What is the sociological significance of global capitalism?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Different people might answer this question differently as people will have different views on whether globalization has been good or bad.  My view is that the globalization of capitalism has had both positive and negative sociological effects.

On the negative side, global capitalism has helped to weaken the social bonds that tie people together.  Capitalism tends to take people away from their traditional homes and their traditional ways of doing things.  It tends to force societies to become (as Max Weber discusses) much more rationalized.  As society becomes more rationalized, it tends to lose the interpersonal bonds that once held it together.  This is, to most people, a negative impact of global capitalism.

On the positive side, global capitalism has tended to decrease inequality between people in various countries.  As the world economy has become more interconnected and more capitalistic, many countries that were once poor have become much better off.  The greatest example of this in recent years has been China.  Without global capitalism China (which may be officially communist but is really more of a state capitalist system) would still be very poor.  As economies have improved, people’s quality of life has improved as well.  This is a positive sociological effect.