Globalisation has proven to be beneficial and quite often, a vital part of living in the modern era. The integration of cultures has been enabled by the ideology and has ultimately allowed for the sharing of technological advancements and other ideologies.
Globalisation is characterised by a global increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness and instant information exchange. (Khorana, 2015).
Globalisation has definitely enriched the global community. However, we still question whether the risk of homogenization will lead to the end of the multicultural world that we know?
According to Appadurai, global cultural flows consist of five key dimensions;
Ethnoscapes – Shifts the landscape of tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles and guest workers. Essentially monitoring the movement of people.
Technoscapes – The global configuration of technology, which now moves at high speeds.
Financescapes – The global flow of capital including currency, stock and commodity. Politics and labour is what moves technology around the world.
Mediascapes and Ideoscapes – these dimensions include the distribution of electronic capabilities to produce and spread images and information of the world.
Appadurai’s five dimensions have all played vital roles in the spread of globalisation. They have allowed for the culmination of ideas that have come from all around the globe. Poorer nations have been provided opportunities to develop through the use of technology and assistance from foreign funds, which ultimately has been possible through uniting of the nations. Globalisation’s financial aspect is celebrated with an ease on trade barriers which resulted in Free Trade Agreements and ultimately, cheaper products for global consumers. This is often seen as the ideal. However, there have been circumstances where globalisation has allowed ‘the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer’. The risk of cultural imperialism increases and some nations have taken dominance over others. While a united world ideally enables equal opportunity and harmony, there is a downside to the globalisation notion.
It has become increasingly easier to gain access and knowledge about other cultures. The changing landscape of popular culture best exemplifies this. It is evident that there has been an increasing influence of Eastern cinema on the West, but is this coming at a cost? Multidirectional media flows have altered the popular culture scene. The popularity of Bollywood and Korean culture has resulted in the western film, music and fashion industry adopting traditional aspects of these cultures. Through media saturation, we have access to the global community. Cultural appreciation is the instance when someone appreciates certain values and traits but there must be care when treading around this territory. Cultural appropriation is often mixed up and often leads to the loss of significance for respective cultures.
There is no doubt globalisation has allowed for advancement for the global community. The risk of homogenising world cultures should be avoided. Although difficult in a world where technology has allowed for instant access to other cultures, we must learn to appreciate cultural values instead of ‘appropriating’. What makes this global community so ‘precious’ are the different cultures that exist throughout. To lose those would erase the positivity of global integration.
Globalisation has allowed for the advancement and growth for the global community. Homogenising cultures should generally be avoided because it quite often leads to reduction in cultural diversity. Technology has allowed instant access to other cultures, and we must take advantage of this and be informed about the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. What makes this global community so ‘precious’ is the different cultures that exist throughout. The loss of these would erase the positivity of global interaction.
- Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47.