Globalization is a process of interconnectedness between societies such that events in one part of the world have effects on peoples and societies in the economic, political, social and cultural platforms (Ritzer . 2007 p 32). Globalization can also be defined as the integration of the economic, political and social structures which are related to the spreading of modernization throughout the world is achieved. In such, globalization results in a homogenous global society. On the other hand, Americanisation is the assimilation and the absorption of the American way of living and the American culture by the world populations (Barber 1992 pp 21-26).
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It is the process of integration of the diverse world communities into a common system either economically or socially, usually achieved in various phases and by the influence and dominance of one system compared to the others. For instance, the American capitalistic system has dominated in the global markets and hence the world tends to copy or follow the trends. Globalisation first phase is the integration of the world communities in a coherent economic system. The second phase involves the constituent of global governance. But while America might not have perfected in the two phases entirely its presence in the global trends asserts its rightful place.
The advantages of the globalization transgress the geographical barriers whether economically such as spreading of opportunities and jobs across the universe and socially such as adopting the foreign culture and incorporating it in the lifestyle of the local community. Globalisation involves the struggle of balance of local living with the external forces foreign to the local culture. Casey (2000, pp. 268-278) argues that, “the globe has become a locality whereby once the global influences assert themselves then very little is left”.
Globalization acquires its substance and its materiality place and becomes a virtual locality, for very little is left when the global flows are abstracted. In such, globalization trend is the struggle and tension of local assertions of identity and culture against the universal dynamic sense of being a relatively progressive source of overall change or as a modality which preserves an existing global system in its present state (Robertson, 1995 p. 33). The tension between local assertion and the global influence to the locals portrays that the planet is falling precipitately apart and at the same time reluctantly coming together (Barber, 1992 p. 53).
Americanisation is the assimilation and the absorption of the American way of living and the American culture by the world populations. This is entrenched in various ways, for instance feeding on American junk foods, listening to American music, watching American movies and essentially integrating the American way of living in culture of a community. America’s dominance is characterised by three factors which make it strategic in the global arena both economically and culturally. One is the size and power of the American market. The American population is comprised of more than 300 million people providing a homogenous market. This is an advantage towards their dominance compared to the European Union which despite being twice the size of American population, the market is comparatively more heterogeneous. (Featherstone & Lash, 1995 pp. 3-7).The second factor is the size of the American capital market which despite the current difficulties is still the cheapest place to raise the debt. Thirdly on top of economic hegemony, the Americans have also dominated in the political and social platforms (Casey, R. 2000 p. 53).
The globe is also becoming a small village on the context of advanced technology and mass media of which the Americans have dominated. For instance, the, high numbers of international corporate in global markets are dominated by the Americans such as Microsoft, Nike, MacDonald etc. The international mass media is dominated by American products, the use of English, which is the national language in America as well as the international business and science language. The advancement of the electronic and academic avenues has also made the Americans to assert themselves strongly in the global trends (Casey R. 2000 pp. 32-34). The use of the mass media in the global arena has also contributed significantly in popularizing the American lifestyle especially in the developing countries through the promotion of global diffusion of the various technical and social innovations, educating and teaching on literacy and cultural developments, and the support to democratic and national identity and democratic policies in the developing nations (Rogers, 1962 pp. 28-31).
The modernization theory reminds us of the impact of the American living styles on the developing countries. In such the developing countries copy the Americans in the modern transformation of social life. Globalization, being the integration of the economic, political and social structures which are related to the spreading of modernization throughout the world is achieved. The theory recognizes development of a global understanding of which the world moves towards the same way in terms of one cultural society (Barber Benjamin R. 1992 pp. 16-19). The development of Communication industries has enabled the capitalism culture to spread rapidly in the planet. These include online services, television services, telephone services which have become highly profitable across the globe.These services are not limited to geographical areas and hence they highly promote the globalization process.
The dependency theory explains the trend whereby countries depend and relate with each other to solve common problems which affect the independent countries. The common diseases such as HIV/AIDS are some of the examples. Other ecological challenges like the climate change require global attention and the hence advance globalization. It has led to increased global interdependence whereby each one feels part and parcel of the process (Giddens, 2000 pp. 34-37). Cultural globalization has also emerged whereby the world is copying the popular cultures and gradually incorporating them in other local cultures. American lifestyle having achieved high electronic and print media coverage globally have received overwhelming support and adopted in many world communities. Globalization has led to the development of the modern industry whereby the American capitalism has paved way for the establishment of world markets. The need to consistently expand the market of their products makes it to focus on the entire globe. The urge to improve the means of production and facilitate the means of communication and marketing makes it effective for even the barbarian nations closer to civilization (Held 2007 p. 71). The emergence of world markets has greatly increased the stage for social integration and organization. Although globalization is a complex phenomenon not composed of a single occurrence, it cannot only be identified as the liberal market policies or with expansion of the global economy only. It is also composed of positive aspects of a global and cosmopolitan world (Giddens, 2000 pp. 78-81).
Globalization although rapidly spreading it is a process that happens rather ambiguously. This has led to a heterogeneous global society with the economic elites and capitalists corporations having benefited immensely as a result of their capitalistic rewards. The gaps between the poor and the haves have also increased tremendously. Globalization focuses both on the interests and ambitions of individual countries, organizations and corporations whose main wishes and desires are to assert themselves in various geographical areas. Their interest is to maximize profits, benefits, power and influence; the essence of capitalism which the American are exporting to the world (Ritzer, 2007 pp. 15-21).
The effects of global culture homogenization are being felt through the promotion of American lifestyles, products, consumption and identities globally. Although the cultural local influence is strong, global cultural trends are gradually superseding the local culture leading to hybridity and multiplicity of the foreign western culture and the local native culture. The hybrid synthesis of the local culture and the global culture leads to the heterogeneity (Held, 2007 pp. 71-73). The culture of the people provides their identity, their practices, their modes of living, theory religion and also offers a wall against invasion of ideals and suggestions that rate against the people’s beliefs. Although culture may have manifested itself as result of contradictory forces of resistance and colonization globalization is gradually transforming the global cultures into a uniform homogenous and local hybrid forms. Globalization is gradually bringing about the degradation of the local traditions, environmental destruction and the homogenization of the people’s culture allover the world. In such globalization is a threat to local tradition and local cultures (Nederveene Piestre1995, p. 89).
The culture of the American is more often dominated by the monetary association ship and commercial business values instead of the customary social relationship. The entrepreneur culture of the American is being adopted worldwide as evident in the expansion of private cable and satellite systems which are highly advancing the American commercial culture globally (Ritzer, George 2007, pp. 91-99). American culture encourages the modernization process through the diversification of the markets and productions, modern planning techniques and the economies of foreign capital. This is manifested in the American influence to globalization where it s impacts asserts on the on the success of the uni-polar culture serving the needs of all the global population. In such the emphasis is on how to transform the many diverse traditional cultures, some with a very negative approach to modern culture. This entails several different stages which include, changing a stable uniform state of traditional culture into modernity through a trajectory of psychological changes and political changes gradually over time.
The American dominance internationally and its influence in the international policy development highly affect the modernization of the global communities. The customary traditional cultures which have to be broken in the new order do not lay emphasis on specialization, efficiency, have high levels of functional diffuseness with little emphasis on capitalism and money market trends. On the contrary, a modernized society as the American society is characterized by high levels of specialization, cultural values of rationality, interdependency between various organization and emphasis on the money market trends and circulation. The impact of the modernization the economic growth and poverty reduction is evident on the decline on the percentage of people living below the poverty index over the years.
Americanization being the adoption of the western ways of living in the world has established in the new world order. The synchronization of the American culture with the world communities cultures has greatly led the globalization. The assimilation of the western culture on other cultures has been significant in many societies around the world. For instance the adoption of dancing hip hop or R and B music by the world communities, TV programmes, films, music and fashion with American origin. This therefore means that societies around the world have more contact with American culture and way of living. On the other hand, globalization can be viewed as and ideology of free market led to (Giddens 2000). In such the liberasation of the world markets have led to more interconnectedness of the world societies rather than the copying of the western cultures per se.
- Barber B. R. 1992. ‘Jihad versus McWorld’, The Atlantic, viewed on 21 Feb. 2oo8 at <http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199203/barber>
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- Nederveene P. 1995. Globalization as Hybridization, Mike Featherstone, Scott
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