A socio-cultural perspective
Globalization is the process which has enabled countries all over the world to come together and trade freely with one another. The countries lower down their trade barriers and the world becomes a global village. It has led to increased interdependence and interconnectivity between the countries. The countries are connected economically and technologically with one another and this provides many opportunities to the less developed countries to step forward and compete on a global front. Information and money flow between the countries.
Information or goods produced at one part of the world is available at the blink of the eye in the other parts as well. This is the scenario created by globalization. Just like two sides of the coin, globalization also has its good and bad side. The cultures of the developed countries are influencing the culture of the less developed countries in the form of movies, books, and are influencing the next generation. As the dominant cultures are coming to the front, the moral, ethical values of the less developed countries are getting lost somewhere.
“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. ” —Mahatma Gandhi There are many carvans which came to India, last being the mughals which led to the evolution of composite culture. Following the same trend of “accept and be accepted. ” The fusion of this composite culture with the westernization led to the cultural hybridization.
India, by embracing liberalization policies, has not only led to immense development but also have it strong and bold identification with the help of certain personalities on the global platform eg. Amir khan appointed as UNICEF ambassador in 2011, Amitabh Bachchan leading the rally with the Olympic torch in his hands, a day before the opening ceremony, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has been awarded the prestigious International Jurists Award 2012 etc. Flows of cultural goods—films , food and other products
Increasing concentration of the film industry in Hollywood and the growing influence of films and entertainment on youth lifestyles have attracted many stars from foreign to work in bollywood and they were heartly welcomed by the Indian audience eg. Amy Jackson, Katrina Kaif etc. Also many celebrities contributed to Hollywood successes eg. Oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionare , Anil Kapoor in Mission Impossible 4 which grossed $256. 2 million at the worldwide box office. This is what we call ‘globollyzation’.
World trade in cultural goods—cinema, photography, radio and television, printed matter, literature, music and visual arts— quadrupled, from $95 billion in 1980 to more than $380 billion in 1998. i Global culture is not about the English language or brand name sneakers—it is about universal ethics based on universal human rights and respect for the freedom, equality and dignity of all individuals. There has been noticed a shift in preference of emerging middle class in the choices of food.
Instead of going to an Indian restruaunt and spending bulks of money they prefer enjoying cheap and fast cuisines offered by many MNC’s such as Dominoes, Mc Donalds etc. In a country where 80 percent of the population is Hindu, McDonald’s pursued a culturally sensitive strategy and thus, removed all offensive items from its menus. Consequently, beef was eliminated, as cows are sacred to Hindus, and eating their meat is taboo. Despite their elimination of beef from their Indian menu, McDonald’s was forced to leave India 10 years ago, after Hindu activists found that the company was using beef extract in the making of their French fries.
McDonald’s learned its lesson, and is now ultra sensitive to cultural and religious precepts in India. Confirming this, McDonald’s has just announced that it will be opening its first pure vegetarian restaurant in Amritsar, a city of located in northwest India, sometime next year. Addition of Indian tadka in Dominoes’ Taco recently is what Rolland Roberston calls ‘Glocalization’ i. e adaptation of global products to suit local tastes. Barista is the Indian answer to Star Bucks, and new and rather expensive location used by the globalised Indian, quite distinctly different from the traditional coffee houses (adda).
ii “Indianess now is driven by a desire to make us into a tidy, if somewhat suburban nation-state, at a safe distance from the downtown US. “Globalization is credited to raise the living standards of people. With an incredible increase in urbanization rate it has resulted in sky high rates of property, luxury apartments, villas residential localities with malls , pools and other such comforts. iii Luxury townships at the outskirts of Delhi’s national capital region (NCR) have come up, as well as a no.
of shopping malls, golf courses, gated communities and multi storey business buildings mushroom across the city. These utopian visions are designed, imagined and circulated through a host of media. The Victorian style villas amidst green hills and meadows, flamboyantly designed gardens and lakes are the compulsory requirements of the bulk of people with rocketing salaries willing to invest in real estate. iv This ‘Gold-Rush Mood’ has turned the real estate market into one of the booming sectors of post liberalisation India.
Assotech, a major real estate developer in North-India, promises ‘Truly International Life Style’ for those who buy one of the luxury apartments at Windsor Park in Indirapuram, Greater Delhi. ‘Global Living for Global Indians’ is there motto and the advertisement brochures produced for this display skylines of high rise apartment buildings. v . This is what Christiane Brosius calls ‘Dubaization of India’. With the MNCs becoming increasingly global, India dominates the global IT services, its offshore business doubling every three years.
India has become to the new world of business process outsourcing (BPO) – which includes everything from payroll to billing to IT support. 1. 4 million people applied to work at Infosys in Bangalore last year. vi The IT services boom has helped to transform the Indian economy, which is now growing at more than 9% per year, the same rate as China. Several dynamic new Indian companies are now challenging the multinationals for global leadership in this area, including TCS, Infosys and WIPRO. vii Thus, it gives an indication how globalization has provided employment to millions of people.
Hundreds of gay rights activists marched through New Delhi on Sunday to demand that they be allowed to lead lives of dignity in India’s deeply conservative society. Dozens of demonstrators carried a nearly 15-meter (50-foot) -long, rainbow-colours banner and waved placards demanding that the government extend the scope of anti-discrimination laws to schools, workplaces and public and private spaces. viii FEMIINISM Professor Kenneth Dau- Schmidt noted that with globalization, it is possible that the global economy will provide women with more opportunities and limit the extent to which they can be exploited in bargaining relationships.
Professor Ong, as we shall see below, critiques the assumptions behind what she calls “strategic sisterhood. ” In short, she opts for what she calls a “weak universal of female emancipation” in a global network of participation, resistance and reform. x The impact of globalization on women has been debated many a times , with some arguing that economic changes have led to increased hardships for working class and lower caste women and some arguing that it has led to emancipation of the living conditions of middle class working women.
On one hand it is said that MNCs exploit the labour of ‘young, underpaid and disadvantaged women’ in free trade zones and call centers use ‘young lower middle class, educated women’ with few labour rights, or limited ability for collective action and on the other hand they argue that it has led to women empowerment in service sectors and through various beauty pageants e. g. a national law on sexual harassment was passed in 2003 (Sexual Harassment Bill, 2003).
Right-wing concerns of creating the ideal hindu women are also based on a partial acceptance of the rights of the middle class women to assert their physical beauty – as in the case of Hindutva support for hindu women such as Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai winning international beauty contests, somewhat contradicted by discomfort with the sexual freedom that this could imply for women. To be acceptable, women are allowed to look ‘westernized’, but demonstrate that they have not lost ‘hindu’ values of chastity and modesty.
The emergence of monoculturalists in recent times, craving for the political loaves and fishes or for the imposition of hindutva has created a hullabaloo. It can be observed during Valentine’s day or in any park or lovers point especially in Delhi and Mumbai, the Shivsena and Swadeshi Jagran Munch of Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP) being popular among them. The imposition of swaraj has been misinterpreted as elimination of mcdonald-isation and coco-colization.
According to them, British Imperialism gradually changed itself into a more subtle form which is proving to be more harmful to all non-Western cultures both in the short run and the long run. They believe globalization to be a romanticisation of Indian Culture. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) rampaged the concerts of the famous Pakistani singer, Gulam Ali in Mumbai, did not allow the shooting of Deepa Mehta’s film Water which depicted the plight of hindu widows. Aamir khan who happened to comment on Narmada issue was boycotted and his film Fanaa was not permitted to be screened in Gujarat by the RSS combine volunteers.
V. Sundaram says “The unbridled expansion of western culture has continued at an accelerated rate along with the denigration and decline of Hindu culture, civilization, religion, art, literature and customs. This new Colonialism has taken on several new faces or rather put on new masks. It cleverly masquerades itself through labels and slogans like democracy, humanitarian rights, gender equality, internationalism, free trade and humanitarianism. In the name of modernization and Globalization it pretends to be uplifting peoples whom it is really exploiting.
This is not very different in either kind or intent from old Western Colonialism ‘ British Imperialism in the Indian context ‘ which vaunted itself as the benign bringer of Civilization and culture to the uncivilized world. It was given the glorious title of ‘White Man’s Burden’. Thus in India the Hindus converted by the British to Christianity were encouraged to think, behave and live like Englishmen. This is what I call Macaulayism. This term derives from Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800 – 1859) who was a Member of the Governor General’s Council in Calcutta in the 1830s.
He introduced the English system of education to produce Brown Sahibs who were to be English in taste and temperament. “xiii According to Anita Bella, stories about the gods told today in books and on television are now bereft of their religious significance; Hanuman is just another superman for the urban elite children of India. Also a “cultural hijacking” of words of sanskrit and hindi origin has been done in James Cameron’s movie Avatar as avatar in English refers to a computer user’s representation of himself/herself, in Hinduism it has sacred and religious connotations as it is associated with the ten reincarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Globalization has led to several changes in the society, some of them have been for good and some for bad. The society comprises of group of individual sharing various cultures or believes. Indian society has varied languages and cultures. With the advent of globalization, there has been a drastic impact on the Indian Society. The MNCs not only established their feet in India, but also brought with themselves the various sociological and cultural changes which affected the Indian Society at large. The impact of globalization can be seen on the Indian languages.
Even Indian languages are changing and borrowing from each other and people are moving towards some kind of a global language. If we were to come back a century later, we may fail to understand the language of the day,” Sadhu said. xv There has been a growing trend of English and other foreign language in the society. People pay more focus on other languages and feel proud in speaking those languages. Even in schools the mode of communication is preferably English and the children are supposed to be well versed in English. 1. PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION
The first is the development of a bicultural identity or perhaps a hybrid identity . A good example of bicultural identity is among the educated youth in India who despite being integrated into the global fast paced technological world, may continue to have deep rooted traditional Indian values with respect to their personal lives and choices such as preference for an arranged marriage, caring for parents in their old age. xvi The second issue is identity confusion, which individuals from non-western cultures experience as a response to globalization.
Identity confusion among young people may be reflected in problems such as depression, suicide, and substance use. A variety of cultures have experienced a sharp increase in suicide and substance use among their young people since their rapid move toward joining the global culture. xvii The third change brought about by globalization is the growth of the self-selected culture, which means people choose to form groups with like-minded persons who wish to have an identity that is untainted by the global culture and its values appealing.
One of the most vehement criticisms of globalization is that it threatens to create one homogeneous worldwide culture in which all children grow up wanting to be like the latest pop music star, eat Big Macs, vacation at Disney World, and wear blue jeans, and Nikes. xviii The fourth consequence of globalization is the spread of emerging adulthood. The timing of transitions to adult roles such as work, marriage and parenthood are occurring at later stages in most parts of the world as the need for preparing for jobs in an economy that is highly technological and information based is slowly extending from the late teens to the mid-twenties.