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Globalization and cultural studies

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Globalizationand cultural studies

Theworld has become hugely interconnected over the last couple of year.With globalization being the preferred mode of operation for manybusinesses, the world has become borderless. Developments made in thefield of information communication technology have also played a keyrole in helping bridge the gap that exists between people fromdifferent regions of the world. As a result, the world has becomemore interconnected with a lot of intercultural sharing. Thesedevelopments have made it easier for businesses to penetrate anddominate foreign markets. In their videos on Ted talk, both PeterAlfandary and James Sun argue that there is a need for people to makean effort to learn about other cultures as this enhances relation andunderstanding among people. The paper presents an analysis ofexisting research and current trends that reiterate or disapprove theviews held by these narrators. It seeks to show that thoughglobalization has taken root in today’s world, there is a need totake an interest in learning other cultures as this will ensure abetter understand especially when doing business.

PeterAlfandary: The myth of globalization

Inhis video, Peter presents a case as to why there is a need to learnabout other cultures. He notes that there is a tendency for people toassume because they share a common language or live in the same partof the world that they understand each other’s cultures. However,he illustrates how misplaced this belief is by proving that peoplemay live together with no understanding of each other’s uniquecultural practices (YouTube). In his opinion, intercultural learningis important to do away with the assumptions that people hold andalso to start engaging from a point of knowledge and not stereotypes.

JamesSun: Diversity and globalization

Inhis part, James tries to illustrate the stride that the world hasmade in creating a platform where people from different walks of lifeand culture can come assemble in one place and make a difference. Henotes that the greatest challenge to the world accruing all thebenefits of globalization is the failure of many to appreciatediversity. In his view, most people tend to make assumptions aboutother cultures and engage using these half-truths (YouTube). However,he notes that if all were to take an interest in learning about thedifferent culture, there would be tremendous progress as people wouldhave a chance to offer their best for the benefit of society.


Therelationship between intercultural differences and globalization is afactor that has attracted a lot of attention from researchers who tryto find out the issues that need to be addressed to ensure borderlesstrade is a success. Currently, stakeholders from different fields areof the opinion that cultural studies need to be introduced at alllevels of learning in order to equip learners with an understandingof other societies. Those calling for this move believe that theseskills will not only ensure better relations across nations, but willalso play a role in making sure that the young generation acquireskills which will be crucial for their survival in a world that isgetting more intertwined by the day (Pieterse, p 44). The issuesdiscussed below are some of the reasons why there is overwhelmingsupport for the introduction of cultural studies in the educationsystem.

Firstly,learning about a culture enables one to know cultural themes. Eachsociety has its unique way of doing things, and this plays a vitalrole while engaging in business. Additionally, these themes alsoinfluence how people interact (Moran, Neil, and Sarah, p 142). A goodexample would be the Chinese practices and beliefs which are deeplyrooted in Confucian values. This is an important piece of informationthat is required during business negotiations or social interactions.When trying to get into an agreement, a person who fails tounderstand how the Chinese operate can misinterpret their appearanceas non-committal and probably cause the breaking of the proceeding.However, having an understanding of the culture will equipnegotiators with the knowledge that delays in negotiations is not asign of lack of interest but a policy used by the Chinese to buildtrust and assess how long one can endure.

Understandingthe culture of others also play a vital role in enabling one tocommunicate effectively. Different people communicate different andeven though people may use a common language, aspects like bodylanguage are culturally oriented. For instance, most communities inEast Asia rely heavily on body gestures to communicate (Stromquistand Karen, p 93). This is a complete opposite of the direct westernstyle. A person who does not understand these differences mayprofoundly misinterpret the other and thus lead to miscommunication.In an era where global attention is shifting east, a person whounderstands the culture would have an easier time engaging withpeople from other cultures.

Processengineering is another reason why people are favoring culturalstudies. This is a tool that is especially relevant in futurebusiness transactions as it is what separate a multinational from aglobal entity. The goal of every organization is to have its productsavailable in every corner of the earth. However, most companies onlyhave operations in a few countries. Cultural studies will provide thenecessary workforce that will help these multinationals to becomeglobal entities (Pieterse, p 51). This, in turn, will ensure everyperson has access to quality goods and services. In essence, culturalstudies is a tool that will play a pivotal role in helping transformthe future of humanity.

Theother benefit that people will accrue from studying different cultureis that students will have a better understanding of group dynamics.This is an important tool in enabling one to know how people fromdifferent cultures operate when put in a group (Moran, Neil andSarah, p 138). With increased diversity in educational institutions,social place, and offices, having some understanding of group dynamicwill enable one to learn how to deal with different people, and thisis important as it will cut on inefficiency that results frommisunderstandings.

Glocalizationis another factor that makes the push to mandate the introduction ofcultural studies in learning institutions at all level. This is aterm that is used by organizations to refer to the repackaging ofeither goods, services or communication so as to fit a certain divide(Stromquist and Karen, p 87). Understanding people`s culture andpractices is not enough if one is unable to interact in a manner thatis cognisant of the requirement of the target community. It isimportant for people to learn how to package goods and service andeven communication in a manner that ensures it is well received. Thiswill ensure there is respect for other cultures and practices. Thus,equipping future generations with this knowledge will ensure betterservice delivery and this will go far in ensuring cross-culturalbusiness partnership are durable.

Learningabout other cultures will also play a vital role in understandingtime orientation. As a concept, time is something that holdsdifferent meaning to different cultures. In western societies, timeis viewed as a precious commodity and its observance is required bymost people. However, there are cultures that consider timedifferently and failure to understand this may lead to grossmisunderstanding (Stromquist and Karen, p 93). Learning about theculture of others allows one to be considerate of their practice andthis will be a vital tool in the future where people will be forcedto exist in the same space even when they subscribe to very differentcultures.

Lastly,cultural studies is an important aspect as it will enable students toplay a role in enabling coexistence. Currently, people from differentcultures are fighting to maintain their ways of life. This is becauseglobalization is viewed by some as a way of imposing foreignpractices. However, when people are able to understand the culturesof others, the feeling of competition is eradicated and peopleassured of the existence of their culture. Additionally, this willensure that people learn to live harmoniously thus bridging thedivide that currently exists across cultures.


Fromthe above discussion, it is evident that understanding differentcultures is a policy that will go far in helping the society achievethe promise of globalization. Both the sentiments held by Peter andJames on Ted Talk on the importance of making necessary investmentsin learning about others have been anchored by findings of manyresearchers who have played a role in calling for the introduction ofcultural studies at of levels of learning. This potential noted, itis important for the different stakeholder to come up with policiesthat will ensure that the actualization of the introduction ofcultural studies is attained. If this is achieved, it will be asignificant stride towards ensuring a global society where diversityis appreciated and not used as a reason for division.


&quotDiversityAnd Globalization: James Sun At Tedxbayarea Ignite.&quot YouTube.N.p., 2011. Web. 28 Nov. 2016. Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-K_bYQ11DE

&quotTheMyth Of Globalisation | Peter Alfandary | Tedxaix&quot. YouTube.N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Nov. 2016. Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUYNB4a8d2U

Moran,Robert T., Neil Remington Abramson, and Sarah V. Moran. Managingcultural differences. Routledge, 2014.

Pieterse,Jan Nederveen. Globalization and Culture: Global mélange. Rowman &ampLittlefield, 2015.

Stromquist,Nelly P., and Karen Monkman, eds. Globalization and Education:Integration and contestation across cultures. R&ampL Education,2014.