“Forward ever, backward never: onwards with Breaking Through”

Globalization and Its Effect on Society

Impact of Globalization and Its Effect on Society
The term “Globalization” has been widely used in the last fifteen years.  It is a controversial term and has been defined in several different ways.  Globalization indicates that the world today is more interconnected than before.  Globalization in its basic economic sense refers to the adoption of open and unfettered trading markets. Large volumes of money movement, increased volumes of trade, changes in information technology and communication are all integral to a global world.  There is also a significant movement of people from one country to another for trade and work.  Such increases in the movement of goods, labour, and services have weakened national barriers and restrictions that are imposed by a nation state. In the past two decades, economic globalization has been the driving force behind the overall process of globalization.  
Globalization and Its Impact on People: –
Globalization is associated with rapid and significant human changes.  The movements of people from rural to urban areas has accelerated, and the growth of cities in the developing world especially is linked to substandard living for many. Family disruption and social and domestic violence are increasing.   
 Concepts of national identity, and of family, job and tradition are changing rapidly and significantly. There is concern that competitiveness introduced by globalization is leading to more individualistic societies. On the other hand, rapid change can encourage fundamentalism, a desire for the past, and a loss of tolerance for differences in religion and culture. The nation state is losing influence relative to global economic pressures, and in some countries, there is a failure or hesitation to develop social policies. All of these changes increase the likelihood that vulnerable people will be exploited, and threats to the human rights of less able people will increase.
 So people as consumers are being studied for their patterns and behaviours of spending.   At one level, it may appear that globalization has no significant impact on families and that our lives are ‘normal’ in most circumstances. Many people are not totally aware of how they form a crucial part of this phenomenon. The reality is that every single individual is affected in one way or another. These changes affect people’s identities and cultural values, which sometimes become altered significantly.  Whether it is between generations, or intra-personally, new values can cause dissonance and conflict with existing deeper-rooted values. Sometimes such transitions and changes can further cause difficulty with internal growth and development.
 Globalization appears to be a significant force in the psychological development of the people of the 21st century. Globalization has been going on in some form or another for centuries: Cultures have long influenced each other through trade, migration, and war. As a consequence of globalization, the challenges of creating a viable identity are perhaps greater than they have been in the past. According to Giddens (2000), “when globalization alters and erodes traditional ways, identity “has to be created and recreated on a more active basis than before”. Identity is less influenced by prescribed social roles and based more on individual choices, on decisions that each person makes about what values to embrace and what paths to pursue in love and work. Some people react to this responsibility with identity confusion or seek refuge in a self-selected culture that offers more structure and takes over some decisions. Social and Cultural Impacts of Globalization: The Impact on Families Up to now, my discussions on the psychological impact of globalization have described changes and influences only at an individual level.  The study of families and changes they experience as a system although rich and complex can be very time consuming and expensive and perhaps best obtained one family at a time through clinical counters.
India is a culturally diverse country. Sixteen per cent of the world’s population lives in the country. There are over 826 languages and thousands of dialects spoken. The difference in regions, topography and climate allow for different types of lifestyles and culture. Although about 70 per cent of the populations live in rural areas, India is rapidly urbanizing with more than 225 cities with over 100,000 population, and at least ten cities alone with over a million people.
By United Nations standards, Indian has begun to age.  Over 7.7% of the population is above 60 years and this number is expected to reach 12.6% by the year 2025.  . Improved sanitation, increased attention to maternal health and better childcare facilities greatly reduced infant mortality rates.  Globalization is hardly a new force affecting India. To think so is to ignore a diverse and pluralistic long-standing civilization that was shaped by a long list of “invading” (globalizing) cultures that became what we now know as India. The previous globalizers of India include the Aryans, Greeks, Turks, Afghans, Muslims and most recently, the Europeans, Portuguese, French, Dutch and finally the English.
 The former globalizers that came with invading armies have increasingly been replaced by less violent but equally powerful globalizers. Television is arguably the most dominant gateway of globalization affecting India today. While TV was launched in India in the late 1950s it only became widespread in the 1980s, after the governments ended their monopoly as the only broadcaster. Satellite TV arrived in 1991, bringing with it far reaching consumerism.  In terms of people, India faces some resource and infrastructure constraints. Increased longevity has led to the emergence of many health and social issues. Fragmentation of the traditional family network is leading to an erosion of the available support within the immediate and extended family.
 Migration of younger generations from rural to urban areas and from one urban centre to another as well as transnational migration has resulted results in the elderly being left to fend for themselves at a time when family support becomes more crucial. With more women joining the workforce system, the care of aged within families has declined.  For those who live within extended families the elderly has to live in harmony with the younger generation that has to face a highly competitive world of globalization.  While the nuclear family system is increasingly becoming the norm, modern life-styles, changing professional and personal expectations are impacting relationships of marriage and commitment.  In cities, young people are starting to choose their own partners. Arranged marriages, however, continue.
Consumerism has permeated and changed the fabric of contemporary Indian society. Western fashions are coming to India. The traditional Indian dress is increasingly being displaced by western dresses especially in urban areas.  Indian MTV, soap television, and films set a stage for patterns of behaviour, dress codes and jargon.   Despite prohibition of child labour by the Indian constitution, over 60 to 115 million children in India work.  While most rural child workers are agricultural laborers, urban children work in manufacturing, processing, servicing and repairs. Globalization most directly exploits an estimated 300,000 Indian children who work in India’s hand-knotted carpet industry, which exports over $300 million worth of goods a year. Uncounted other children work in less formal sectors, such as the incense industry, used both domestically and exported. Reports indicate that urban Indian children and youth face significant competition and pressure to succeed the growth of the computer and technology sector has provided middle class educated women with better wages, flex-timings, and the capacity to negotiate their role and status within the household and society.  On the other hand, women continue to work in poorly paid, mentally and physically unhealthy, and insecure situations.
 For most women, their domestic responsibilities are not alleviated.  Wage gaps have not showed any significant changes in most employment sectors other than information technology.  Additionally, prostitution, abuse and dowry related suicides are on the increase despite globalization and some say that the materialistic greed is one of the main causes.
At last we can conclude that Globalization and marginalization go hand in hand in India. With millions of poor farmers, rural laborers, urban unemployed, slum-dwellers, 3 million refugees, 100 million street children, and the millions displaced by ‘the development’ projects, poverty in this era of globalization has assumed new dimensions.  The question of “are the poor getting poorer?” related to inequality both nationally and internationally.  It is apparent that in order to ensure that the potential gains from globalization are shared among all groups. As Amartya Sen states, “Even if the poor were to get just a little richer, this would not necessarily imply that the poor were getting a fair share of the potentially vast benefits of global economic interrelations.”