Written by Nor Diyana Abd Kadir
Over the past 60 years, we have seen a cultural shift in developing societies around the world primarily through the rapid usage of technology in their daily lives. The exchange of information upon this varied wide network of telephones and computers has made it easier for people to communicate, transact which undoubtedly enhance their productivity.
The impact on third world nations, like many countries in Asia is very much profound since they are still growing in population. Their mindset is grounded to the believe of communal (we) as opposed to western culture (I) that focuses on individualism. Here, large corporations face little competition and resistance due to market forces.
The US has played a crucial role in the development of these nations through their influential presence in the media and telecommunications as well as other aspects of the socioeconomic realm like finance and transportation. It has somewhat adopted the first world cultural style gradually moving away from the traditional norms. These markets are not saturated hence providing more opportunity for business to expand. In time, the force of globalization shifts power away from sovereign governments to already wealthy private capitals.
Although many were bought into the idea of free market as a saviour to their disparity, undoubtedly many of those ideas did bring in wealth to its people. Some proponents might suggest that western influence whether it is in terms of technology or businesses has brought them out from the brink of hardship. For example, capital influx from overseas investment such as giant telecommunications companies have provided the choice of connectivity to the millions of people of India and South East Asia that was never experienced before.
The spill-over effect is increasing in welfare amongst the underprivileged which can now earn a better living from jobs offered in both skilled and unskilled sectors. This technological advancement means that more and more people can benefit from a wide range of businesses that support the industry. With an increase in the standard of living, people have the opportunity to get access to better education, medical facilities, food, shelter and additional services such as entertainment and transportation.
In contrary, one of the destructive effects of western influence would be that a nation would lose its sovereignty and its culture with the implementation of globalization and free market forces. For example, change of policy has made some countries borrow money from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank with outlandish clauses which further control power and wealth to the already rich. This form of dominance and control creates a dependency to these corporations that put its people into further enslavement.
In conclusion, globalization has brought forth positive and negative influence to the developing nations. The government needs to be cautious on the changes that they are trying to bring into their country. Not all changes promise the prosperity to a nation’s development. Decisions by the policy makers may unknowingly confiscate its people of their rights and privileges, worsening the already deprived situation further into depths of social calamity.
- Mohammadi, A. (1997). International Communication and Globalization: A Critical Introduction. London, Thousand Oaks & New Delhi : SAGE Publications.