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Globalization is one of the most contemporary aspects of life that people who lived in the past centuries did not experience. It is the aspect of interconnection of humans as well as factors of production and pollical matters like it has never been there before. Things that were only known to Africa are today known all over the world while other that were confined in other parts of the globe are now freely breathing in other sections of the world. The contemporary world is no longer the massive unlimited arena where people only used to hear about other continents and cultures. Instead, today almost all people all over the globe can freely interact and share their cultures freely with some influencing other hence causing alienation. As such, the issue of globalization has since long been discussed with its advantages as well as disadvantages being weighed out with regards to varied human aspects such economic power, political influence, cultural diversification and much more. Consequently, no any of these discussions have really cut a clear edge regarding globalization as what is termed to be negative has in other people’s sight been the positive and vise vasa. With this regard, the following discussion seeks to highlight key aspects regarding globalization’s effects on culture by providing some of its pros and cons.
To begin with, globalization has led to the promotion of equality among and within cultures. Such has mostly been through the empowerment of minority groups within different cultures such as women and children. During the past, our communities has been male dominated with women and children occupying insignificant slots/ positions in our societies more in Africa and other developing nations. During such times, is was termed unethical for a woman to lead or address the public, more so in situations where men were present. As such, women’s position was believed to be in the kitchens where they would live ensuring that their husbands and grown sons are well served and fed. They were nominal members of our societies who were there to be seen and never to be heard. Girls were never educated, that is never received any form of formal education, but rather learned through their mothers on how to keep a family and more so their husbands happy. Girls’ rights were never respected by the community as their position was culturally defined to be indoors. Sadly, both men and women viewed girls as economic properties that were exchanged with cattle, leading to rampant cases of underage marriages. Furthermore, these girls/ young women never had a say regarding who was to marry them as their parents would figure out a rich man in the society, often an aged man, who would marry their daughter, mostly as a third or tenth wife. All these unfairness has long gone courtesy of globalization. Girls as well boys are today being accorded equal rights and the former neglected/ discriminated gender has now risen well past the ancient dominant males. Scholarships, both local and international, meant for women are today very common as well as organizations that are meant for women empowerment. With this regard thus globalization has served a positive role more in Africa.
This notwithstanding, globalization has led to ease of communication, as well as boosted cultural identity. It is actually from the communication point of view that globalization has been said to have reduced the world into a small village where all cultures can interact freely. Such has thus made sharing an easy aspect of interaction. Before globalization era, people living say in Africa could hardly know what had happened in their locality leave alone global occurrences. They relied on traditional means of communication such as smoke, horn blowing, ululations and messengers for communication and sharing purposes. However, these modes of communication were hardly understood and their meaning was diverse leading to ineffective communication. The communication modes were also challenged by weather changes and their feedback was never assured. The kind of relied messengers were required to travel, that is run, over long distances to convey information that was urgent mostly leading delays. the issue would even get worse if the messengers got lost or were attacked by wild animals on their way leading to unconveyed messages. Contrary to these old practices, globalization has indeed made communication more than easy. Contemporary generations are able to not only acquire information regarding their culture and society, as well as what has happened in their locality, but too learn about global cultural occurrences and practices. Platforms such as social media that were unknown in the past a today a common thing and all allow people of different cultures to interact and share. With this regard, humans all over the world have to learn what happens in different areas of the globe with the western culture said to be the most adopted culture, hence the contemporary aspect of being westernized. Thus, people of different cultures can to day work in different areas in the world with different cultures but co-exist freely.
Equally important, globalization has led to preservation of minority cultures that would otherwise have remained unappreciated. The world is a diversified space with regards to culture with some being major and others minor. As such, the majority cultures have since time immemorial been over dominating the minority ones leading to the minority cultures assumption or non-existence. Issue such intermarriages and prolonged draughts and disease outbreaks have in the past been affecting people living in some specific localities leading to their reduction in numbers/ population hence made to be among the minority groups. Furthermore, the then majority cultures that have been in power, more so those that assumed power after the colonized nations acquired power have been accused of oppressing humans from minority cultures through unequal sharing of resources and power. A good example of such can been seen by viewing African nations such as Kenya where communities such as the Ogiek, a minority group with distinct culture, had not been known to many Kenyans not even the world. As such, research regarding this community have showed it to be among the early cultures have been existing in the nation. However, the community has very small population of about two hundred people and live inside bushes with no civilized establishments. Moreover, globalization has also helped the world to learn about the Kalahari Desert Bushmen culture as well as appreciated their existence. These communities’ artifacts, language and norms have become common in the world and the to be extinct cultures have gotten massive appreciation and support from other communities. The media focus on these small communities have also at times helps other distant communities identify with them hence making the communities and their cultures significant.
Like any other aspect of life, globalization too has its negative side. These include recolonization of minority cultures by the majority cultures more so those from Western and European communities. The physical colonization of African nations ended when these nations acquired independence from their colonial masters but seems to have been rekindled by globalization. Such is because minority cultures, more so from Africa have become dependent consumers of the majority cultures’ norms and disciplines. A good example of this is seen in the global education system that is highly teaches student issues concerning Western and European cultures while assuming their native culture. As such, people from world’s minority groups hardly appreciate their ways of life as well as their past which makes them live an alienated life. It is not funny during this globalization era to find people who are more conversant with the American history that their African or Asia history, which is highly blamed on globalization. Additionally, the aspect being consumers of the majority cultures’ products is too evident by the contemporary issue of minority groups being direct consumers of economic and political influences of majority cultures such as that of the whites’ continents. The African as well as South American and Asian cultures hardly exist on their own, that is they do not often exercise freedom, as the ‘majority’ superior cultures have become their controllers and spies. As such, it is only during the contemporary world when America is said to have been spying and intercepting other nations’ communications which demeans the otherwise minority cultures freedom.
In the same token, globalization has adversely affected the family institution by diluting crucial norms that held families together. Such has largely been through the internet, which is a crucial aspect of globalization. As such, people, more so from the African cultures have been exposed by globalization to outside norms to the extent of assuming the old good practices that respected marriage and family. Issues such as single mothered families as well as same sex couple are gaining much support from different cultures all over the world and it is all because of globalization. Other traditionally uncommon and bared practices such as homosexuality, gaysm and lesbianism are too becoming popular across different cultures as global people, more so the youth are becoming alienated to the western ways of life. That notwithstanding, globalization has also boosted crimes, manipulation and exploitation of, and amongst minority cultures. Such is more so when considering the aspect of multinational corporations that have been established in different nations of the world and the effect they induce to their employees who come from different cultures. Issues such child labor and racial discrimination with respect to rewards and job conditions where blacks have been paid poorly as well as treated badly have become common all because globalization. The internet is too teaching the youth new ways of committing crimes such as rape, execution and financial accounts hacking which is against the teachings and of many traditional cultures.
In conclusion, the above discussion has highlighted key aspects regarding globalization in a bid to show that it (globalization) is a multifaced issue with regard to culture. For instance, the discussion has shown how globalization has promoted equality among cultures, improved communication as well as made minority cultures significant. However, other than crediting globalization with specific benefits, the discussion has also presented key cultural disadvantages that globalization is causing. These include distortion of the family institution, promotion of crimes as well recolonization of minority cultures by the global mighty cultures that use the minority groups as specimens for their innovations. As such, this work reiterates that globalization has many positives that are great importance to the global cultures but like any other aspect of life have negatives too that ought to be minimized for the better realization of its benefits.