A Global Culture | General Paper Essays

Predict whether we will see the emergence of a new “global culture” in the 21st century and what its key influences will be. Take notes in point form. Find interesting examples. Back them up with statistics.

In the truest sense, one true global culture has been the widespread wearing of jeans by men and women alike irrespective of nationality since World War II. As such, we realise that cultural globalization reflects the standardization of some aspects our lives around the world. Fuelled by modern technology, globalization has taken the upward trend towards cultural homogeneity. But will there be the emergence of a new global culture in the 21st century?

Yes, there will be the emergence of a new “global culture”:-

·        One world, one language
With linguists concluding that there are over 10 000 languages to have existed since the beginning of civilization, the 20th century homed 6000 languages with a world population of 1.5 billion. Today, with a world population of 6 billion, we speak less than 4000, and many of those are not being taught to children. (A. Bird, M.J. Stevens, Journal of International Management, 2003). By 2100, it is anticipated that fully half of the languages spoken around the world today will most likely be lost (Davis, 1999). Further analysis of the data shows that more than half the world’s population speaks the top 10 indigenous languages combined.

·        One world, one product
It is difficult to go to even the most remote regions of the world and not find evidence of Coca-Cola products. In addition, its advertising and branding images are among the most widely recalled worldwide. With a presence in nearly 200 countries, company records note that less than 30% of corporate income is derived from within the United States (Coca Cola, 2002). Perhaps, the dogma of McDonaldization is true—at least when it comes to beverages. The United States’ soda of choice dominates the world soft drink market.

No, there will not be the emergence of a new “global culture”:-

·        Mere exposure to global currents and access to world information are insufficient to compel people to become members of any emergent global culture. Indeed, membership in any culture requires more than a simple awareness, or even acceptance, of certain ideas as fact. For example, one can accept certain notions about the Indian mythology and yet not be Indian, nor even care for Indian history. Nor would we call Indian those persons who simply express an affinity for things Indian.

·        As Lasch (1995) notes in his criticism of the world human rights movements: ... the capacity for loyalty is stretched too thin when it tries to attach itself to the hypothetical solidarity of the whole human race. It needs to attach itself to specific people and places, not abstract ideals of universal human rights. We love particular men and women, not humanity in general (p. 123).

The key influences of the new “global culture”:-

1.   Significant improvements in telecommunications; ease of data storage and transmission

2.   Increased facility and opportunity for business and leisure travel

3.   Freedom of trade - organisations like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) promote free trade between countries, which help to remove barriers between countries

4.   Growth of Multinational companies

5.   Growth of global media

6.   Education à higher levels of education à well informed and knowledgeable about the world and international affairs à Connected

7.   Common Values à The United Nations à End poverty in all its forms everywhere à Good Jobs and Economic Growth à Sustainable cities and communities
8.   Attitude à These are also people who, as a result of their experiences and success at operating in a global world, feel very self-assured. This is a natural outgrowth of the ‘‘heroic adventure’’ they have been on, which leads them to tremendous confidence in themselves to overcome challenges and obstacles à Flexible and open à Individualistic but inclusive à Unintimidated by national Boundaries or cultures à Democratic and participatory 

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