Anthropology of Globalization
Globalization is a term vastly used in contemporary world. It applies not only in anthropology but also in other areas of the society. Globalization can be explained in simple terms to mean the increase in the global interconnectedness of different areas. Nowadays, the world is full of unlimited diversity of people due to the unlimited movement of the people resulting from the increase in the porosity of the borders in different countries.
As a result of globalization, there has been an increase in the number of cultural interaction and exchanges as the people from the different cultural backgrounds interact. The movement and intermingling of different culture is mainly brought about by the movement of capital, people, commodities, images, and ideologies. The means of movement of these aspects are usually varied. However, the movement has mostly been facilitated by the changes and advancement in technology. The physical goods can move easily due to the advancement in the means of transportation. There has also been rapid advancement in the means of communication.
This has led to the creation of several platforms through which people can communicate and share information with people who may sometimes be thousands of miles away. However, the non-tangible aspects are usually conveyed by the instruments of mass media. The most notable instrument of mass media is the internet. This technological advancement has brought about vast sharing of ideas of people from different backgrounds, and hence leading to the intermingling of the cultures. Globalization does not just involve the economic flows it also involves the flows of cultural aspects of different regions.
However, as much as many different scholars disagree on the origin of globalization, it is clear that today’s globalization has been initiated by the growth of capitalism (Lewellen 2002 p 11). The capitalism has necessitated different people to venture into far lands in such of a market for their products. Through globalization different capitalist have been able to reduce the major barriers to development. These are the barrier of space and the barrier of time. This has made the capitalists to have very fast development.
However, the moving into the new lands has resulted in the intermingling of various aspects of humanity, which have been studied by many scholars.Anthropology of Globalization Anthropology of globalization provides an explanation on how the flow of different subjects and objects is becoming interconnected and how the subjects respond to the changes in specific ways, which are unique to their culture. Anthropology of globalization mainly focuses on the different aspects of globalization with special emphasis on how the various aspects of globalization affect the culture of people. However, anthropology does not appreciate the effects of globalization on other aspects of humanity. It therefore explains the even political and economic aspects of globalization influence on the cultural aspects people.Culture can generally be defined as the order of life through which people construct meaning through practices, which have symbolic representation to the specific people.
Culture is generally associated with the people who live in a certain place (i.e. culture is territorial). However, the cultural aspects of humanity have been deeply affected by the globalization. Globalization seems to be changing most of the cultural aspects of humanity in various ways.
Whether the changes that are brought about by the globalization are beneficial or detrimental to human is a subject of intense debate by different scholars. Deterritorization of cultureHowever, globalization has led to the delocalization of cultures in a certain place. This is due to the fact globalization usually results in people of different cultures moving in places, which originally did not have the cultures. This necessitates the need to integrate the cultures of other people (inda and rosaldo 2008 p 13). Different cultures can therefore be found far from areas, which are considered to the main localities of the cultures.
For example, it is not uncommon to find Turkish Muslims in Germany, a situation that was not present before the onset of globalization. Culture is not only transmitted by the presence of people with different cultures, the instruments of mass media have also led to the delocalization of the cultures from a specific locality. These networks have resulted in some of the cultural object such as food, clothing, and music to be universal and it would therefore be difficult to identify them with a certain location (Inda and Rosaldo 2008 p 13).Globalization also leads to the uprooting of the cultures of some places. Uprooting can be defined as the complete disintegration of the culture of the people.
The people who used to practice the culture completely abandon the culture and start following a culture, which may be considered alien to the society. The people who abandon the cultures mainly conform to other cultures, which are foreign. Globalization has also resulted in the deterritorialisation of work and other economic aspects of humanity. The people who move into other lands may experience very liberal ideas. This may in part help in reducing the dictatorial cultures, which may be present in their places of origin (Kearney 1995 p 7).Cultural imperialism and the homogenization of the worldAs explained above globalization lead to the delocalization of different cultures thus weakening the ties that a specific culture has in certain geographical areas.
However, there is unequal inflow and outflow of different cultures to different areas. Some cultures flow more to other areas and therefore impact more on the areas whereas some other cultures do not flow as much to other areas and they are therefore weakened due to globalization. The difference in the movement of culture flows leads to cultural imperialism with some cultures affecting most of the other areas. The culture traffic flow seems to be moving from the first world to the third world. However, there are times when the cultural traffic flow seems to be moving from the United States to other parts of the world (Inda and Rosaldo 2008 p 15). The cultural imperialism will result in some culture being perceived as dominant compared to the other cultures.
Due to the continuous bombardment of the people by the foreign and seemingly powerful culture, the people of different localities are bound to slowly assimilate the cultures into their lifestyles. This will therefore making it hard to distinguish the origins of some cultures after sometime as the cultures will be a characteristic of many areas. Globalization will therefore lead to the union of many cultures into a culture, which will have many similar characteristics (Inda and Rosaldo 2008 p 15). This is known as cultural homogenization.However, globalization is not just about westernizing or Americanizing other parts of the world. The cultural flow is usually a very complex process, which not only involves the people of the third world countries wholly assimilating the cultures of the foreign countries.
The western cultures are also affected by the cultures of the third world countries (Inda and Rosaldo 2008 p 22). The people in the third world countries can be involved in the practice of some of the imagined realities of different cultures (Rosaldo p 24Various people have tried to analyze the effects of globalization on the culture to determine whether globalization is ultimately beneficial or whether it is disadvantageous to the cultural aspects of humanity. Globalization generally leads to reduced identity of different nations due to the erosion of their cultures. The national identity is a major force, which usually holds different states together. Therefore, globalization can be said to gradually reduce the national identity of different people as it leads to the erosion of their cultures (Tomlinson 2003 p 274). This may sometimes prove to be detrimental to the inhabitants of the countries.
The globalization of the capitalistic principles led to the fall of the communism, which was practiced, mostly by the Soviet Union and some Eastern Europe countries. In these areas, the globalization resulted in violent uprisings against the governments.Globalization may also lead to the cultural reterritorialization. This involves the reclaiming of land, which was originally thought to belong to certain cultural groups and is therefore assumed their cultural homeland (Tomlinson 2003 p 275). This has recently been prominent in different areas of the globe. A good example is the aboriginal fight for land rights in Australia.