Travel Log 10: “Encountering Globalization” by Nicole Muckenhirn. Gold Coast, Queensland

With every passing minute the world becomes more and more globalized.  McDonalds go up, companies make trades, and advertisements are made.  This is the world we live in.  A world where you can’t walk down the street without seeing someone wearing some kind of logo.  Australia is not exempt from this.  They, like the United States have embraced mass consumerism.  My hotel is surrounded by all kinds of fast food stores, most of them the same ones back in the United States.

            I have mixed feelings about the benefits of globalization.  The town I live in has actually fought against globalization.  We are labeled historic which means no chain stores are allowed.  That means no Dunkin Donuts to get you up and running and no late night McDonalds.  The only thing we have is a 7/11 which is allowed because gas stations are a necessity.  I actually really enjoy the atmosphere this creates.  We’re a small town yet people still flock to us because of the beautiful nature and three state parks.  Globalization is obviously still present in a multitude of other forms such as brands. 

Globalization reaches all corners of the globe.  Watching the T-shirt video showed how much of an impact it can have in poorer countries.  When you donate clothes you don’t think that it can also have a negative effect.  This video showed just how much an economy can be slowed down by globalization.  People quit their jobs to sell second hand clothing from America.  This slowed down the African economy which already had its own clothing companies. 

Kevin Robins in, Encountering Globalization says, “globalization may be seen in terms of an accumulation of cultural phenomena where new global elements coexist alongside existing and established local or nation forms.”  This means that globalization does not completely get rid of the existing culture, it merely adds to it.  He also includes two terms called “McDonaldization” and “Coca-colinization”.  These are referring to two companies which have become household names and have spread across the entire globe.  The products offered by these companies are not healthy for the body, yet they are so popular.  These companies have also learned to adapt to the cultures of different areas.  McDonalds sells sushi in its restaurants in Japan and chicken with noodles in Indonesia.  Coke offers a huge range of flavors outside of what we have in the US.

Our class defined the global community as “All people around the world living by and fighting for similar social values and basic rights”.  I personally don’t think this is a great definition.  This excludes people who fight for and believe in different things.  Even if they fight for things we don’t personally believe in they still have an impact on us.  A prime example is of the war in Iraq.  The U.S. is there fighting against people with fundamentally different beliefs.  Yet, they are a huge part of our global community.  We send people to engage in war with them and spend copious amounts of money.  You don’t have to agree with someone to have them be part of your community. 

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The picture above was taken off of the Q1 skytower in Surfer’s Paradise Broadbeach.  I chose it because it is a view of where I currently live.  One of those tall skyscrapers in the distance is what I call home.  And below that are two McDonalds within a mile, a Starbucks, a hungry jacks, Krispy Kreme, and countless other places that we have back in the US.  In this picture there is also the first skyscraper to come to Queensland.  It was built in the 1900’s and was only 10 stories tall.  Back then it took 5 years to sell all of the apartments because no one thought skyscrapers would stick around.  It’s crazy to look out at the view and see how far it has expanded up and know the globalization that has taken place within them. 

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