Why do we need to listen and learn from multiple perspectives to challenge the single story of globalization?

Multiple perspectives about globalization offer a clearer, broader picture of the movement than a single voice will ever provide.

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Every story may be told from multiple perspectives. As a simple example, think about how multiple witnesses would describe a car accident. Some would notice the actions of one driver, some the actions of another. Since they see the accident from different angles, their accounts would contain different details. All of these varying perspectives combine together to provide a more complete picture of accident than a single perspective could have done.

The same is true for the story of globalization—the increasing interconnections throughout the world that lead to a faster movement of people, goods, services, technology, and ideas. It isn't really that we have to challenge a single story of globalization. That story is told from the legitimate perspective of one of the participants in the movement. Rather, it is that we must invite other stories of globalization to expand and enhance the narrative.

Let's look at an example. Here in the West, we generally hear about globalization from a Western perspective. We know the stories within our culture, and we best understand the spread of ideas, people, and products from our own perspective. But we get a fuller picture of globalization if we invite other voices, if we listen, perhaps, to the story of a business owner in Africa who is suffering because of the influx of cheap Western products or to the tale of a factory worker in India who works long hours for low pay to produce goods for Western companies. These offer a broader view of the situation, a view that we would not otherwise see or hear.

Stories from other perspectives don't always have to be negative either. We might hear about someone who is able to receive an education in the US or Europe who might not otherwise have had the opportunity or about a person who can reconnect with family much more easily through expanding technology. In any case, the more stories we hear and the more perspectives we incorporate, the clearer our view of globalization will become.

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