Effects of Globalization on Native Non-Western Cultural Essay

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Globalization and its effects on non-Western cultural practices

Globalization is typically defined as the phenomena of increasing world interconnectedness. It is an undeniable feature of the modern world. The world is gets smaller as technology advances and economies become interlinked. Today's economic crisis is a prime example of globalization. One nation undergoing a financial crisis can easily become an international economic meltdown. Nederveen (2009) comments how modernization has advanced at the cost of eliminating cultural and biological diversity. This is causing alienation of groups who oppose modernity and change, causing disenchantment among many groups around the world. These groups oppose the Mcdonadlization, or the "increasing cultural standardization and uniformization" (Nederveen, 2009). Cultures around the world have to either adapt to modernization or see their traditions ebb away, as seen in China and Africa.


One nation, China, reaps many of the benefits globalization has to offer, seeing its economy turn into a global powerhouse and its position as an international power grow on the world stage (Veeck, 2011). China, while politically communist, has integrated capitalism into its economy allowing itself to be influenced by the tide of globalization. Major Chinese cities are filled with signs of capitalist excess. High end clothing stores sell their goods to rich Chinese citizens, stores such as Apple and Gucci are not rare, European and American brands are seen throughout the country being bought by millions of Chinese. One only has to examine a modern urban Chinese citizen to see the influences of westernization: the clothes, the makeup, even hair styles resemble Western styles. Prior to the onslaught of globalization China was a country of old traditions and customs. These customs are prevalent today but have changed in response to globalization. One such custom is guanxi.

Gunthrie (2012) explains how guanxi plays a central part of social life in China. There are two definitions associated with the term. The first is social relations, as in having a good relationship with someone. The second concept is the gift economy. The gift economy is an interesting notion that suggests using social relations to conjure obligation and indebtedness as means of accomplishing something in the future. An example of this would be to treat your professor out to dinner, in order to obligate him to do some future favor that serves your interest, as in tutor your doctor's daughter, for free, to ensure your sick mother has a bed in a crowded hospital. This concept is deeply rooted in Chinese tradition, where the individual's identity is a social construct developed through relationships. Gunthrie (2012) argues that the Chinese government is trying to distance itself from such practices. It wants to build institutions that are free of social obligation and are subjective to a legal system. Guanxi needs to adapt in order to continue to pervade in all levels of Chinese society.


The rise of globalization in Africa has the same expected results seen throughout the globe (Adebayo, Adesina, 2009). The advent of globalization is the precursor for the uniform homogenizing (Briar-Lawson, Roth, 2011) of distinct cultures and the weakening of traditional culture values . Traditional…

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