I have been in Ireland for a little more than 2 months and have been experiencing globalization every day. Some of the obvious but still important examples include Starbucks, Coca-Cola and McDonalds. In Cork alone there are four Starbucks, ten McDonald’s and you can buy a coke at every corner. I found a good definition of globalization in Encountering Globalization is; “A bit of this and a bit of that is how newness enters the world” (Salman Rushdie, 243). This quote relates to my music in Modern Ireland module I am taking here at UCC. In my class I realized that the only time the music has changed in Ireland was when they were colonized by the United Kingdom. Everything that makes Ireland what it is today originated from another culture bringing it to Ireland. For example, the fact that people drive on the left side of the road here is because Ireland was part of the United Kingdom when the law was established. Another example of globalization in Ireland is Oktoberfest. In every county in Ireland they have their own Oktoberfest which was originated in Germany but adopted in Ireland.
During the film T-Shirt travelers, Shantha Bloemen was talking about the clothing the African’s were wearing and she said; “The style of dress in the village was oddly familiar. The village elder in the Chanel knock off jacket, the women in the ACDC t-shirt, the children sporting Adidas…” This really made me think about the clothes that I have donated and where they might be now. In the film it was mentioned that all of the donated clothes go to the Salvation Army, but 95% of the clothes are shipped overseas without even being looked at. The film also mentioned that the largest export from America to Africa is used clothing and that all of these clothes being imported shut down all of the clothing factories in Africa. This left a large amount of people without jobs and had no other choice than to sell used clothes if they wanted money. The formation of globalization has turned Africa into a dumping ground for used, second hand objects that those in other countries do not want anymore.
I believe that the class’s definition of a global community works well for globalization. The current definition states that a global community is comprised of all living things who make up smaller communities that are conjoined by the desire to achieve human rights. Globalization is in my opinion the best way to achieve human rights for all. With globalization, countries are able to use resources that they once never had access to as well as trade among more than just themselves. Although the film portrays Africa as getting the short end of the stick it still shows how one learns to adjust to their surroundings and make an honest living to supply for his family.
The image I selected to convey my awareness of globalization shows the earth as the internet with people surrounding it all connected through the same grid. I chose this image because it is a good example of the center of globalization. Without the internet, globalization would not be nearly as big as it is today. This image is also a good example of how the world is completely reliant on the internet and without it the world would most likely crumble. The last example of globalization I have encountered in Europe is that no matter where you go, you can always find someone who speaks English. That makes me happy because it’s the only language I know, but also sad that everyone else in the world knows two languages.