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The Applicant Series #19: Globalization

The Applicant Series showcases works done by hopeful writers who have applied with inkmypapers over the years. The results and comments will be provided first, followed by the actual essay/report written by the applicant

Applicant’s Results: Passed (Borderline)

Title: Dimensions of globalization.

Comments: While the applicant did well in terms of including important points about globalization, her content is rather on the surface. Also, some grammatical errors here and there make this an average piece which can be improved.

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Globalization is a prevailing component of the current global transformation. It has contributed significant changes in the civilization leading to social change. With the patent continuous advancement of technology, communication and information, globalization is considered as an imperative driving factor in the growth of economy. Professor Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labour, states that globalization fundamentally results to the cost reduction of commodities; thereby affecting the economy. However, many sociologists, like Al-Rodhan (2006), believe that globalization encompasses not only the economy, but also the political and cultural components. This essay will critically discuss and analyze the different dimensions of globalization. The interaction between these dimensions will also be illustrated.

Globalization is defined by Hawkins (2006), as cited in the lecture notes, as an incomplete process wherein people, goods, services, ideas, information, money, images, knowledge, and culture freely flow from across different countries without boundaries. Meanwhile, Chhabra (2015) describes globalization as a process in which the world shrinks as technology expands. Global interaction becomes simpler and more accessible. Furthermore, globalization creates opportunities for global economy, expansion of information, communication, and technology, and social change. Therefore, sociologists consider globalization as a multifaceted social occurrence. Due to its complexity and various components, its connotation remains to be unclear at the time (Al-Rodhan, 2006). Notwithstanding the obscurity, sociologists came up with three dimensions of globalization namely economic, political, and cultural to fully understand the phenomenon and its social implications.

The first dimension of globalization is economic globalization. Several economic activities such as the expansion of technology, evolution of transport and communications, emergence of international division of labor, and the growing number of transnational corporations (TNCs) are prevalent patterns of a globalized economy. Because of the growing scale of cross-border exchange of commodities, the economies of the world become highly interdependent (Shangquan, 2000). The components of economic globalization incorporate goods and services, trade, investments, and income (Chhabra, 2015). According to Shangquan (2000), the significance of information and marketization are the primary foundations for economic globalization. The invention of computer and communication systems, which revolutionizes the information dissemination, reduces the employment rate in the agricultural industry and increases the employment in communication services. Likewise, although economic globalization has tremendously improved the economic growth of developed countries for the past decades (Brady, Beckfield, & Zhao, 2007), it also led to capitalism through TNCs and inequality among countries (Mahler, 2004). TNCs such as McDonalds, Sony, Nike, and Shell control the majority of economic activities in the world. Hence, despite their small numbers, they seize significant amount of wealth which results to unequal distribution of wealth (Tin, 2014). Economic globalization also manifests the practice of supply chain economy and the concept of “sweatshops of the world”. The former refers to the practice wherein a product manufactured in a country is distributed by a different country, received and stamped by another country, and sold in another different country. For example, a shoe manufactured in China is distributed by Hong Kong dealers, branded by Italian designers in Italy, and sold in New York. On the other hand, the latter suggests the idea of workers who are mostly women and children of poor countries are being required to work for long hours with minimum pay. These practices increase the dependence of poor and developing countries on developed and first world nations. Global division of labor, characterized by developed countries exhausting cheap raw materials and labor from low-income nations, is also evident in globalization.

The second dimension of globalization is political dimension. This is characterized by increased political interconnectedness, global government, multinational corporations, information revolution, and new social movements. Due to unforeseen rise of TNCs and multinational corporations, they are now primarily holding and controlling the world’s majority of resources. Hence, Berger (2000) states that globalization destabilizes the authority and legitimacy of the national state; which further weakens the influence of the state towards its people. Berger (2000) further claims that the consequences of the deterioration of state’s power because of globalization are lack of authority by the state to regulate the international economic exchanges and disregard of the people to national authority due to the extension of market relations. To avoid these, the states opt to liberalize their trade and social policies to open a market-driven ‘neo-liberal’ policy approach. Moreover, national governments can work collectively, such as United Nations, to strategize and balance competition and ensure stability (Mandelson, 2011).

Lastly, the third dimension is cultural globalization. With the advent of technology, globalization has become more potent. It also shifts the culture across the world as much as it disrupts the economy and politics. Cultural globalization is described as the transformation and evolution of one culture due to diffusion of commodities and ideas globally (Watson, 2017). Magu (2015) claims that consumerism plays an important role in cultural globalization. Westernization and Americanization, through consumerism, alter local cultures by replacing the local traditions, knowledge, art, and experiences. If practiced regularly, resentment towards one’s own culture might highly manifest which will then evidently result to colonization. Albeit the possible adverse implications of cultural globalization, it integrates different cultures. It allows people to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of other global cultures. Moreover, cultural globalization creates awareness among people that they are part of humanity and a more complex structure. According to Magu (2015), culture fluidly acclimatizes with the process of globalization. Commodities and services, knowledge and ideas, and other forms of culture are now more accessible and transferrable with the help of technology and modernized communication systems; thus opening a possibility of a homogenous world. Opportunities for mixing different cultural forms become possible through cultural globalization.

Therefore, it can be concluded that globalization is indeed a complex social structure. Its definition revolves around the premise of, but not limited to, the dimensions of economic globalization, political globalization, and cultural globalization. These three dimensions of globalization are interconnected. Changes in one dimension can hugely affect the other dimension. For instance, when the TNCs lose their control over the resources and economy, then the national governments would gain back their influence over their people. Should this happen, the state may have the option to strictly regulate the market and curb the cross-border flow of goods. This course of action may further result to destabilized cultural globalization due to minimum movement of other culture’s goods across different borders. Globalization does not affect the economy of the world alone. It also modifies and transfigures the current positioning of the government and civilization’s culture simultaneously. Lastly, the national governments must focus more on their collective actions to neutralize the evident negative implications of globalization.

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