Right now, the text that you are reading was typed using a laptop whose body was manufactured in Malaysia, assembled in the US, its software was developed in China and was bought in a retail store in India.
This is globalization defined in a simple example.
Through the lens of history, we learn that centuries ago, the world was unconquered and borderless. However, when we turn pages after pages of history and take a closer look at the world today, we can find that different and almost all countries around the world are interconnected and interdependent. Mankind has finally come together to work in their best interests of themselves.
The concept of globalization has brought trade between countries to the next level, allowing investment funds as well as goods and services to cross geological boundaries. The world’s economy became more homogeneous as political ties and trade treaties were made between nations and as multinational companies started dominating markets. However, globalization didn’t only bring capital mobility and information mobility, the revolutionary process expanded cultural ties and intensified social relations between nations. In this new era, people have become more aware of the diverse cultures living in this world. Moreover, on an individual basis, the positive effects of globalization have also affected the daily life and standard of living of people. For example, nowadays a smartphone can connect you to people around the world and you can be employed by a company located in a foreign country. In other words, it can be said that globalization is not only an inevitable process but also a desirable one. And, as per Phil Gramm, “the world has greatly benefited from globalisation in the last 30 years.”
However, there seems to be another set of beliefs based more strictly on the Marxism-capitalism theory and brought forward by Neo-Marxists which emphasizes on the correlation between the process of globalization and the global expansion of capitalism. Therefore, the question that arises is whether globalization is indeed a stage in the evolution of global capitalism.
British sociologist Anthony Giddens (1990) claims that “with globalization, individuals and nations have become increasingly connected around the world. “However, to what extent can it be said that this interconnectedness is a positive development? The following text sets out to critically analyze and review the primary strands and arguments established by the Neo-Marxists in this debate.
Globalization is a process that emerged with the influence of the American culture. The terminology “Americanization” can be interpreted differently by different scholars and has also been used in different ideologies. However, it stems from the premise that the American way of living is preferred by most people around the world and as per cultural imperialists, globalization, along with the process of modernization, has spread the power of the American culture to different parts of the world.
America is a great superpower and is often considered as the Roman Empire of the present era. And, the American hegemony is dominating the world by imposing its culturally-produced goods and services on other countries. For example, there’s no denying that McDonald is the most popular fast food chain in the world, making it people’s number-one choice and taking over local food culture. People’s preference for American fashion trends, American sports, Hollywood movies, American sitcoms and other such American products are concrete evidence of America’s global cultural dominance.
And, here are three other subdivisions and other types of the American cultural hegemony that have taken the whole world by storm:
Coca-colonization: An ideology that defines how the diverse cultures of the world have been colonized by the cultural products and lifestyle of America.
McDonaldization: A term created by the sociologist George Ritzer (1993) that states how different communities have been homogenized and started adopting all the distinct features of an American fast food restaurant.
Disneyization: This process encompasses themed consumption experiences. A common example would be the merchandising of Disney products, again which stems from a very famous American mass media company.
While cultural imperialists have been emphasizing on how the American influence has led to the erosion of local cultures, norms and traditions, Neo-Marxists focus on how the American cultural hegemony would extend the benefits to the owners of the means of products, i.e. the capitalist class of the society.