Globalization is a fascinating topic, especially for a student in my position abroad. Globalization is the ever-expanding and growing interconnecting nature of our world. If you take a look at the large scale view of the global world, you would see various nations that have been consistently in battle with one another since the beginning of time. Shifts in borderlines, peoples, cultures have been constantly taking place since before Christ. In the modern world, however, globalization takes on a much different shape. One that differs from a world that is sharing culture and values through war campaigns and empire construction. The modern world is one in which the participants of the realm build off one another. The nations not only consult each other, but they share and assist each other through allied relations. This does not go to say that war, conflict or misunderstanding does not exist because that would be ignorant. These issues remain in our world significantly, and I believe they are in fact enhanced by the accessible nature of world news, and global connectedness.
Globalization in my eyes had gone otherwise unnoticed until I traveled abroad. Each and every day I see myself growing as an individual in a global community. Our definition of “global community” exemplifies these feelings I have been developing since August. When someone is placed into a host culture, they endure a shock that may be difficult to overcome. I believe the increase in globalization, however, has diminished such a shock significantly for students today. Globalization has allowed developed nations to share and adopt the culture, norms and sometimes language of other nations. In my case, Florence is a city in which globalization has taken a toll on the culture. The mass amounts of tourists in this city has forced native tongue to fall by the wayside. The majority of native Italians speak English, and this has reduced my need to force the native language into my brain. In addition to language, I find that clothing stores, food, leisure activities a nightlife is also significantly globalized. I may be drinking a beer from Germany while at an Italian night club listening to Justin Bieber. It is an utterly astonishing yet fascinating phenomenon. Robins writes in his article that, “What globalization in fact brings to existence is a new basis for thinking about the relation between culture convergence and cultural difference” (224). This idea is captivating to consider as an abroad student. I have undoubtedly thought about the relationship between these two concepts. Cultural difference remains existent due to the inability for others to adopt those cultural norms. It is important to remember that the only reason globalization expands, is because those of one culture adopt the standards of another. When this occurs, it is known as cultural convergence. I see this as an important aspect of the global world. As time progresses I predict globalization will continue to expand. I think that the world will begin to sympathize with the people of every nation rather than just their own. Human rights will, in my opinion, be more respected as the respect for different culture expands as well.
The photo I have chosen for this week is a picture of my friends and I at a “pink toga party” in Corfu, Greece. I believe this photo exemplifies the ideas of globalization in the sense that I was partaking in a very Americanized version of a former Greek tradition. The party included plate smashing, also a Greek tradition, but also included a shot with every plate which seems to be most appealing to American college students. I think that globalization is an important part of studying abroad and I find that by understanding how it works you are able to appreciate the individual culture that still exists.