Since I have been residing in Ireland, I have found that globalization of the Irish culture is just as much in America as the American culture is in Ireland. There are many similarities between globalization in America and Ireland but there are also significant differences. For example, some designer clothing brands that were popular and commonly seen in America while our generation was in middle school is popular now among the students our age in Ireland. Brands like Hollister, Abercrombie and Aéropostale are the most common clothing brands that I see college students wearing which is different to experience because back in America, these clothing brands were popular when we were in middle school. At some restaurants, I see “American” as a food-group on a menu, which I find humorous because the selections always range from a hamburger and hotdog to a variety of fried foods. Kevin Robbins explains the globalization theory through the idea of “hybridization” between two or more cultures and there are many similarities that Americans share with the Irish culture. Right down the road from our apartment is a Subway fast-food restaurant and there is a Burger King and a McDonald’s in the city center of Cork. The “golden arches” of McDonald’s are a familiar vision for almost anyone internationally. As Kevin Robbins states in his article Encountering Globalization on page three, “’McDonaldization.’”
In the T-Shirt Travels video, I found it interesting that the number one import and highest paid career was selling second hand clothing from America and European countries. I had no idea that selling second hand clothing was even a career option and it was extremely eye opening what the families have to negatively endure if a certain amount of clothing is not sold. Lukas, the main focal point of the videos, was incapable of proposing to his girlfriend because he has to wait until he sells enough second hand clothing so that he can afford a tin roof for his family (estimated to be one-hundred U.S. dollars) and make sure that his siblings and cousins receive a full education. Although his life story is heartbreaking, he never once complains about the hardships that he has to go through and wants to take responsibility for his success as well as his siblings’ success.
The video was a great example of the globalization between America, European countries and Africa. An African man was seen wearing a “Detroit Pistons” t-shirt while a child was seen wearing an “X-Men” t-shirt. While both of these people probably have no real grasp or connotation to the meaning behind the clothing, I do not think it made a difference to them. There is such a high demand for clothing in some African countries because they aren’t exporting many goods anymore and rely heavily on loans from the United Bank. It is unfortunate that globalization plays this much of a negative role on Zimbabwe but, without it, they would not have the income from the second hand clothing that they need in order to put food on the table.
The idea of globalization can have both positive and negative correlations between each culture and, with them, can give rise to stereotypes. When Americans were interviewed in the video, some of them seemed absolutely clueless to the ongoing issues in Africa. In return, an Zimbabwean male is interviewed in the video and he says, “If you are not here to help us, then get out.” Some of the Zimbabweans were expressing their love for America and Americans while others saw that the Americans weren’t doing enough to help out. With that being said, I do not think that our definition should be changed because in this case, it makes sense. We are comprised of smaller communities conjoined by the ideal thought that human rights can be achieved.
image from: http://www.heresyblog.net/2015/02/globalization-good-for-rich-bad-for.html