Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” By: Stephen Sharo Dunedin, NZ

Globalization in New Zealand has been evident even before I even stepped foot in New Zealand. When I first received my address for my living arrangement I immediately looked up the address on google maps. Two of the first places on the map were KFC and McDonalds and it seemed as though there was no way to escape from American culture. Everyone in New Zealand has a view on American politics and even other tourists from around the world continue to ask us about the American culture.  Brands such as coke and Doritos are present in the convenience and grocery stores, however I was surprised to see that New Zealand was not completely overloaded with American brands.  Many of the grocery stores and markets were New Zealand brands and many stores happily displayed 100% New Zealand owned and manufactured.

Globalization can be clearly seen in New Zealand in the form of music. American music dominates the charts throughout the country. The popular artists in the country are the same mainstream artists in the United States such as Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, etc. Yet there is still a presence of New Zealand based artists who are extremely popular. For example, one band Six60 is a band that formed in Dunedin and has become popular throughout the country. When I heard the band on the radio and asked a local Kiwi who the artist was I received the answer told, “Oh this is Six60, they’re a New Zealand band of course you don’t know them.”

One of the quotes which resonated with me and this experience with the band Six60 was the quote from “Encountering Globalization” which states, “The swirling and eddying of humanity mingles ideas, cultures, and values as never before in history,”(Robins, 243).  The reason this quote was so impactful is because the band has such a unique sound. There was a certain familiarity within the music, with the clear distinctions of American rock and pop, but another element was present as well. It seemed as though the calming and soothing environment of New Zealand was infused within the music. It is clearly a fusion of American music and New Zealand culture which produced an entirely different genre of music. The only way to truly understand the art form I am describing is to take a listen for yourself.

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2 thoughts on “Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” By: Stephen Sharo Dunedin, NZ

  1. I have found very similar aspects of globalization in Florence, Italy as you have in New Zealand. American music is extremely prevalent and is almost entirely what is played in most stores and restaurants. I have heard that it is due to the fact that the music industry and music in general is much more adorned in the US than most places in the world thus why the music industry is so powerful. I have also found that American brands are not often sold in the grocery stores besides a few leading American brands like Hershey. That was surprising to me. In Amsterdam in particular I found a couple stores that I thought were hilarious as they held only American brands, brands and items that haven’t been popular or sold since before we were born.

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  2. Just as Lauren said above in relation to your post, I also found that American music was a huge thing in Barcelona and even throughout Europe. It is actually incredibly surprising because while you travel Europe you come across your typical “Irish Pub” or “Irish Bar” everywhere you go, like how we have them in the US, however, all throughout Europe they also have bars specifically categorized as “American”. These American bars play all American music and have “American” decor where all the study abroad students will usually be found. The American music and American pop culture drives these bars and clubs into globalization.

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