What is Globalization?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

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.

The adoption of technology in remote places is a contributing force to globalization.
The adoption of technology in remote places is a contributing force to globalization.

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.

Some education institutions around the globe operate online adult education programs.
Some education institutions around the globe operate online adult education programs.

Arguments for globalization include the following:

Young people connecting with one another through social media is a part of globalization.
Young people connecting with one another through social media is a part of globalization.

  • 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.

Economic globalization means countries’ economic situations can depend significantly on other countries.
Economic globalization means countries’ economic situations can depend significantly on other countries.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


How does globalization affect business in transportation?


What are the common concepts of art in globalization? give examples, please.


@post 39: Why do you think that there are no nations which can be self-sufficient? Off the top of my head I can think of one, and that is the US. They've got a large land-mass so they should be able to grow enough crops and food to sustain their population. Seems pretty self-sufficient to me. They want to trade, or rather I should say, her people are brainwashed into believing that their nation would suffer if they did not participate in international trade.

Globalization just means more non-white immigrants dumped into a Western nation and jobs being outsourced to the poorer countries, thereby decreasing the degree of affluence in the richer, first-world countries. Sounds like a bad deal for the First world nations.

Can someone please tell me why globalization is a good thing? If globalization truly was such a god-send, why did we have borders at all? And since we do have borders, that means deep down we want to keep our own respective nations separate from other nations. And in my opinion, having borders is a good thing. It keeps the people of a particular nation uniform in terms of culture, language, and even genetic make-up. It preserves cultural identity, promotes patriotism, and keeps a people unique. Globalization will erase all this.


@Post 29: I do not think countries have a choice as to whether they would want globalization in their country or not, because the drivers of a global phenomena of this magnitude and intensity occur in the form of social change taking place gradually, overriding individual choice in this capitalistic global economic system. It rests on the fact that there is no state that is self-sufficient and this situation of interdependence between states therefore heightens the process of globalization.


How do ideas about globalization shape our understanding of the trend?


What are six contributors to globalisation?


What are the reasons not to travel since there is globalisation?


How does globalization affect public health in the developing countries?


What are the implications of globalization on public health?


Which countries are against globalization?


To anyone interested in researching globalization, I would recommend you read The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization by Thomas L. Friedmen. It's a bit dated now, but its a very interesting read.


Why is globalization important and why do some people want it in the world? I think it is important but I want to know others' opinions.


what are the challenges face by teenagers in a globalized world?


what is the need of globalization?


actually, poverty is increased because of globalisation and people in third world nations are taken advantage of because TNCs wish to maximize profits.


What causes globalization?


When did globalisation start and how did it start?


What are the implications of globalization on the IHRM?


how does globalization affect one geographically?


how does globalization affect education?


Questions are good but it would be nice, especially (I think) for Ganagdhar, to have some of them answered.


How does globalization affect the Caribbean?


How does globalization affect trade, agriculture and industry?


how does globalization affect environment in terms of managing an organization?


how does globalization affect managerial accounting?


How does globalization destroy communication and transport?


How does globalization affect online banking?


this is ganagdhar,i am doing research on the globalization.

1.how does globalization destruct the communication and transport?

2.you are talking about the isolation techniques for a country. Will you please explain to me how this isolation will help a nation against globalization.


What are the implications of globalization on the IHRM ???


What are the implications of globalization on the IHRM ???

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