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Mains Answer Writing

9-December-2023

1.  Globalization involves a complex exchange of cultural influences, where local identities are transformed by global forces, while global culture in turn is shaped by local identities. Discuss.

ANSWER

As per Anthony Giddens, globalization can be defined as the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa. Globalization shapes local identities, as:

  1. Family:
  2. Under the influence of globalization, there is a rise in number of nuclear families. E.g., increased rural-urban migration leading to break up of joint families.
  3. Increased brain drain has reinforced the empty nest syndrome. E.g., young students/professionals migrating to foreign lands.
  4. Women becoming co-breadwinners. Parallelly there is an increased awareness about the women rights.
  5. Increase in breakdown of families. E.g., Forbes report revealed that the number of divorces has gone up from 1 in 1,000 to 13 in 1,000 over the last decade.
  6. Jobs:
  7. Globalization has led to enhanced competition in the labor market, leading to unemployment (jobless growth) among unskilled workers.
  8. Automation of the industries have made the workers a mere cog in the wheel, inhibiting intellectual growth.
  9. The search for cheap labor has shifted the production/manufacturing base towards the

developing countries, distorting traditional agrarian occupation. E.g., textile industries in Bangladesh, Vietnam etc.

  1. Tradition/culture:
  2. Local/indigenous languages are facing the risk of extinction. E.g., usage of English has marginalized languages like Kumaoni, Gorkhali, Sanskrit etc.
  3. Local cuisines, celebrations, clothings etc., show distinct foreign influence. E.g., cutting cakes on birthday, Macdonaldization and Denimisation of food and clothing habits respectively.
  4. Conceptualization of self: As per experts, under the influence of western ideas, the conceptualization of individual identity is going through a paradigm shift. E.g., increase in assertion of LGBTQIA+ identities; demands for legalization of same-sex marriage etc.
  5. Seeking Validation: Global forces have disproportionately increased our urge to seek validation from the West. E.g., an Academy Award winning movie will be seen superior to a National Award winning movie.

The local identities also play a major role in shaping global culture, as can be seen from:

  1. Salutations: Local identities have the potential to alter the way people greet each other. E.g., during and post covid19 crisis, Indian way of greeting by saying Namaste with folded hands gained traction.
  2. Festivals: As a result of globalization local festivals gain global attention. E.g., celebration of Diwali in white house
  3. Racial acceptability: Forces of globalization have brought local practices on global stage. E.g.,

Sikh allowed to wear turban in armies of several western countries.

  1. Soft power: Global forces have made local values an instrument of soft power. E.g., celebration of world yoga day.

Dynamic flux between people, culture, ideas, and values have created a gloacalised (gloabal + local) culture. However, fine tuning of globalization is needed to weed out negative externalities like inequalities, mariginalisation of local cultures etc.

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