According to Pratheep, globalization “describes an ongoing process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a globe spanning network of communication and execution” (2010). Erla Zwingle, the author of Globalization, wanted to manifest her thoughts on what “Globalization” really means. In her article, Section I indicated that technology is a tool to bring people all over the world closer together. As they learn about other cultures through movies, music and news that are available through the internet, people can both decide to ignore or take on and interpret the new learned information based on their own mindsets. In addition, Globalization in term of investment among countries has also increases tremendously as technology advances. This motion is evitable.
In section II, Zwingle provided one of the examples such as how the Chinese adopted the American born kids’ television show Sesame Street yet transformed the concept so that the show teaches Chinese children the values and cultures that they believe in. In addition, Zwingle applauded that other countries are doing the exact same thing.
Zwingle continued to give more examples in Section III. She talked about the globalization through McDonald’s. How the multi-billion restaurant chain retained its concept such as fast, cheap food and cleanliness yet adapted localized food of choice to tailor to what the consumers demand. This is reason for McDonald’s astonishing success worldwide. McDonald’s is not just about fattening hamburgers and greasy fries.
In section IV, Zwingle pointed out the fact that globalization and the meaning of being American are grossly misunderstood. When globalization mentioned, people seemed to immediate jumped to the conclusion of Americanization, which means colonization by the white Anglo Europeans. To reject this motion, people are becoming ethnocentric of their own culture. What they do not realize is that they have turn into the exact same thing that they hate the most. Zwingle gave example of the Russian kid representing American culture from his punk haircut, his love for rock music, to the clothes that he wears and yet hypocritically announced that he is glad he is not an American. In addition, foreigners do not realize that there is no such thing as an authentic American. America is settled by so many different people from all over the world. Each brought their own unique cultures and values. As we live side by side, our cultures blended like a salad bowl in order to fit and better our lifestyles. Just like other countries, we rejected and adapted to certain cultures based on our values and mindsets.
Globalization involves diversity, unity and harmony, as it shapes people at every level. Culture is defined as patterns of human activity and the symbols that give these activities meaning. My culture is about what I eat, how I dress, beliefs and values I hold, and activities I practice. I truly believe Globalization has joined different cultures and made it into something truly unique and different. Having been born in Vietnam and raised as a Californian, I feel truly blessed for having exposed to so many different cultures. I believe in the American values of being free thinker, speak my mind and being independent yet I hold dear to my Vietnamese roots of respecting my elders, humility and my religion as a Buddhist.
The world needs to realize that as societies coexist and collide, linking is the ultimate means of the spread of global culture. Material goods move, people move and ideas move. Change is not a choice but a reality that we need to embrace. I believe cultures do not become more standardized; instead, both old and new tend to modify each other. Globalization gives us opportunities to learn and grow in a way that we can have a better understanding amongst each others. This is the true driving force to cultural changes. So we can see global culture does not mean how much commercial things we can acquire but the tie of people’s heart that connect all the humans, which is also the true meaning of globalization.