Globalization and Culture

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Globalization simply defined is the intensification of global interactions. The case studies we have studied depict two of the main types of globalization. Economic Globalization, which is the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and tangible services, and Cultural Globalization, the exchange of materials and symbols that represent facts, meaning values and beliefs. When Globalization occurs it usually has a major impact on indigenous cultures. Optimists or “champions” state that the relationship between culture and globalization has positive effects as it creates a balance between nations. Conversely, critics state that relationships between the two have negative effects, leading to the loss or deterioration of a native culture. The justification whether globalization is good or not depends on what is being globalized and the perspective of an individual. I would like to look two case studies of globalization, Karen Hansens, Salaula; the world of secondhand clothing and Zambia, and Cricket in the Trobriand Islands to asses the relationship between Globalization and Culture.

Karen Hansens findings in Salaula; the world of secondhand clothing and Zambia, explores the journey in which donated clothes in MEDC countries embark. From the economic benefits to the cultural influence on Zambia, Hansens work shows the role secondhand clothes plays in both Zambia and the western world. Economically, the distribution of secondhand clothes is a win-win situation for both giving and receiving nations. It is profitable for the western world, while being affordable and accessible for Zambians. This notion of fair-trade shows how globalization can have massive benefits. In this case Zambia benefiting from unwanted clot...

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...n addition to culture.

With other types of globalization such as McDonalds, I think the advantages are more out in the open while the disadvantages are not so visible to the majority of people. McDonalds brings cheap food to many places around the world and provides numerous jobs. For many people they only see the advantages because it has a direct effect on them. But what most people don't realize is the spread of monoculture and the dilution of their indigenous culture. This is similar to the role of Salaulas in Zambia. So the case study with Salaula is not exceptional and fits in our theory of globalization. Trobriand cricket is also not exceptional because, although it does not have effects on culture like Salaula or McDonalds has, it is still globalization. What is different is the way that the Trobriand Islanders perceived, and reacted to it.

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