Globalization is everywhere. Billboards, factories, fashion of younger people and more. In fewer words, when I first used to hear the word globalization, I thought about younger children growing up faster than they once had and I always used to find myself to be quite salty when hearing the term ‘globalization’. The video “The Travels of a T-shirt” opened my eyes to much more. Globalization is as simple as a product being used by Americans, recycled to Europeans AND also passed to the people of a village called Tanzania located in Africa. I thought it was incredible to see the producer follow the journey of one simple T-shirt. From Florida, Washington DC, California, Shanghai, a village in SubSaharan Africa and further; this T-shirt had seen it all. The video even discussed the market transfer and how globalization allowed these items to find their way into a used clothing trade (yet another aspect of global trade where small entrepreneurs replaced the jobs of corporations).
When looking deeper into this specific example of globalization, human rights are subsequently touched upon. Being able to make use of one product for so long and passing it down through a few different levels of social class or through a few different types of markets allows there to be a shelf for human rights. Instead of throwing away the t-shirt, people use globalization to reduce, reuse and recycle products with people who may not have as many opportunities and chances for success like others may have. In a way, globalization helps increase the standard of living and bring more rights and respect to those who may be struggling. By participating in this type of recycling process, the global community will also find itself growing stronger.
When reading through “Encountering Globalization” another big idea about globalization was brought to the forefront. Globalization can be simple – things that we often overlook such as eating at an Italian restaurant, ordering out Chinese food, turning on CNN for real time news stories, where your clothing was produced or even where the inputs for such products originate; “it is very possible to see the world without having to move. For now, the world is able to come to wherever we are” (Robins, 240). This quote hit home for me because it is crazy to think about the impact and effects other countries have on each other. To be able to stay in one place and experience similar types of trends or tastes has brought this world to another whole level. Because of this, business markets are constantly changing and evolving.
At first I thought that I encountered globalization when I was in the presence of marketing and advertising, but I now realize that I am constantly being affected and affecting globalization piece by piece. By purchasing different presents from the countries that I am traveling to/from and mailing them back to the states I am first handedly participating in globalization. By choosing to eat at a Mexican restaurant back in America or by donating my clothes to a local salvation army, I am participating in globalization. Ironically, one of the trends that I thought used to be very interesting is when traveling to other European countries and looking for a place to eat, there is always some type of “Ponte Vecchio Pasta” or “Duomo Italiano” restaurant. For some reason I always thought it was bizarre to see this type of thing in other countries but I never once thought about how this was a form of globalization and the United States has the exact same types of things… just with some more basic type names.
After the constant reflection and revision, our definition of global community has started to fade away from my mind. I feel as though there are so many working parts to a global community not one definition could define it properly. A global community would be composed of respect and character, a group of people who look out for each other and who impact others ways of life. A global community could be as simple as how everyone is interconnected and interdependent. Either way, a global community shows a sense of unity and influence.
The photo that I decided to include for this week is shown on the right. It helps convey my developing awareness of the interactions of globalization because it is depicting differences and unity. At first I thought that globalization was mainly negative, but throughout this course and my travels I have learned that globalization is a mix of a bunch of different things from culture and food all the way to media and business.
Robins,K., 2002. Encountering Globalization. In:C. Held & A. McGrew, eds. The Global Transformations Reader. Cambridge: Polity. Ch 20.