The+Three+Tensions+of+Globalization - I S S U E S I N G L O...

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T HE A MERICAN F ORUM FOR G LOBAL E DUCATION A private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1970. Our mission is to educate United States citizens for responsible participation in our communities, our nation and our interdependent world. We offer consultation to global education programs and to those schools planning to “internationalize” or “globalize” their curricu- lum. We provide global and international education materials for classroom use and profes- sional development programs for teachers and administrators. We are a forum for the exchange of ideas and practices on content and directions of global education. ISSUES IN GLOBAL EDUCATION No. 176 • 2002-2003 Occasional Papers from the American Forum for Global Education Globalization 101 The Three Tensions of Globalization By L AURENCE E. R OTHENBERG W hat is globalization? Is it the integration of economic, political, and cultural systems across the globe? Or is it Americanization of world culture and United States dominance of world affairs? Is globalization a force for economic growth, prosperity, and democratic freedom? Or is it a force for environmental devastation, exploitation of the developing world, and suppression of human rights? In sum, is globalization "good" or "bad"? These questions would receive very different answers in Washington, Sao Paolo, Paris, Cairo, Johannesburg, Bombay, Hong Kong, and Manila. In fact, in each of those places these questions would receive very different answers from different people— business leaders, government officials, agricultural laborers, the unemployed, or human rights activists. Indeed, simple answers to these questions, answers that people in different walks of life in different countries would agree on, would be virtually impossible to reach. Most importantly, answers to these questions vary greatly depending on how globalization is viewed in relations to values. The impact of globalization on culture, for example, depends on whether one thinks that local cultures should be protected from outside influence, or whether one thinks that new cultural creativity results from inter- action and mixing of ideas from different cultures. After all, there are few cultures that are truly isolated, and cultural interaction, especial- ly though trade relations, has occurred for thousands of years—from Phoenecian traders’ impact on ancient Greek culture, to Chinese silk used in clothes in medieval Europe, to the spread of coffee, chocolate, and tobacco around the world, and to the impact of Chinese and Japanese styles in American and European art in the nineteenth century. In today’s world, American films and film styles are popular throughout the world, and foreign films are popular in the United States. Is this globalization of culture good, bad, neutral, or simply a fact of life?
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2010 for the course ECONOMICS Econ 13 taught by Professor Georgesarraf during the Winter '10 term at UC Irvine.

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The+Three+Tensions+of+Globalization - I S S U E S I N G L O...

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