TL10″Encountering Globalization” by Kait Shortell, Paris, France


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Globalization is most definitely not the easiest topic to wrap my mind around, especially when reading the words of Kevin Robins. Since being abroad, I think the most obvious and common globalization I have seen is the cliché chain companies, which just exist in every country, like McDonalds and Apple. In France specifically, just as we have a plethora of cuisines in the States, they have several restaurants and cafes with “American” food. One is even called, Breakfast in America. After reading this week’s excerpt and watching the film, I am not sure if I feel that globalization is something to strive for completely.

I was always curious about what happened to the clothes that we all gave to Goodwill and where they went. After watching The Travels of a T-shirt, my curiosity was definitely fulfilled. It was somewhat discomforting to watch all the people they interviewed, and how clueless they were to the world around them. It was even scarier when I realized if I had been asked that question on the other side of the camera, my answer would have been no better than theirs. The second hand clothes given to these countries have quite an interesting effect. The intentions when giving them to these less-fortunate countries are meant to be very good. But, the result, was that so many people started buying the second-hand clothes, that it actually put clothing factories out of business, leaving many civilians with out work. Now, selling these clothes has become the “go-to” job for those without work, possibly to the point where there are just too many people selling them, that no one is making enough profit to live off of. Not only the economic side is suffering from this “gesture” but also the cultural side. Now that they have these second-hand clothes, there is no reason to make their own traditional clothes. And here we see Globalization.

“Globalization” and “Global Community” are becoming very fragile intangibles. I am beginning to find myself questioning if the good in these two words outweigh the bad, and vice versa. I think they are two totally separate things, and yet somehow very delicately tied into one another. I think globalization is only good up to a certain point. Once individual cultures start losing what makes them unique, or lose the values that create “culture shock” for outsiders, then globalization has gone too far. If that happened, everywhere we went would be the same, there wouldn’t be difference that forces us outside of our comfort zone, and nothing to challenge the way that we think. We would lose so much opportunity for growth globally, and individually. But, with that said, we can still be a global community, without losing the uniqueness of each country and its culture. Being a global community allows the openness to share our differences with one another, and be accepting of our differences. This creates a willingness and curiosity to learn. I also think a global community entails helping others if it is needed, but in a way that doesn’t suppress their values, or culture. My opinion of these things is still in the process of forming, but I definitely think it is evolving slightly from what we discussed originally in class, but that is why it is a working definition!

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