- September 4, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Free essays
Whether we like it or not, the world is becoming more and more globalized: people talk to their foreign friends and partners over the Internet, travel and see the new sights as well as interact with new cultures. Economical and political issues also play an important role in the globalization process: the worldwide division of labor between countries and strong trade bonds result in one fact: in spite of many different countries we are witnessing the evolution of all the system into one large community with similar views, interests and tastes.
There are a lot of supporters and opponents of such tendency; one of the main arguments of opposition to globalization is that in fact nowadays this word implies spreading of American lifestyle rather than fosters cultural diversity. The aim of this essay is to discuss current situation basing on the article of Philippe Legrain “Cultural globalization is not Americanization” and analyze the author’s position: whether Legrain appeals to focusing on different issues of globalization or is he still pointing out to American culture as the main trend?
Americanization: yes or no?
The opponents of globalization make strong emphasis onto the spreading of American culture worldwide, namely such brands as Coca-Cola and McDonalds as well as Hollywood pap and likely things. But Legrain’s analysis shows us that the above-mentioned facts are nothing but exaggeration and the critics are only paying attention to America-related effects of globalization setting aside other cultures’ spreading.
“They might notice a rich feast of cultural mixing that belies fears about Americanized uniformity. Algerians in Paris practice Thai boxing; Asian rappers in London snack on Turkish pizza; Salman Rushdie delights readers everywhere with his Anglo-Indian tales” ”“ states Legrain.
The feature of a world where cultural and economical ties have become stronger is similarity: many people in different countries have more opportunities for choice and they usually tend to choose likely things. If these things happen to be American, this does not mean Americanization; in fact, America just happened to be the native country for something that suits the newly born global culture.
In my opinion, America itself can be regarded as a small polygon of globalization: it managed to unite and create a one cultural space for many states which can be similar to separate small countries (for example, the group of developed countries in Europe do not have such a common cultural area; they have only made an attempt of doing so since the creation of European Union). Why do a lot of products that people accept everywhere originate from America? The answer is simple ”“ because America has partly passed the same way which the whole world is starting now ”“ the way of uniting same cultural, economical, moral and intellectual values for people of different origin, with different traditions, expectations and lifestyle. It is not surprising that if the majority of people within many states and districts choose the same, the likely tendency is witnessed throughout the world. In fact, many of America’s inventions are, first of all, not purely American (“Levi Strauss, a German immigrant, invented jeans by combining denim cloth ”¦ with Genes, a style of trousers worn by Genoese sailors.
So Levi’s jeans are in fact an American twist on a European hybrid” ”“ Legrain says) and secondly, they are simply products which people like hosting in America. As for the second statement, Legrain writes concerning Hollywood as one of the most scandalous products of America: “To some extent, then, Hollywood is a global industry that just happens to be in America. Rather than exporting Americana, it serves up pap to appeal to a global audience”.
Legrain indicates that it is necessary to focus on other things that the suggested “Americanization” of the world, about the issues such as violence and poverty in the developing countries, such as ecological problems and starvation ”“ all the troubles that happen to take place throughout the world.
“City of God”¦ has raised awareness in the United States, Britain, and elsewhere of the terrible poverty and violence of the developing world. All that, and it makes you wince, weep, and, yes, laugh. Not bad for a film distributed by Miramax, which is owned by Disney, one of those big global companies that globaphobes compare to cultural vandals” ”“ states Legrain. Therefore, even the biggest pap company the cultural influence of which is strongly criticized may act as a catalyst for public opinion to burning problems, and it is one more positive issue of globalization ”“ people all over the world may help each other in order to make the whole planet a better place to live, and the means of globalization and technical progress can greatly benefit such initiatives.
The process of globalization is taking place because of historical preconditions and level of technical development. The analysis of main features of globalization shows that this process brings variety of choice to people, helps them to overcome geographic barriers and enables to enrich personal experience with new impressions and knowledge. The underside of this process is that though the whole planet’s lifestyle becomes more diverse than in the past, people everywhere tend to choose the same things and as a result cultures which are small and vulnerable to external influence partly dissolve and disappear. But in my opinion, this is a tendency similar to natural selection here: the weakest disappear, the strongest remain.