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Chapter 5: Cultural Dimension of Glozalization

In chapter 5, Steger discusses 3 areas of cultural globalization: Sameness of difference, The role of media, The globalization of language.

Culture is a learned set of shared interpreatitons about beliefs, values, norms, and social practices, which affect the behaviors of a relatively large group of people. Culture is dynamic, it’s in process and is adaptive.

Culture and cultural practices are moving beyond local areas of communities, towns, cities and nations. Today our cultures are interacting with one another and with global themes.  Today our cultures are interacting with one another and with global themes.

Through these interactions, culture is creating new meanings and practices. Cultural globalization refers to the intensification and expansion of cultural exchanges across the globe. Global culture exist beyond a geographical area.

Sameness: fueled by tranational corporations, computeres and internet, travel, printed media, televised media, movies, retail brands, food, services etc.

The expansion of American culture to the  rest of the world is referred to as Americanization, Densification, or McDonaldization.  Americanization/Westernization: Western norms and lifestyles are overwhelming other cultures. Cultural Hegemony: the cultural influence over another country or a group of people by a dominant group. 
Difference: Sociologist Roland Roberson rejects a cultural sameness theory and states that global culture can reinvigorate local cultures. Glocalization: a complex interaction of global and local characterized by cultural borrowing e.g cultural hybridity. Cultural Hybridity has become visible in fashion, art, music, film, food etc.

The Role of Media: Rise of globalized media, A small number of companies develop control media. TNC media secure cultural hegemony.

Media Mergers: In 2006, there were 8 media conglomerates in the US. Today there are 5. In Canada, 75% of the media is owned by 5 corporations. Smal stations, publishers, newspapers have to compete with media giants.

The loss of language: A language is lost every 14 days. By 2100, more than 50% of the languages spoken will disappear. 
Language is a vital form of symbolic expression and, therefore, culture. We must consider language when we examine culture. We study the shifting global patterns of language to evaluate cultural change. Some languages are used more in international communication  and other languages lose their prominence or even disappear.

Chapter 6: The ecological dimension of globalization

The ecological Dimensions of globalization: Environmental destruction was localized and slow-moving until Industrial revolution. Capitalist consumer industry – convincing us that meaning of life is in accumulation of things. 

Anthropocentric: human beings are the central or most significant entities in the world.
Eco-centric: places value on all living organisms and their natural environment, regardless of their  perceived usefulness or importance to human beings.

Energy is limited. Given that humans use fossil fuels to power increasingly mechanized lifestyles. More people, means more demand for energy: gas, oil, coal…

E-waste: due primarily to rapid socio- economic and technological advancement, the volume of electronic waste generated has been on the rise. TVS, computer monitors and electronic equipment are some common examples of e-waste.

Transboundary pollution: Synthetic chemicals into the air and water. Industrial emissions of sulfur/nitrogen (acid rain) and carbon emissions (CO2). Requires a global response.

½ wetlands have been destroyed

¾ of genetic diversity in agricultural crops and animals have been lost since 1900

1/3 of farmland strongly degraded.

Many governments see environmental measures as a threat to economic growth. US and Canada historically have opposed global climate change treaties (Kyoto Protocol). NGO’s and civil society continue to put pressure on government for policy changes

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change conference, COP 21 was held in France, from November 30 to December 11. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Sustainability is the ability or capacity of something to be maintained or to sustain itself. It’s about taking what we need to live now, without jeopardizing the potential for people in the future to meet their needs.

Global issues: food insecurity, climate change, pandemics (disease), displaced people/ refugees, environmental degradation and wealth inequality.

First half of the 20th century: efforts to liberalize and globalize markets dominated society. Economic activity and globalized markets failed to make environmental issues and human rights a priority.

What can be done? Solidarity networks- building alliances around the world; a feeling of unity between people who have the same interests, goals. Reformist agenda- making changes in order to improve something.

Social movements for change: workers/labour movements, civil rights, ecology/ environmentalist movements, women’s movements, lbgtq movements, peace movements.

Many people are critical of economic neoliberalism, or corporate globalization. Environmentalists, land rights and indigenous rights activists, organizations promoting human rights and sustainable development, and anti-sweatshop campaigners etc.

Internationally, activists have held protests ouside meetings of instituios such as the WTO, the international Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and the G2O. Activists have also launched campaigns targeting TN