Globalization is a difficult term to define because it has come to mean so many things. In general, the term refers to the trend toward countries joining together economically, through education, society and politics, and viewing themselves not only through their national identity but also as part of the world as a whole. Globalization is said to bring people of all nations closer together, especially through a common medium like the economy or the Internet.
In our world, there are few places a person can’t get to within a day of travel, and few people a person can’t reach via telephone or Internet. Because of modern modes of travel and communication, citizens of a nation are more conscious of the world at large and may be influenced by other cultures in a variety of ways. Time and space matter less, and even language barriers are being overcome as people all over the world communicate through trade, social Internet forums, various media sources, and a variety of other ways.
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Arguments for globalization include the following:
- It is reducing poverty worldwide.
- It is allowing access to technology in developing countries.
- It promotes world peace.
- It has benefited women and children’s rights.
- It raises life expectancy.
Arguments against the process are more likely to come from people or nations who wish to resist trends in the global society. For instance, a fundamentalist Islamic country may resist it because they see it as equivalent to westernization—weakening the religious strength of a country and exposing its people to corrupting ideas. Similarly, globalization may be feared or a matter of a concern to any country with strong isolationist policies. In the US, much of the arguments for resisting the process come from conservative groups.
Some people worry about how certain trends, such as outsourcing, might affect the nation. Concern exists that while outsourcing might benefit a nation which gets jobs, this takes jobs from the country or company that outsources. In this way, though the economy of the world is more globalized, the economy of an individual nation might suffer.
Even though globalization may be a subject of argument, it’s highly unlikely to end any time soon. It would take mass destruction of all modern methods of communication and transport, in addition to all countries taking strong isolationist policies in order to reverse the trends in the world. This doesn’t mean that some nations or people won’t resist what they view as globalization, but you could compare this trend to a runaway train. At this point, there is little to do to stop the communication of minds all over the world through vehicles like the Internet. Even teens and kids are communicating with children from “the four corners” of the globe. It’s therefore unlikely that globalization will experience a downward trend, and will likely continue to influence our world in myriad ways.