The world of today has successfully managed to establish a global market offering the same brands right around the world to consumers across diverse cultures and geographical locations which may inevitably lead to a single culture. Good examples of products that we can refer to are music, films, televisions and even foods. Culture is one of the main aspects of in the never ceasing debates about globalization. The United Nations adopted a definition of culture during the Mexico Declaration on Cultural Policies as a term which takes into account the values, beliefs, traditions, languages, knowledge and arts and diverse forms of life by which individuals and groups express the significances they attach to their existence and development (Ono, 2006). The phenomena of homogenization of culture can be classified under Cultural globalization.
Cultural globalization can be defined as the transmission of ideas, meanings and values around the world in such a way as to encompass and deepen social relations. This progression is marked by the mutual consumption of cultures that have been largely diffused by the internet, popular culture media and the increasing international travels. This has supplemented the processes of commodity exchange and colonization which have an extensive history of carrying a cultural meaning around the world. Circulation of cultures enables people to partake in extended social relations that supersedes both national and regional borders. The creation and development of such social relations are not merely pragmatic on a material level. Cultural globalization constitutes the formation of shared norms and knowledge which people associate their individual and collective culture among diverse populations and culture (Palmer, 2004).
There are enough elements to come to the inference that globalization does not always involve a greater level of communication or exchange of the different cultures and civilizations on the earth on an equal footing. However, it often displays a tendency to impose one of these cultures on the others, which may lead or may end up creating a homogeneous model that affect them all. This is according to a United Nations paper. This model of Globalization is known as Westernization or Americanization mostly by the Europeans because the American culture is the dominant culture which can largely be demonstrated by diffusion of certain cuisines such as American fast food chains which can be termed as visible aspects of cultural globalization. McDonalds and Starbucks are both American Companies often cited as examples in the debate of globalization with over 32000 and 18000 locations operating worldwide, as of 2008 (Ritzer & Atalay, 2010).
Religious movements were among the first cultural rudiments to globalize, spread by force, evangelists, migrations, traders, and imperialists. The religions of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and more recently sects such as Mormonism, which took root and influenced endemic cultures in places that are far from their origins.
Mr. Tom Palmer purports that it is true that globalization is leading to a homogenized global culture, one in which life in the country of Brazil approaches being indistinguishable from the life in Bavaria or even, so it is leading to the world in which each and every economy resembles that of Southern California (Ritzer & Atalay, 2010).
The internet as a source of education and business diversity is one advantage that can be attributed to globalization. Homogenization of cultures would make it easier to sell products owing to the reason that everyone would have the same culture and consumes the same goods and services the same way (Palmer, 2004). A homogenized culture would also bring large economies of scale to production sectors. A homogenized culture with proper vetting safety and effectiveness would have many products which will end up being a pinnacle of its type. Therefore by constantly refining the things we end up with superior, effective and efficient products (Mitra, n.d.).
However, there are disadvantages associated with a single world culture. What makes the world what it is, is the differences in the peoples cultures in religion, customs, looks and even economic classes. If there were no such differences, there would exist a lack of drive, competition as a truly socialist or rather communist society would be like.
Mitra, S. Does Globalization Lead to Trickle Down Growth?. SSRN Electronic Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.952610
Ono, M. (2006). Cultural diversity as a strategic source for designing pleasurable and competitive products, within the globalisation context. J. Of Design Research, 5(1), 3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/jdr.2006.010793
Palmer, T. (2004). Globalization and culture. Potsdam: Liberales Inst. der Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung.
Ritzer, G., & Atalay, Z. (2010). Readings in globalization. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
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