To what extent is globalization important to the world?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are at least two ways in which to interpret this question.  Let me answer both briefly.

First, we can say that this question is asking how globalization has helped to improve our world.  If this is the case, we can say that globalization has given us more cultural choices and more economic opportunity than we had before globalization.  Because of globalization, practically every part of the world is connected to every other.  In the United States, we can easily get products made in Bangladesh or food grown in Chile.  People in those countries can watch movies made in the US, soccer games from the UK, or music videos from South Korea.  We can also say that globalization has helped to create a world where the poorer countries are not as poor as they once were.  China has become much less poor since it has opened itself to the world economy.  The link below tells us that 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty in the last 20 years.  We can attribute this to economic gains brought about by globalization.  In these ways, globalization has been important in improving our lives.

Second, we can ask how globalization has been important in shaping our world, both for good and for bad.  The good has been discussed above, which means we would need to add in negative aspects to globalization.  We can argue that globalization has hurt people in specific industries in specific countries.  For example, blue-collar workers in rich countries have been hurt because they have lost their jobs to cheaper competition in poorer countries.  In addition, we can say that globalization has helped to keep developing nations down.  Because we have a globalized world, they focus on making cheap things to export to the rich world instead of building their own self-contained economies where they could make, for example, cars and computers that would bring more value.  We can also argue that globalization has reduced cultural diversity in the world.  Because the entire world can see South Korean music videos and Hollywood or Bollywood movies, the people of other countries become less interested in their own indigenous arts scenes. As more people adopt Western ways, unique cultural practices are lost.  In these ways, and others, we can also argue that globalization has shaped our world in negative ways as well as the more positive ways discussed in the previous paragraph.