Essay:Global cultural reform
Modern Globalization is a trend started as soon as the global economy began to strive after World War II. It is a process that no historic event had ever done before”the linkage established between different parts of the globe have become so condense and efficient that they are changing everything around us. Not only the commodities we consume notifies the fact we are experiencing globalization, but also the way we consume them and other daily manners we use, which is on a boarder angle, our culture, is being reshaped by globalization. Since culture globalization is to a large extent a process controlled by western, especially American culture, it seems to be pushing a homogeneous culture to the rest of our world and make everything the same. Under the circumstance of four representative factors, which are language, manners and etiquettes, education and fashion, the globalization is affecting regional cultures of other parts of the world.
In terms of language, English is playing the dominant role of the world language. Although according to Fishman, the major regional languages such as Chinese, Arabic and French are spreading influence in their own regions, but that did not change the fact that English™s absolute dominance on language aspect. One basic fact is that English content has taken up more than 80% of the online content on the Internet, and more than half of the world™s million-plus populations of foreign students have entered universities of six countries of Native English Speakers . This alone means a lot to the global language order, for knowledge spread is a vital factor in globalization, the ability to take in new knowledge and information and the quantity of knowledge and information is a decisive element of one™s pace in keeping up with the global trend. In addition to that, the word globalization itself is a creation born out of English language, raised by Theodore Levitt in 1985 .Given the two data listed above, one must understand English to get as much information as he can from the internet since the majority are in English; and nearly half of the university students as the future leading force in their home countries are enrolled in universities located in countries where English is the mother-tongue, which means they will all be exposed to not only the English language, but also the culture English stands for before they go home; let alone the fact that even in universities of countries and regions where English is not mother-tongue (such as Germany, France and Hong Kong), there is a number of courses taught in English and the students attending these courses have to know English to learn certain things. Imagine the English cultural influence upon these people! Fishman mentions that even as French government have pushed so hard to eliminate the influence of English to French as much as possible, young kids in France are exposed to English earlier and earlier, which suggests that English is truly much more powerful than people imagine on our planet, it has become even a bit irresistible. The Chinese word jishi as the direct sound translation of English cheese also shows English language influence through fast food culture such as McDonald™s . The English dominated-language order possesses concrete threat to cultures of other parts of the world.
Manners and etiquettes are important constituents of a culture, while fashion seems to be a trend dominating the society™s aesthetic taste on the general in a certain period of time. Globalization has also lead to the change of both aspects through its representative factors in countries which have strong cultural traditions of their own. Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney and Yunxiang Yuan selected Japan and China”the two East Asian countries to study how McDonald™s, the embodiment of Americana, affect their cultures™ etiquettes and manners. China and Japan are both representatives of Eastern culture, which is in many ways the very opposite to the west; however, under the influence of McDonald™s, they have become Americanized more or less in their daily life. Both Ohnuki-Tierney and Yuan mention in their studies that Japanese and Chinese culture hardly take McDonald™s hamburger and French Fries as a formal meal, and that elder people in Japan will take their families to McDonald™s to enjoy only a light meal during weekends ; however, the real future of McDonald™s in China and Japan are held in the hands of younger generations of both countries, who are generally wealthier than their parents. Ohnuki-Tierney mentions that young people in Japan eat out frequently and would often choose to date in McDonald™s because they consider McDonald™s and Americana it represents is fashionable enough . The same goes with young people in Beijing, as mentioned by Yuan, that Chinese young people are richer than their parents and consider McDonald™s a place to enjoy and relax, instead of merely a fast food restaurant .
Indeed, McDonald™s and Americana in both countries have converted a bit to local culture, but note that the examples given in these two works are before 2000s, which means a time when globalization was not fully implemented. If we go for a visit to McDonald™s today in any one of the metropolis of these two countries today, we would notice that their styles and service notions have changed rapidly. The design of McDonald™s in China is no longer a family restaurant model, it has now turned into a business restaurant, cancelling all close contacts between service assistants and customers, it has become much more like what George Ritzer says about the dimensions of McDonaldization”which focuses on efficiency, calculability, predictability and control through nonhuman technology . Fashion, manners and etiquettes will be influenced heavily by globalization; the American version expands rapidly through the expansion of McDonald™s and various other brands of franchisee in its style.
Finally, when we take a look at education, we can find that westernized globalization of education is pushed forward by both the dominance of English language and the political and economic power of the western world . It is an effort done collaboratively by other trends empowered by western (typically American) influence. Apart from the facts mentioned above about the enrollment of foreign students into universities in countries whose mother-tongue is English , the globalization of education is also presented through its restrictions imposed on local culture of the countries influenced. Neoliberalism, a term widely used in fields of economy studies, has been globalized under the advance of capitalism economy. When western economy reached its zenith at certain historical period, it pushes the definition of Neoliberalism through economy textbooks to the rest of the world; but when the economy crisis broke out in 2008, the parts of the world that had been heavily influenced by this notion suffered from great losses. Another interesting factor is the move-in of the fast food restaurants in universities, which brings the influence of globalization along with education . Students exposed to both globalized knowledge and globalized fast food will naturally become globalized themselves, which is another form of education globalization. The globalization of education will bring a homogenous effect to the whole world.
In conclusion, globalization operated and dominated by western countries and United States will bring lots of changes to global culture. It comes to effect in terms of language, manners and etiquettes, fashion and education, creating a similar feeling in most parts of the world, and should be carefully examined and reevaluated in order to protect cultural diversity of our planet.?-Z?