…so who’s to blame?

I’m currently taking an intro to Sociology course (The Social World) , and my textbook often references globalization in relation to Sociology. The first time it’s brought up in the text is the standard introduction– globalization as the continual integration of many elements of life across the world (primarily facilitated by advancements in technology). However, later in the chapters, globalization seems to be portrayed in a somewhat negative light. A discussion about the spread of dominant American culture and the inequality of wealth across the world both cite globalization as a primary cause for these undesirable phenomenons. It seems that people often lay blame on globalization for many modern problems- whether it be unequal wealth distribution, destruction of the environment, mass integration of culture, or a variety of other complaints.

While many people often “lay blame” on globalization (citing it as the catalyst for vast ecological, cultural, and economic issues), who are they exactly blaming? One of the ambiguities of the globalization phenomenon is whether it’s run by a distinct force or if it is simply a system that has evolved out of a time period characterized by technology and innovation. When we lay blame on globalization, aren’t we somewhat blaming ourselves? In my opinion, no one is “running” globalization. It is our own product- we fueled and encouraged it through technological advancements and the desire to communicate, travel, and conduct business faster. The funny thing about globalization, however, is that now it has grown to a size where it cannot be avoided. Countries may try to opt out of the mass integration happening across the globe, but to do so would set themselves back in many aspects.

Ultimately, for me globalization currently draws up an image of a creature (whether or not that creature is a monster is a personal opinion) that has grown out of control. It started as something we nurtured and encouraged, but now it has grown to a proportion in which we no longer can manipulate it as easily. Globalization is rapidly expanding and changing the makeshift of many aspects of our society (most recently backed up in the article Jihad v. McWorld), but we (as world citizens) were the ones who initially fostered its development. To single out a group of people or a single element that “caused” globalization would be nearly impossible, it seems to be the product of many efforts across the globe throughout past decades combined into a singular force. Whether or not you find the products of globalization undesirable, to lay blame on globalization itself seems to be the same thing as laying blame upon humanity as a whole. If we continue to let globalization dominate our lives, it seems fruitless to point fingers for something we may have very well brought upon ourselves.

2 Responses to “…so who’s to blame?”

  1. Prof.Glaw Says:

    So what can we do to moderate the adverse effects of globalization on us, say on a country’s culture, for example?

  2. Emily Humberson Says:

    I think that countries need to be actively aware of what’s happening to their culture– and if they’re uncomfortable with what’s going on then actions should be taken to reign in the effects. But personally, I think that trying to regulate what direction a culture moves in would be extremely difficult. It seems that for the most part the notions of the masses are going to go where they’re going to go regardless of actions taken by the government or big business.