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Research Essay: What are the effects of globalization?
Different types of essays have different requirements. While some require only personal input, others require the integration of information from credible scholarly sources. Such essays will therefore need to support their thesis statement using evidence gleaned from research. This sample essay discusses the positive and negative effects of globalization on society.
As a result of globalization, nations have traded technology, goods, investments, information, services, and labor, thereby establishing economic, political, and social partnerships. Throughout history, numerous countries have benefited from economic and technological advances brought about by globalization. However, globalization has also brought negative effects, such as unequal growth opportunities, damage to the environment, and cultural erasure. This essay will contrast the positive and negative effects of globalization in terms of innovations, economies, education, and culture. Whereas globalization has contributed to increased foreign direct investments, technological innovation, and better education systems, it has also accelerated environmental degradation and cultural erasure.
Globalization can be conventionally defined as the integration and eventual interdependence of different world cultures, populations, and economies as a result of cross-border business and movement in the last century (World Commission On The Social Dimension Of Globalization [WCSDG], 2004). As a major driving force, globalization has profoundly changed the world in the last century. The world as it is today would not be the same without globalization. Globalization paved the way for free trade among nations as well as the free exchange of ideas (Fernando, 2022). Crucial to the rise of globalization, of course, was the emergence of technology and its effects . The development of the internet and its spread, for instance, have essentially made the world a global village. As a result, people are exposed to other cultures, local politics are affected by international politics, and vice versa. Likewise, economies have become more integrated, interdependent, and responsive to both local and international factors.
Positive Effects of Globalization
One of the main positive effects of globalization is the increase in foreign direct investment in many countries. Globalization opened up the world to international trading, largely through technological innovations that eliminated many barriers and improved supply chain processes. For example, it takes far less time today for goods to be transferred. Meanwhile, the internet and associated innovations like cloud computing have made the exchange of information faster than ever. For developing countries importing various products, this meant economic growth as their market expanded (Kuepper, 2020). In the past few decades, however, these countries do not just rely on exports. As more companies from developed countries respond to globalization, they expand their reach by investing in developing countries. Foreign direct investment is a strong stimulant to local economies and could boost industrial restructuring as well as technology transfer and innovations.
Another positive effect of globalization is the stimulation of technological innovation. Technology constantly evolves as it attempts to resolve old and new problems. As globalization occurs, it also sheds light to areas that require improvement. For example, companies that reap the benefits of globalization have an incentive to continue improving in order to stay on top of the competition. With increased global competition, the private sector has to push harder for technological innovation (Kuepper, 2020). Since the start of globalization, manufacturing processes have evolved so much that most factories now are filled with machinery. Technological developments have also spilled into information and communications (Kuepper, 2020). The internet, in particular, brings numerous advantages for both developed and developing countries. The internet enabled more people to have access to information and other services through their smartphones, which without a doubt has led to a better quality of life for many. An example of a sector that has benefitted so much from technological innovation is e-commerce . Today, people can trade goods and services with anyone in the world without leaving the comfort of their home or workplace.
Finally, globalization has also contributed to the establishment of better education systems. This is especially true for numerous developing countries where globalization served as a catalyst for the improvement of education. Educators were able to improve education systems by interconnecting methods of teaching from various countries (Gupta, 2017). Furthermore, more people have had access to primary up to university levels (Gupta, 2017). Recent developments in education have started including multicultural awareness (Gupta, 2017). Institutions prepare individuals who are not only skilled but also understand the complexity of a diverse world. With better education systems, the world will not only continue to advance, but systems will continuously improve.
Negative Effects of Globalization
While globalization has brought positive changes, it also has negative consequences. One of these is the rise in poverty in certain sectors. Although economies grow as a result of globalization, the wealth generated by economic growth is not distributed equitably. Countries and people in the margins are often left behind. Countries with valuable raw materials and lower labor costs are favored over those that do not possess the same. Thus, developments tend to be limited in different areas. Among countries that receive foreign direct investments, the effects remain uneven. FDIs that bring new jobs and higher income for governments make it difficult for local, smaller businesses to thrive (McDonald et al., 2018). Hence, despite the economic growth, economies remain unstable. Furthermore, these circumstances push people to depend on multinational companies for their livelihood, which makes them vulnerable to unethical labor practices that have become prevalent in an effort by these companies to be cost-efficient (Kates, 2019). For example, the rising rate of poverty in the Western world is considered as partly attributable to globalization (Blanchet et al., 2019). Overall, while globalization brings economic growth, this growth tends to be uneven among countries, and especially among citizens.
Globalization has also provoked larger demands for various raw materials, which in turn has led to the rampant exploitation of natural resources. Ultimately, this has led to extensive damage to agricultural lands and ecosystems. This is on top of chemical pollution and air pollution. For instance, when palm oil became a staple ingredient in various products, rainforests in Southeast Asia were cut down and replaced with palm trees (Balch, 2013). This led to numerous species dying out due to loss of habitat (Balch, 2013). Similarly, mining causes erosion of mountains, leading to landslides, flash floods, and other similar natural disasters. Such damages to the environment aggravate the climate change crisis caused by the emission of greenhouse gases . The problems engendered by environmental crises are now being felt across the world in the form of environmental disasters like wildfires, droughts, and devastating storms.
Finally, globalization also often results in the decline of cultures. The culture of minorities often clashes with the harbingers of globalization. Foreign direct investments in the form of mining companies have pushed indigenous groups out of their ancestral lands (Islam et al., 2019). Consequently, damages to the environment disproportionately impact the lives and livelihoods of indigenous groups. Meanwhile, some education systems only favor those in the center as education systems often only cater to Western ideas and systems. Indigenous knowledge and culture are not only left at the margins but also considered savage and not worthy of being taught (Bhalla & Luo, 2017). Furthermore, education systems often favor one language, a lingua franca or usually English, as the mode of instruction. As an indirect result, younger generations end up not learning their language, adapting instead to the lingua franca and the mainstream culture (Islam et al., 2019). When local and indigenous cultures are not valued, as they are replaced by American or European cultures propagated by globalization, indigenous cultures risk dying out.
Globalization has both positive and negative effects. As demonstrated by this essay, the positive effects are felt by developed countries and advantaged groups in developing countries, whereas the negative effects are often felt by minority groups. Globalization has brought about more investments in less prosperous countries, technological progress, and better education. However, it has also caused environmental degradation and cultural erasure, both of which are disproportionately suffered by those on the fringes of society. Stakeholders must acknowledge the interdependence of the world and open up discussions and decision-making fora to minority groups. The negative effects of globalization occur because of a disproportionate favor on economies, that is, on profits and cost-efficiency, and this is only one of the many untoward consequences of globalization. Since globalization affects all aspects of global life, these aspects should be considered with equal priority.
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Balch, O. (2013, July 4). Palm oil production: What are the social and environmental impacts? The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/palm-oil-production-social-environmental-impacts
Bhalla, A. S. & Luo, D. (2017). Minorities in a global perspective. In Poverty and Exclusion of Minorities in China and India (pp. 321-364). Palgrave Macmillan,
Blanchet, T., Chancel, L., Gethin, A. (2019). Forty years of inequality in Europe: Evidence from distributional national accounts. The Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://voxeu.org/article/forty-years-inequality-europe
Fernando, J. (2022, June 29). Globalization in business with history and pros and cons. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/globalization.asp
Gupta, P. (2017, April 6). Impact of globalization in education. EdTech Review. https://edtechreview.in/news/2730-globalization-in-education
Islam, M. R., Wahab, H. A., Burmester, C. F., & Chowdhury, S. R. (2019). Cultural globalization: A critical analysis of identity crises in the developing economies. In Faghih, N. (Ed.), Globalization and Development (pp. 369-385). Springer.
Kates, M. (2018). Sweatshops, exploitation, and the case for a fair wage. Journal of Political Philosophy, 27 (1), 26-47. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopp.12155
Kuepper, J. (2020, April 4). The impact of globalization on economic growth . The Balance. https://www.thebalance.com/globalization-and-its-impact-on-economic-growth-1978843
McDonald, C., Buckley, P. J., Voss, H., Cross, A. R., & Chen, L. (2018). Place, space, and foreign direct investment into peripheral cities. International Business Review, 27 (4), 803-813. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibusrev.2018.01.004
World Commission On The Social Dimension Of Globalization [WCSDG]. (2004). Globalization and its impact. In A fair globalization: Creating opportunities for all (pp.12-48). International Labor Organization. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/wcsdg/docs/rep2.pdf
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