia.
In addition, it should be said that the increased role of media and communications also affects dramatically the development of culture worldwide. It should be pointed out that the level of the development of telecommunication technologies as well as all the other technologies is unprecedented and such a progress stimulates substantial changes in the lifestyle of people, facilitates their communication, eliminates geographical boundaries and makes people closer to each other, even though they are living in different parts of the world and represent absolutely different cultures.
Thus, the modern culture tends to westernization, whereas English becomes an international language in terms of cultural expansion of the US.