Table of Contents
In recent years, the world has shrunk into a global village due to globalization. Globalization is defined by the National Council of Education Research and Training (2015) as “the growing interdependence between different people, regions and countries in the world as social and economic relationships come to stretch world-wide” (p.97). It was driven by a myriad of factors such as economic forces, political context, and advances in information and communication technologies. Globalization is of great significance to social change as it impacts on all spheres of life be it economic, political or cultural.
Globalization is brought about and affects the economic sphere of the community and consequently social change. Trade liberalization means that countries can exchange goods easily. As a result, people get a variety of goods from different countries hence changing their eating, and clothing habits. Although imports provide a variety to consumers, it may hurt the local producers who may end up closing businesses hence losing their source of livelihoods (NCERT, 2015). This is due to competition from cheap imports. In addition, the emergence of multinational (MNC’s) and transnational (TNC’s) companies such as Nike and Wal-Mart has led to employment in developing countries like India where labor is cheap. This means improved living standards especially for women who make up highest labor force in such companies. It also translates to loss of jobs especially for men in the manufacturing sector of developed nations like the U.S. from where such companies outsource (Schaeffer, 2009). Globalization thus has led to changing role of women in society from housewives to wage earners. It acts as defender of unjust practices against women.
Globalization has led to glocalisation of culture. The free movements of people leads to brain drain in developing countries as experts migrate to developed countries in search of greener pastures. Migration also enables cultural exchange resulting in changes in eating, dressing styles, music, films, and languages. This trend has been enhanced by advanced information and communication technology. Now people watch many television channels and movies from different areas that impact on their lifestyles. For example, Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Transnational migration of younger generations and more women joining the workforce has resulted in decline in the care of the aged within families (Nalini, 2012).
Improved technology though it improves efficiency and productivity may mean loss of jobs. For example, the entry of large fishing vessels into Indian waters led to loss of jobs for women fish sorters, dryers, vendors and net makers (NCERT, 2015, p.94).The electronic economy is facilitating fund transfer internationally thus allowing people to develop society while far away. People also keep in touch through mobile phones and the internet. More people now communicate through facebook and twitter among others. Moreover, a knowledge economy has emerged that is redefining careers. There are a host of new occupations that were unheard of a few decades ago, for instance event managers. People can also work from the comfort of their homes online or through teleconferencing.
Globalization is accompanied by political developments such as the growth of international and regional mechanisms for political collaboration. These include International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) like Red Cross and Amnesty International. These help society to deal with disease outbreaks and disasters thus improving livelihoods. The World Bank and IMF give aid to developing countries but with conditions. They impose Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) that lead to poverty, environmental destruction and decline in government services affecting mostly women (Schaeffer, 2009, p.81).
Globalization is of great significance to social change and impacts different groups differently. It enables consumers to enjoy a variety of goods while at the same time rendering local producers out of market. It creates jobs for women in factories and service sectors while rendering men jobless due to outsourcing. Migrations and advancements in communication technology have resulted in culture exchange, emergence of new careers and neglect of the elderly. Political organization is also affected by mechanisms for political collaboration such as the WTO rules. The impact on social change is thus either negative or positive depending on the section of society affected.
- Nalini, R. (2012). Impact of globalization and its effect on society. Environmental Law. Retrieved November, 22, 2017 from http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/article/impact-of-globalization-and-its-effect-on-society-1395-1.html
- National Council of Education Research and Training. (2015). Social change and development in India: Textbook in sociology for class 12-12109.Retrieved November, 22, 2017 fromhttp://ncert.nic.in/ncerts/l/lesy206.pdf.
- Schaeffer, Robert K. (2009). Understanding globalization: The social consequences of political, economic, and environmental change. (4th ed). New York: Rowman & Littlefield, Inc.