What Is It?
According to the Dictionary...
“Globalisation" is the process enabling financial and investment markets to operate internationally, largely as a result of deregulation and improved communications”.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s pop on our sneakers, grab the iPod and the mobile and pop off for a hamburger. While we’re there, we’ll have a Coke, talk about the latest Hollywood blockbuster on Sky and discuss where we’re going for our hols: Mexico, Spain, Disneyland. Mum’s ordering in a curry tonight, and your sister’s just bought this fab outfit from Top Shop – at a knock down price. How do they do it!
Globalisation - you’ve just lived it. The sneakers, the iPod, the mobile, the Big Mac and Coke: almost everything we do, have or buy involves globalization. It means that in the course of living our everyday lives we buy and use goods and services that can come from all over the world! We connect globally: English people sharing prawns from Honduras, Hondurans eating oranges from Israel, and all of us dealing with call centres in India!
Is Globalisation Good or Bad?
Depends on who you are and how you view it. The French, for instance, think it’s a threat to the preservation of their culture: 70% of French people watch Hollywood films rather than French ones. Others will say it’s great. That’s pretty evident just by looking at the Web, music and fashion. Nor is Globalisation a new concept. It’s been around for centuries. The Venetians were trading silk from China and spices from the Orient long before MacDonalds opened the first of its 25,000 stores. Spain, Portugal, Holland and Britain built empires on it.
Communications unite the world and make the globalization or international flow of goods and services that much faster. It has brought problems, however. More of us demand cheaper goods. This means what we buy is sometimes made by people earning a pittance. Great efforts are being made to try and stop this, but we have to find the right balance. To some, £2 a day is a good wage. Depriving them of this work by refusing to buy the goods they make because we think their bosses are exploiting them as cheap labour, is not always the right solution: NO WORK, NO PAY. NO PAY, NO FOOD!
In the Long Run...
Globalisation promotes the exchange of information and cultures. This should leads us to understanding each other better and to our living in harmony with one another.
We must be careful not to exploit poorer nations and to help keep alive all our national, cultural heritages. We also need to be careful that we don’t go too far with globalisation and lose our individuality and cultural identity in the process. We can already see globalisation seeping onto our high streets: same shops, same goods… in almost every big city! And whilst we all live in the World Village now, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t send all our work and business to places where it’s cheaper to run them. After all, if we do that, there won’t be any work for us to do here! Now, that’s an idea…