Globalization is not the Same as Cultural Imperialism

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Some people claim that globalization and cultural hegemony are not the same things. The belief is founded on Marxist theories of globalization. Karl Marx believed that globalization was the philosophy of victorious capitalism. According to Marx, globalization and neoliberalism are inextricably linked, as opposed to cultural hegemony, since the two ideas share characteristics of the division of labor. Many who oppose the analogy between globalization and cultural hegemony have a host of grounds to do so as well. Firstly, they argue that “imperialism” involves a symbiotic association between people who aim to benefit from each other politically, economically or socially. On the other, the hand globalization is a process of achieving economic, social, political or environmental interdependence. From the perspective of those who believe that the two concepts are not the same, there exist small links between the concepts which do not qualify them for similarity (Luke 13). Secondly, globalization is an interaction between the companies, government, or citizens who all belong to the same nationality. Also, while globalization is a gradual process that is catalyzed by civilization and technological advancement, imperialism may refer to the attempt by a particular nation to make political advancement towards conquering the multiple foreign nations or regions like Japan during the era of the Second World War (Luke 16). The Second World Countries are forced to accept values ideologies of the Greater Powers. As a result, the “weaker” nations can only accept passively because the endeavor puts their cultural values and ideologies at risk.

According to (Dal 9) imperialism is an ideology that emerged during the 19th Century at the time when the wealthy nations took advantage of the undeveloped but mineral-rich African countries and colonized them. When given an economic consideration, globalization involves the expansion of business on a global scale. Indeed, globalization continues to exist as many nations strive to achieve identity in the global arena, while the traditional imperialism is long gone from the world. Lastly, globalization stands out clearly as a projection of an idea, concepts, or product across the globe, while imperialism has got more to do with the infringement of other peoples’ thoughts or ideas (Luke 21).

Contrary to the above school of thought, these people fail to consider the following essential points. Firstly, not only the rich are likely to benefit from an economy that is doing well. Taking, for instance, the colonization of the African countries did not only help the Western Countries. In fact, the civilization that the African enjoy today can partly be attributed to the fact acquisition of colonies in Africa by the European countries. The minerals that the colonizers exploited still stand to benefit the nations to date. In such ways, the states have been able to grow economically, politically and socially. The growth explains what globalization is all about. In that perspective, the two concepts of cultural imperialism and globalization are closely similar. Further to this, the two ideas focus on the political and economic control over other countries. Whether globalization or colonialism, the end product is the same- that is, the Greater Powers stand to benefit from the exploitation of the other nations (Dal 54). In fact, a close examination of the concepts reveals that they both imply exploitation to satisfy the want of Greater Powers.

Secondly, it is important to note that the terms “cultural imperialism” originates from the words “culture” and “imperialism.” In itself, culture is a global phenomenon since every aspect of life has got social component; we have business, political, national, and global culture, which all subscribe to a particular vision. Therefore, cultural imperialism is all about the use of political and economic power to spread the virtues of globalization and foreign culture across the world (Luke 61). Cultural imperialism emphasizes the importance of the economic role of globalization. If the latter has to do with the gradual process of civilization and technological advancement, then colonialism can be used as the tool to support economic and political development across the nations. People should not focus on the imperial domination as a negative aspect. Just like globalization, cultural imperialism mandatorily instills good values and ideologies of the more exceptional nations to the second World counterparts through avenues like the use of media. Any country that has nurtured her cultural tradition, benefits and security have the responsibility to safeguard it in the context of economic globalization by taking appropriate positive measures (Dal 81). Regarding this, globalization and cultural imperialism form a tide which is unstoppable. Even though full integration of culture may not be straightforward in the context of globalization, it is worth noting that colonialism is a complex human spirit activity that encourages political and economic development. Cultural homogenization follows globalization, and it is not a good idea to underestimate either of the two. Indeed the two concepts are nearly the same, but only different in operation, for instance, imperialism monopolization is was concerned with the exploitation of the natural resources while globalization focus on investment and market.

Work Cited

Dal, Jin. New Korean Wave: Transnational cultural power in the age of social media. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2016.

Luke, Martell. The sociology of globalization. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

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