Globalisation: The Flow of Information and its Implications

We’re living in a time where it seems like every day new technologies are being produced that claim to “change the world”, and it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore the fact that all of us are becoming even more connected and “closer” than ever before. Although physical distance remains constant, this has more to do with our ability to travel anywhere in the world in no more than a few days, as well as having access to use devices such as our iPhones to make a phone call in real time with little delay across the planet in seconds. Although access to these technologies benefits and improve our lives in many ways, there are many implications that must be considered. With the world becoming more and more interconnected, issues related to culture, finance, and the media must be considered and dealt with if we are to successfully and ethically integrate these leaps and bounds in technology with society.

Globalisation has been occurring for centuries and isn’t a new idea, however, in today’s society its impact on the world is the strongest its ever been. Due to our travel capabilities through aircraft and cars, as well as sophisticated communication technology, spreading ideas and messages around the world is effortless. Although this allows individuals to learn about what the world is like, it has caused issues of homogenisation of cultures and led to less diverse communities. Due to the western world being the main driver of these technologies, production, and innovation many cultures are starting to be overthrown by this way of living. This idea is discussed in Appadurai’s text “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy”. Appadurai indicates that due to globalisation a tension between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization has become apparent. He believes that with western culture’s influence many cultures have lost the key elements that set them apart, and the whole world is slowly becoming fully westernised. In film and on TV we are bombarded with the typical American lifestyle, and we rarely see movies based on the lifestyle of any other culture. The philosophy of “Americanisation”, explored in Nick Fraser’s “How the world was won”, is this tension that Appadurai is referring to. He explains that although globalisation is bringing us together, that it’s also making the rest of the world more like America. He uses examples such as McDonald’s being spread out worldwide, as well as various other aspects of American culture dominating the world. Instead of integrating culture it is totally being dominated by the American culture and way of life. Due to these many implications such as an unbalanced distribution of wealth across the globe and cultural homogenisation have become issues.

Therefore, although globalisation has promoted economic growth and advances in technology implications such as cultural homogenisation, “Americanisation”, as well as an unbalanced distribution of income across the globe have become runoff effects of this connectedness. More consideration needs to be placed on allowing countries to maintain their identity.

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