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Ancillary Effects of Contemporary Globalization: Cultural Winners and Losers - Essay Example

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Ancillary Effects of Contemporary Globalization: Cultural Winners and Losers

Some find the cultural trends disturbing and dangerous while others praise them as humanity's march toward a more harmonious and efficient world order. This essay will assume neither approach; the sole purpose of this essay is to identify the winners and the losers in this period of cultural upheaval and change. It will be left for others to decide the implications.
As a preliminary matter, cultural globalization most generally refers to the expansion of cross-cultural contacts and relationships. Relationships may be passive or they may be active (Tomlinson, 1999; 14). Passive cross-cultural contacts refer to the receipt of new cultural information and behaviours. There is little interactivity in this regard. For purposes of illustration, this may involve reading foreign newspapers on the internet, watching foreign music videos in the home, or using textbooks written by foreign authors in schools. Active cross-cultural contacts are characterised by interactivity, a real relationship which is established, and is more prone to conflict; being more prone to conflict, therefore, an adversarial context is more likely to arise in a cultural sense and it is here where the winners and the losers are most visible. ...
Both forms of cultural globalization, active and passive, are influential. That said, the biggest winners and the biggest losers tend to be most visible in settings of active cross-cultural globalization.
Some of the biggest winners are those whom align themselves with those whom have the power and the desire to homogenise their dominant cultural values (Shariff, 2003: 165). The motive is superimposing these dominant cultural values on others worldwide. These cultural values may be statements regarding the superiority of capitalism, free expression, or democracy. These cultural contacts may encourage and advocate gender equality, non-discrimination, and self-determination. The winners are those whom are most closely aligned with these cultural values. Asian corporations willing to operate in transparent manners are most likely to receive foreign direct investment. Eastern European politicians whom echo the dominant cultural values are invited to important global conferences; just a few short months ago, a leader of an obscure Baltic republic was considered by the United States for the Secretary Generalship of the United Nations. African countries which promote gender equality of even the most minor nature are hailed as progressive and worthy of foreign aid and technical assistance. The winners are conformists for the most part; they are the individuals, the organisations, and the countries that act positively and receptively to these cross-cultural contacts and influences. They avoid rather than engage in conflict.

On the other hand, some of the biggest losers are those whom resist the dominant cultural trends (Robertson, 1992: 123). Burma rejects the most fundamental of these cultural influences and they are excluded from much ...Show more


Cultural trends associated with contemporary globalization are a significant though underreported aspect of globalization as a whole. Much of the literature addresses more mainstream economic issues such as excess liquidity, the demographic features of poverty, and income equality while glossing over or ignoring the actual effects in the cultural sphere of globalization…
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