This paper explores the range of meanings that are attached to the term, and the phenomenon, of “globalization” and what the differences may portend for human society. That globalization is reality, and is an established, expanding, and deepening social, cultural, educational, economic and political manifestation, prompts no contradiction. To be sure, that reality prompts fear—of loss of language, distinctiveness, identity or economic viability, for example—as well as gives rise to hope and perceived opportunity to ameliorate contentious differences in the context of compatible interests, to minimize misunderstandings as increasing numbers of peoples share a common language, to enable diverse populations to enjoy the same entertainments and use the same product brands. To be sure, vigorous, engaging and significant discussions have emerged from the ongoing and evolving consideration of the near-countless aspects of globalization. Some reflect the perspectives of those who see themselves as guardians of cultures, social orders or language groups that appear in danger of erosion or extinction, while others the perspectives of those charged with, or assuming, the role of “educator” in service of communities needing skills to navigate the pathways of global society. And, others yet, reflect the views of those who focus on the shifting economic terrain that determines the world’s “haves” and “have nots”, that metes out advantage and disadvantage. Representatives of these voices are presented, as well as speculative conclusions, regarding which interpretations of “globalization” seem most likely to accurately describe the character of the phenomenon over the next several decades.
|Keywords:||Globalization, Social Perspectives, Cultural Perspectives|
Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, Illinois, USA
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