Globalisation is said to be “an international community influenced by technological development and economical, political and military interests.” (O’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J, 2012) It is a worldwide interactivity that has been taking place all over the world that allows homogenization of cultures globally. Just like everything else, it has two sides of it, whether it affects us positively or negatively.
Some would say globalisation is inevitable but does it benefits all of us? Malaysia as a multicultural country would be an excellent example to explain why globalisation isn’t all good for everyone.
As i grew up in this beautiful country of Malaysia, I’ve learnt the various kind of cultures, perceptions, beliefs and the rules and traditions of the many religions that are practiced. As a multicultural country, citizens are allowed to practice their own religion as long as they respect the other religions that are being practiced too. I would say it is possibly viewed as “the global village” by McLuhan’s phrase of the Utopian view.
This is a proof where people can be united and live in harmony. The picture above is highly symbolises homogenisation of two different cultures, the Coca Cola and Pepsi refrigerators represents Americanisation while the woman in the traditional hat with the bunch of tropical coconuts that can only be found in Asian countries such as Malaysia signifies that globalisation can be implanted and can bring benefits to a community. It allows people to reach out to the world and further explore other options and choices in life, it doesn’t have to be just one way.
On the other hand, globalisation might develop into normalisation of the world. It can also be called “cultural imperialism” that describes the domination of a widespread culture. This would have a detrimental effect on the ever-multicultural country. Will cultural diversity in the country be diminished? Will the traditions be forgotten and be replaced by a monoculture? Imagine Malaysia as a multicultural country with majority of Malays, Chinese and Indians living together but practicing the same culture. As Gitlin says, “If there is a global village, it speaks American.” (Gitlin, 2001)
Appadurai, A. (1990). Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy. Theory, Culture & Society, 7(2), 295-310. doi:10.1177/026327690007002017
O’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J, 2012, ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic, pp. 23-38.