How have the boundaries and links between states been changing over the last fifty years? v In this essay I will be looking at how or if cultural boundaries between nation states have been changing over the last 50 years[S1]. I will look at whether there is a cultural globalization occurring in the world[S2]. v
The discussion on globalization is one hotly debated, where emotions run high and can create unlikely alliances, like between Marxists and feminists who believe globalization is akin to modern imperialism with a few rich dominating over the rest and political right wingers who fear the loss of national identity and the weakening of the sovereign state. [True! ] The world is divided into roughly 190 nation states with each one guarding its’ moral right to auto-govern.
This organization of people into exclusive nation states is known as the Westphalian system that was introduced in 1648 when Kings recognized each others’ right to reign ( A globalizing world? Culture, economics and politics. Held. D, p. 133, Open University), v Globalization could be defined as a growing interconnectedness of regions and states, the organization and exercise of power at a global level[S3]. It is probably multi-faceted in that it manifests economically, politically and culturally, all are intertwined and difficult to separate, but for the sake of this essay I will be concentrating on cultural change.
I will use four vconcepts to debate cultural globalization i) stretched social relations, meaning the existence of a global cultural network. ii) intensification of flows, an increase in cultural exchange iii) increasing interpenetration, the way cultures come face to face, and iv) global infrastructure, the institutions needed for globalization to function. [clear enough! ] Globalists, v who view globalization as inevitable and above the agency of individuals or institutions, are divided as to whether cultural globalization is good or bad and base their argument heavily on quantative data.
From 1965-1997 the number of TV receivers in the world increased from 192 million to 1,396 million and it’s hard to argue against the positive effects of this as more people own televisions and are able to access programs and cultures from other regions. But if we look at receivers per 1,000 inhabitants by regions we see that America has 429 receivers per 1,000 inhabitants, while Africa lags way behind with 60 receivers per 1,000 inhabitants. (UNESCO 1989-1999 cited in a globalizing world? Culture, economics and politics. Held. D, p. 50, Open University). We can see that there exists a huge inequality in distribution.
v Also we can see that quantative data can be open to interpretation in the sense made of this information. v Positive globalistsv, see[S4] the free flows of globalization in a positive enriching way, the increase in telecommunications, including the internet as a new public forum free of the constrains of place and support the liberal idea of deregulation, thus allowing consumer choice, whereas negative globalists would state that the distribution of the hardware is very unequal and the fact that the programs and news that we watch is produced and distributed by a very powerful few.
This concentration of ownership is reflected in Rupert Murdochs’ News Corporation, who operate nine different Medias in six continents, and his reluctance to criticize the Chinese government because of his Christopher Neill Y312545X business interests could be thought of as undemocratic. ( a globalizing world? Culture, economics and politics, Held. D, p. 57, Open University) v Of the world wide T. V. exports, 40% come from the U. S. thus weakening the argument of positive globalists that there is an equal flow of culture across the globe.
Negative globalists would argue that what is going on is cultural imperialism and we could talk about a global Americanizationv as it is mainly American culture such as Disney, MacDonald’s etc.. that flows from the core to the periphery. Even the news which was once predominantly national or regional is now a powerful commodity to be used and sold as 80% of the world’s news is controlled by five Western news agencies (a globalizing world? Culture, economics and politics, Held. D, p. 61, Open University).