Social Work and Human Services Paper on Globalization


Globalization refers to the rapid acceleration of the integration of local communities into a single global market regulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) often for the success of political processes (Lane, 2008). It involves an increased interaction between people from various cultures due to improvement in communication influenced by technology as well as significant improvements in the global transport sector. Globalization has resulted in the free transfer of goods and services across continents as well as the exchange and adoption of various cultural practices (Appiah, 2006).

The Most Important Features of Globalization

Global tourism is one of the features of globalization. Several people are moving from one country to another for tourist purposes. For instance, African countries are among the leading tourist destinations worldwide. European countries, on the other hand, accept students from other parts of the world such as Africa and other continents. Closely associated with global tourism is the aspect of global economic growth due to the influence of transnational companies is a feature of globalization. An example is the Coca-Cola Company that has subsidiaries across all continents with its products and services being advertised in several countries (Bauman, 2013). Another feature of globalization is media imperialism with small nations losing their identity to established nations that enjoy dominance in the global media sector. As a result, there is biased information dissemination with small countries being portrayed negatively by global media. Moreover, there is an interconnection of societies regarding cultures and practices. This explains the similar modes of dressing found in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Many people have ditched their cultures to adopt the stylish and modern dressing common the western world. In today’s society, blue jeans are no longer a preserve of Americans only. Also, practices such as homosexuality and lesbianism have become common around the world.

How Globalization Affects Local Cultures

Local communities have not been spared by the wave of globalization with both positive and negative effects of globalization being felt across local communities and cultures. For instance, globalization has led to the establishment of many international companies in the various regions of the world. The highest numbers of employees in such companies are usually from the local communities. The presence of the companies creates employment thereby improving the living standards of the people. International trade that characterizes globalization ensures that countries have access to products and services that they would not have otherwise had. Many foreign goods in local markets are usually affordable compared to the local ones, and this is due to international trade agreements that exempt the goods from tax (Jaggar, 2001).

Globalization has also led to technological innovation in local communities. Many countries that export their goods to other countries usually prefer to export high-quality products. Countries share and adopt similar ideas, and this plays an integral role in promoting technological innovation. After the adoption of ideas, the focus shifts to efficiency as well as the production of quality products with the aim of meeting the required international standards. This underlines the efforts of several local communities in adopting the use technology and machinery in factories to reduce the risks of errors in production. Globalization has also helped many local companies achieve economies of scales thereby reducing production costs and prices of goods (Heslam, 2004). Globalization largely has more benefits to wealthy nations as compared to poor and developing nations. Developed nations have better machinery and have more established companies as compared to developing nations.

Despite the positive impacts of globalization on local communities and cultures, negative effects of globalization are felt around the world. For instance, the fact that globalization has paved the way for international trade is seen as a threat to the sale and distribution of locally produced goods or products (Appiah, 2006). The use of technology in the production of goods has seen more and cheaper foreign goods sold into the global market. The result is that small businesspeople dealing with locally produced goods have no say in the global market. Another outcry of local communities is that globalization has led to the erosion of many cultural values. The increased trade or distribution of western movies, music, and documentaries has seen local communities embrace western and foreign cultures resulting in the erosion of local cultures.

Globalization has also led to massive pollution in local communities. Several industries are actively involved in manufacture and production of goods with wastes being released uncontrollably into the environment. This is worsened by the fact that industries are yet to out in place measures to control the unnecessary release of wastes into the environment. Industries lead when it comes to disposing untreated wastes into rivers and water sources. The environment in many local cities with industries hardly meets required international standards. It should also be noted that technologies such as automobiles release emissions that cause air pollution. There are increased efforts towards promoting the conservation and preservation of the environment, perspectives that can be attributed to globalization.

Further, globalization has resulted in increased interdependence between nations with this paving the way for increased disagreements as is the case of the United States and North Korea. Countries that depend on one another from an agricultural perspective could be affected significantly in the case of natural disasters that may affect agricultural production. Increased interdependence among nations could also see a nation lose its sovereignty. Of course, developing countries have become overdependent on developed nations with the latter having a say in decisions affecting the former. Besides, selected multinational companies tend to have control over small nations in the developing world.

How Local Communities Should Respond to Globalization

Local communities can respond to globalization by becoming actively involved in the process. As mentioned above, there are several effects of globalization, both positive and negative, most of which are long-term. Involvement in globalization means that countries should take part in promoting tourism, which is one of the evident impacts of globalization. Promotion of tourism could entail the establishment of tourist sites and destination such as hotels and resorts. Tourism is one of the primary sources of income for countries around the world, and the promotion of the same could reduce overreliance on donations from other nations or global institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF (Bauman, 2013). The achievement of this objective depends on how local communities or nations will champion for more practices aimed at promoting globalization.

Further, globalization should not have a negative influence or result in the loss of the identity of a local community. It is the role of every country to regulate foreign content. For example, some of the foreign programs on print, mass, and social media must be regulated by local stakeholders. This means that the failure of such programs to meet local or national standards should see them banned. As a response to the effects of globalization, countries such as China have come up with interventions including banning and regulating the use of social media to prevent cultural erosion or the loss of moral values. It is the role of every community or nation to preserve its culture and heritage at the expense of globalization. To achieve economic equality, every nation should consider stating its terms before signing treaties with other nations. This is because several countries and multinational companies take advantage of the challenges faced by developing nations. Most of the workers in developing nations are poorly remunerated by multinational companies for which they work. Globalization should benefit all stakeholders and countries rather than benefiting the developed nations only.

Also, in response to globalization, local communities should set their policies that guide them against vices like importation of old and unroadworthy automobiles. Old and unroadworthy vehicles are disadvantageous as they cause environmental pollution. Local communities should create policies aimed at achieving environmental sustainability (Heslam, 2004). Similarly, multinational must abide by or follow environmental regulations and policies in place with the proper disposal of waste being every company’s priority. Moreover, communities should consider enhancing the skills of the locals through training and education. This gives the locals an advantage during recruitment or hiring processes. Enhanced skills and knowledge are crucial for local communities that enjoy increased employment opportunities in the long run.

To sum up, the impact of globalization on the global and national economies cannot be refuted. The issue of cultural erosion and cultural imperialism cannot change the fact that globalization has changed the economies of many nations. Globalization might result in economic crises that might jeopardize global operations. Currently, the world is a global village with many people preferring to ship commodities from overseas or foreign countries despite the costs incurred in the process. China is one of the counties that have benefited significantly from globalization. In fact, it is considered one of the strongest economies today thanks to globalization (Suárez et al., 2004). Besides, developing countries can export their goods easily because of free trade, a perspective that also serves as an advantage to multinational companies that are established around the world. The economic competition among countries has also resulted in the affordability of goods. This underlines the significant growth in the global economy over the years with several countries and multinational companies involved in mergers and acquisitions to overcome the existing economic competition and its effects. Although Ritzer and Barber argue that globalization has led to a loss of cultural heritage, the benefits of globalization exceed the negative effects. Without globalization, the technology enjoyed by various communities around the world would not have been witnessed. Moreover, globalization has resulted in increased cultural interactions that have benefited both the social and economic perspectives. The fact that the world is changing as a result of globalization cannot be refuted. The world is becoming a small village thanks to globalization and its fruits such as technological advancements and industrialization. This said, local communities should accept that globalization is here to stay and efforts aimed at preventing the same, are likely to fail.




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Lane, J.-E. (2008). Globalization – the juggernaut of the 21st century. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Suárez-Orozco, M. M., & Qin-Hilliard, D. (2004). Globalization: Culture and education in the new millennium. Berkeley: University of California Press.