Travel Log 10: Encountering Globalization

I would say the main area I see globalization is through music. Anytime I go out unless it is specifically to a place for a place that plays certain music I hear American music. I will head out for the night and hear The Chainsmokers, Drake or Rihanna. There has been a vast homogenization of culture through the broad reaches of globalization. With the introduction of the internet, just about everything has become instantaneously available across the world. A teenager in India can hear sounds coming out of Los Angeles and throw their own spin on them with a production program and in their bedroom they could create a song and potentially a whole new genre of music in the time it takes to make dinner. The issue with this global reach of music is that specifically with Western Pop is that it takes over for traditional or even simply local music, therefore, writing it out of history. When this happens the cultures of the world grow lesser as the Western culture grows stronger. This is just making the massive pool of culture smaller to the point where eventually there wouldn’t even be differences between cultures because there would only be one global culture.

Along with music, food is something I can see that has become more of a widespread global phenomenon. This is not done in the same way as music, however. The difference lies in the way the cultures are presented. Although, America was one of the earliest countries to appropriate other cultures food many other countries have followed suit. I recently had friends visit me in Barcelona and they commented that they were not expecting to see sushi, Chinese restaurants or other different foods from other cultures. It made me realize that although other countries in a way a ripping off other types of food they at least are keeping it alive while the globalization of music has a homogenizing effect the appropriation of food does not. This brings back the differences between a melting pot and a salad bowl in relation to how people refer The United States. Globalization can have both effects, in terms of music it is creating a melting pot but in terms of cuisine, it is becoming more a salad bowl, although, at times, the ingredients are not as fresh as they could be. I am not entirely sure where the globalization of fashion could fall on this spectrum. I would guess it is somewhere in the middle between the salad bowl and the melting pot as frequently different cultures influence others while still maintaining their roots and unique qualities that ensure that it is truly its own style.

Through all of this, I am learning to find my “global sense of place”. “A ‘global sense of place’ involves openness to global dynamics and also an acceptance of cultural diversity and the possibilities of cultural encounter within,” (Robins 244). I have been working to see which different things are from different cultures as I would say that Barcelona is a strongly global city. Throughout the day I can be seeing people from a wide range of countries both in the eastern and western hemispheres along with the global north and south. I have learned the small differences between people’s mannerisms and the ways they look that can show where they come from and it has made me more aware of my own as an American and of other Americans. Of course, for me, it is easiest to spot an American but seeing this has helped me appreciate the differences around me even more.


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