How Globalization Impacts Local Culture & Society

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  • 0:00 What Is Globalization?
  • 0:42 The Pros of Globalization
  • 3:44 The Cons of Globalization
  • 6:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner

Allison has a Masters of Arts in Political Science

Globalization has had many effects on local cultures and society. While there are many positive effects, there have also been many negative effects which influence people's everyday life. This lesson will discuss some of the pros and cons of globalization.

What Is Globalization?

You pop open your laptop and call your friend in London, email your co-worker in France, order new clothes from India, and apply for jobs in Switzerland. This interconnection via the Internet is just one way that you are part of globalization. At its core, globalization is the complex relationship that connects and mixes cultures, countries, people, and companies through advanced trading opportunities, investments, and technological capabilities.

The pros of globalization are seen long and far across the globe. However, along with the pros come cons that affect the livelihood of the same individuals who experience the benefits of globalization.

The Pros of Globalization

From virtual connections to more affordable goods, such as clothing and food, globalization has been beneficial to many aspects of society. This is because globalization has led to reduced costs of goods and increased trade.

Reduced Cost of Goods and Increased Trade

As you stop to fill up your car (paying approximately $2.50-$3.50 per gallon of gas in the U.S.), and then stroll into Walmart for your affordable food, clothing, and electronics, you are personally experiencing how globalization has assisted in decreasing the cost of goods and services through increased trade opportunities.

Agreements made through trade initiatives have reduced the cost of importing, or bringing in goods, and exporting, or sending out goods. The increased ability to trade with fewer barriers, such as taxes or quotas, has reduced the cost of trade. This makes the products sourced through trade more affordable to the average buyer. Additionally, many countries, including the U.S, Canada, and Mexico, have developed free trade agreements, which allow trade to occur with no restrictions, making it easier and cheaper for countries to participate in international trade. This is one of the reasons that globalization has assisted in 'reducing the cost of goods.'

Increased Cultural Understanding

Globalization has also led to greater cultural understanding. Just as you personally experience increased communication through virtual tools, like the Internet, globalization has helped to improve human connections. Whether you are Googling about tribal cultures or meeting people from India, globalization allows you to learn about other cultures and develop a wider cultural understanding through the Internet and increased opportunities for international travel.

Flexible Labor Market

Globalization has also helped create a flexible labor market. Along with better communication are increased opportunities in the labor market. Because of globalization and enhanced technology, you can work across the world with relative ease. If you want to work in Brazil for an American company, this is completely feasible. Thus, labor doesn't have to come from the home country and staff can be brought in from all over the world. This year you can work in Canada, and next year you can work in China. The labor market is significantly more flexible than it was pre-globalization.

Enhanced International Economic Participation

Enhanced international economic participation has also resulted from globalization. Bringing together a flexible labor market, increased trading opportunities, and enhanced communication systems, more countries can now participate in the international market. Whip open your closet and take a look at the tags and see where your items came from. Chances are you will find tags from Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, and various other countries.

Because of the many benefits of globalization, more economies can grow and develop through participation in the international market. Even countries who have few natural resources can participate in technology development and manufacturing as companies continue to outsource labor. Globalization gives more opportunities to countries who may not have been able to enter the international market on their own.

The Cons of Globalization

All of these benefits are great. However, there are also some negative side effects which impact society and culture.

Loss of Labor

Unfortunately, there has been a loss of labor as a result of globalization. Yes, you can seek a career on just about any continent that allows you to legally obtain a work visa. This is fantastic if you are a high-level executive or an employee in a specialized position. The problem emerges for manufacturing jobs and employees who have laborer positions.

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