Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Week One: My basic understanding of globalisation.

Taken by yours truly in Thailand - April, 2012
From my understanding of globalisation, in very basic terms, is there are many factors to consider if we were all to become one society, one planet, a uniformity. To become a uniformity would require a major paradigm shift for every individual involved - millions of people! - to think in the one mind set, as Pieterse (2004, p. 7) immediately points out in his discussion.

Which is impossible to me, because all people are subjective in their thinking.

And I acknowledge that the above statement I have made is entirely contradictory of itself, but that is my point precisely. I say this with the knowledge and view that each and every opinion, even on the same topic, is different. To become a uniformity would mean denying culture and language, and that's not something that people will willingly give up. There's the potential for more war right there. I'm imagining reactions from the United States of America if the dominant language were to suddenly become Swedish or Chinese. The bridge between "Western" and "Eastern" worlds has to be resolved.

Even if uniformity were possible, there are differing interpretations of the word uniformity. I'll use an example from a first year class debate - fast food (McDonald's). In each and every culture, countries generally have the same food McDonald's, but there's usually a cultural spin depending on the country. Australia are quite used to asking for sweet and sour sauce or tomato sauce with their food at . But France offers mayonnaise, Turkey offers onion rings, and quite a few European countries offer alcohol at McDonald's.

I myself was in Thailand for two weeks last April and found that KFC over there was a little more spiced - the locals would consider that mild.

Have any other experiences with fast food overseas? I'd love to hear!

Source: Nederveen Pieterse, J 2004, ‘Globalization: consensus and controversies’, 
Globalization and culture: global mélange, Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., pp. 7–21.


  1. Hello!
    This is a great blog that manages to introduce the vast range of issues that have arisen with the very concept of globalisation. The author identifies that globalisation is an extremely textured and complicated issue and identifies that complete globalisation or ‘uniformity’ would met large resistance and opposition. The discussion the author has created is skill full and manages to interweave real life experiences (such as the fast food examples) into the blog which engages the reader. Lastly the author has opened the debate for all readers with a question; once again this just adds another dimension to the author’s piece.

  2. What a wonderful example of Globalisation at its best. A technological device, providing instantaneous information via the internet, containing photos of a global corporation, McDonalds, bought back and shared not only in Australia but potentially the world.
    The arguments made regarding Western Civilisations hypothetical loss of the English language as teh predominant form of spoken and written word, and the citations used show a sound understanding of the week’s readings and notes.
    What if English did disappear as the predominant language? What would happen to the majority of English speaking people? How and what would be our disadvantages?
    Great questions to ponder.

  3. What a fabulous post! I found it thoroughly interesting. Especially when you raised the McDonald's example. As a person who travels to Coles, and its a big deal, I haven't traveled out of the country. This intrigues me. Not only does McDonald's span so many countries, but it also caters to the unique culture of that country. Here we can see the global scope of the fast-food chain but also their knowledge of local culture. Very well written blog. The questions posed provokes thought in the reader and increases the interest in reading.

  4. Hello!
    I found your post very interesting!
    I agree that "to become a uniformity would mean denying culture and language". That's exactly one of the reasons of tensions between West and other regions. But in relation to media, I feel that cultural differences are being vague rather than denied. Soft power, such as films, advertising and television gradually and indirectly could change our perception, so I guess non-Western people are unconsciously accepting Western ideology rather than denying their own cultures. For me, being a uniformity could mean acceptance of different culture and language. I hope I'm making sense...thankyou.

  5. I like your point about uniformity perhaps leading to war. I was wondering however, with globalisation leading to a greater awareness of other cultures, especially through various forms of media such as the internet and foreign films/tv, would this help reduce friction by seeing them as not so far removed from us as we may have previously imagined?