The modern world is changing rapidly every day, bringing something new and unknown to everyone’s life. New concepts, rules, and orders are emerging, including the evolving globalization. Despite the fact that this process cannot be called fundamentally new, it still remains one of the most controversial issues. On the one hand, globalization helps the social and economic development of states. On the other hand, it causes a substantial amount of harm to the developing countries and threatens their cultural integrity. Accordingly, globalization’s impact on global processes and people’s lives can be both positive and negative. Despite the wide variety of views and opinions on globalization, its influence is undeniable for everyone. The main problem is how this process affects the lives of each individual.
In order to properly assess the impact of the globalization process on people’s lives, it is necessary first to understand the concept itself. Theories help sociologists to explain the causes of certain events and processes. Globalization certainly affects social change, forcing people to face all risks and threats. For many centuries, humanity has lived under the threat of various cataclysms, epidemics, and other dangers. With the advent of such a concept as globalization, people are faced with new challenges that menace their security. Sociologists are still trying to develop a unified theory that would help describe this process. Karl Marx, for example, identified the importance of such an industry as the economy for the development of social life (Appelbaum et al. 1115). However, neither Marx’s theory nor any other theory can explain the changes in social life.
Thus, due to the lack of a unified theory for evaluating the impact of globalization on people’s lives, sociologists rely on their predecessors’ theories. Such scientists as Marx, Weber, Durkheim and many others laid all the foundations in the last century. Using their approaches and concepts, it becomes possible to define the impact of such a complex process more clearly. First, globalization has a significant effect on the cultural aspect of life. This process has exposed different cultures to all of humanity, making them recognizable and relevant. Familiarity with foreign cultures can widen one’s horizons and decrease the level of prejudices in society. On the other hand, cross-cultural contact may cause a reaction of alienation when society refuses to accept someone else’s culture (Hong and Cheon 810). This affects people’s daily life when they communicate with foreigners or meet tourists in their hometown. Moreover, many cultural features previously developed within their own country’s framework are becoming standard for individuals.
The development of globalization has led to such a concept as popular culture. At the moment, all people live in the same world, in which information is transmitted at a severe speed. For this reason, we can observe the spread of fashion, movies, music, and cuisine from one country to another. However, this effect of globalization cannot be considered completely positive. Some sociologists have concluded that the process of globalization has led to a kind of cultural imperialism (Appelbaum et al. 1161). According to this view, not all cultures are widely spread and perceived in the world. On the contrary, Western traditions, values, and peculiarities prevail in modern society and suppress other cultures. However, this fact can be argued with, giving an example of the Japanese animation anime genre. It is insanely popular worldwide, particularly in the United States, and has millions of fans. In this regard, it can be assumed that cultural imperialism is not completely subordinate to the Western world, although it is a large part of it.
Another effect of globalization is the development of such a concept as individualism. Even though globalization is often understood as the unification of humanity for the purpose of development, individualism plays a significant role in it (Orekhovskaya et al. 258). Factors such as class, gender, political views, and religion determined a person’s identity. In fact, people lived according to established attitudes, observing traditions, and respecting society’s values. However, at the moment, with the development of globalization, the world has begun to change. Individualism and the desire of a person to be an individual and stand out from others came to the fore. Information technologies, which emerged during the development of globalization, also play a key role in this process. Everybody uses social media and follows the news around the world. It is these everyday things that have begun to form a new identity within people. Now neither class, gender, nor other factors determine a person. On the contrary, people decide who they want to be, what subculture they belong to, how to dress, and who to work with.
In conclusion, globalization certainly has an impact on each of us in one way or another. Unfortunately, there is still no unified theory that can explain this influence. Despite this, many sociologists and other scientists have created a theoretical basis. Due to that, it becomes possible to distinguish such effects of globalization as individualism and pop culture. However, it is difficult to assess these effects accurately, whether they are positive or negative.
Appelbaum, Richard P., et al. Essentials of Sociology. 7th ed., W. W. Norton, 2018.
Hong, Ying-yi, and Bobby K. Cheon. “How Does Culture Matter in the Face of Globalization?” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 12, no. 5, 2017, pp. 810-823.
Orekhovskaya, Natalia, et al. “Globalization and Youth: Philosophical Analysis of Challenges and Ways to Overcome Them.” XLinguae, vol. 11, no. 2, 2018, pp. 256-264.