Communication& IT technology and Globalization

Introduction

Authors and scholars have quite varying views regarding globalization. To some of the authors, it refers to the emergence of institutions whose choices and decisions shape the policies of other states and nations. For other authors it means the impact of the worldwide economic processes that include production, capital flow, consumption, monetary interdependence, and trade. Some authors take globalization as the emergence neoliberalism as a policy disclosure. To some scholars, globalization refers to the rise of new global media, cultural, and technological forms of communication that shape the relations of interaction and identity across and within a local cultural setting.[1]

 Information Communication Technology (or ICT) on the other hand involves the technology that people use to spread information and communicate. Such technologies include films, television, radio, mobile phones, Facebook, YouTube, and many others. Multiple literatures suggest that the communication technology has negative and positive cultures all over the world. Communication technology directs globalization and as such, people tend to think it is a force for the bad. Both Globalization and ICT have positive and negative effects on almost equal measure.[2]

Interaction of globalization and communication technology

The fast spread of globalization can to a large extent be attributed to the advances made in communication and information technology. Globalization has, as a result, brought enhanced transparency worldwide. Different governments can exchange research, analysis, data, and reports instantly. The exchange of such files has led to improved cooperation among countries. 

The occurrence of multi-national brands all over the world is a manifestation of globalization. Companies such as Nike and Coca-Cola are present in many countries. For the companies to conduct their activities efficiently, they depend to a large extent on communication technology.[3]

One of the innovations in ICT is the web-conferencing. Web-conferencing has made it possible for business persons and customers to interact in better ways. The achievements and developments in the business industry could not have been ever possible without effective communication system that is present today. An example of the effectiveness of the communication system is the surge of outsourcing witnessed in the last decade. Many US companies save about 40% of their expenses by taking their billing, customer services, and back-office offshore.[4]

The impacts of globalization and communication technology are well manifested in the education sector. Many students can now access information with ease by using the internet. Students can acquire certifications and education from foreign universities by enrolling in online programs. The result is a marked difference on how education impacts as well as improved quality.

Globalization impacts on the banking industry are prominent and most of the banks are streamlining through effective communication means. The innovations have led to the banking sector as leading banks in the world have offices in most of the countries in the world. 

Although the effects of communication technology are more positive, the technology has brought some challenges. There is a variation in terms of access to technology between the developing and the developed countries. The developing nations are short of resources and infrastructure. The lack of resources and infrastructure is disadvantageous as it leads to economic disparity which would have otherwise sealed by the benefits of ICT.

Globalization is not exclusive as it involves the whole world. It will be of importance if corrective measures are adopted to ensure that the weak in the society are not abandoned. Developing nations especially from Africa are progressing due to ICT. The countries are taking steps in ensuring that their citizens are aware of the latest communication technology developments. Several factors have such as ICT have contributed to globalization. Communication technology, however, is crucial in spreading globalization. The challenges associated with this disparity can be tackled by having more innovations in information and communication technology.[5]

Benefits of ICT on Development

The present world is talked about as of democracy, globalization, and technology advancement. All the three are impossible without communication technology. It, therefore, means that one has to look at the uses of things such as books, newspapers, radio, TV, and movies in order to understand how communication technology has shaped and defined the world. It is impossible to talk of economic and cultural globalization without examining the role TV, media files, internet, and communication technology as a whole in spreading them.[6]

The emergence of ICT has brought significant cultural, economic, and business effects. In term of conducting businesses, the contribution is beneficial. Despite the problems resulting from the digital divide, it is common to find African farmers and entrepreneurs using the internet and mobile phones to connect to the markets. Research has shown that businesses that use emails in communicating their suppliers have sales 3.5% higher than those that do not. Businesses that use emails also get high profits while each of their employees contributes a value of about $3400.[7]

The internet helps in improving the economic conditions of poor countries. The internet helps the businesses connect to both international and local markets. The report reveals a massive link between trade development and internet access. The countries that had earlier weak trade links benefit the most. In short, communication technology such as the internet contributes much to the developing countries. Communication technology can widen or bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

Negative effects of ICT

Digital divide

The digital divide accounts for the gap that exists between the people who access internet and those who do not. There is an anxiety that the developed and rich countries that have access to communication and information technology can take the advantage and exploit the underdeveloped and developing nations. Manuel Castells referred to the internet as an organizational form and technology tool that generates knowledge, distributes information power and networking abilities in all activities. Manuel argued that being disconnected from the internet marginalizes the victims from a crucial network. In trying to achieve developments while segregated, from the network is comparable to the need to industrialize in the industrial generation while lacking electricity.[8]

Isolation from communication technology is a negative influence that businesses and development in the world can have. ICT changes the way of doing business by replacing the old methods with the new ones. New global cultures and economies that based on virtual reality are being introduced and with them new methods of making wealth. The realities arevirtual, but the experiences are real because electronic communication drives it. It links up people, shapes politics, forms opinions, and helps in nurturing people dreams. Communication technology is transforming social relations and exclusion or inclusion from it accounts for empowerment or victimization.[9]

ICT is powerful to the extent that revolutionary overthrow of the Arab government is thought to have been facilitated by the technology. Without the ICT, Arabs could not have formed the transnational coalitions that brought cooperation at the grassroots level resulting to the Arab Spring. The communications technology can help ouster bad governments such as Libya and Egypt countries in Africa. The ouster of the governments is to try and bring political stability and sanity. Its influence can, therefore, be neither termed bad or good in helping nations achieve peace.[10]

Global culture and media

The evolution of ICT such as the global media system and the internet has serious political and cultural implications. The evolution will bring democracy (in the Arab spring) or worse cause political resistance. One important issue associated with the use of communication technologies is the Americanization or cultural imperialism.

Cultural imperialism

There exist the argument that globalization of mass media promotes a cultural ideologyof capitalist consumerism with its associated values. More than eighty percent of world news is collected and transmitted by five main media agencies. The news is controlled by US or Western interests for profit generation while only a quarter of the news concernsthe developing nations. Most people view it as an attempt to promote Pan-Euro-American lifestyles and values. The system weakens local cultures leading to cultural homogenization.[11]

Critical to the argument is the dominance of US global media that promotes Americanization over local cultures.  The globalization of cultures has, therefore, becomes Americanization through the use global media dominance in commoditizing culture as the lead to gains of its business owners. Culture is important in modeling economic, political, and social traits of a society. When a culture is commoditized to be an off the shelf product, the products carry the characteristics and identity of the producers. Consumption of the products makesresults to exploitation and manipulation. As an example, the consumption of US items such as the Hollywood movies is adopting their culture and the associated value system.[12]

Some nations are much worried by the spread of Americanization culture. In 1998, twenty culture ministers from different nations such as Brazil, Spain, South Africa, and Korea, met in Ottawa. The ministers were to discuss on morderatiesthat could help create ground rules that would protect their cultures from being eroded by Hollywood products. The aim of the meeting was to exempt culture out of the WTO regulations, to keep it out of the global trade. It was not about undeveloped versus developed or westernization. France is cultural nationalist with 9 of its ten best films produced by Hollywood, but does not appreciate that fact.[13]

The Americanization and spreading globalization culture theory does not have critics who assert that the cultural interaction is not passive. The passive process is where the receivers of the US culture are passive recipients. The interaction is, however, active and utilized through local cultural means. The truth is that the culture has no differing homogeneity. Holton referred it as hybridization of culture and it, therefore, becomes less of westernization or Americanization as it mixes everything and everyone.[14]

Globalization according to Bertelsmann CEO, Thomas Middelhoff, should not be seen as negative. He was once told that it is absurd for German companies to take control of about 15% of the American music markets and book publishing. He replied by saying the company is not foreign, but international; he is American but in possession of a German passport. He further said that the company is neither American nor German as it conducts its businesses globally.


 

A case study of Globalization success in Peru

Globalization is a process of technological, social, economic, political, and cultural changes that enhance growth and interdependence. It spreads technological knowledge, improves the standards of living, and improves political liberation in the developing countries. Its main cause is the influence from the more developed countries. Social effects resulting from globalization can be illustrated by studying the process in Peru. Peru was once a third-world nation whose citizens lived in oppression and poverty. Currently, Peru is transitioning into a developed country. Globalization in Peru has empowered women, created a strong nation, and improved its human development index.[15]

Globalization increases Human Development Index (HDI). HDI measures a country's political, social, and economic development relative to other countries. It rates countries with a value ranging from 0 to one, with one being the most globalized and advanced country. Factors considered in getting the country’s HDI adult literary, GDP per capita, and the number of people in educational institutions. In 1976, Peru’s HDI was 0.643. In 2003, the value rose to 0.762.The rise indicates that globalization brought positive impacts. In the same period, adult literacy rate increased by 2%. Poverty rate decreased by 6% and women’s fertility also reduced.[16]

When the fertility rates in the developing countries reduce, it is a show off increase in women’s liberation. When women have few children to take care of, they get the opportunity to search for jobs. The idea of women being domestic servants and housewives is changing. Women in Peru began experiencing equality and liberation because of globalization.Some traditions in Peru required that women should only get menial jobs that have low incomes. Women were denied access to education or have a career. As a result, globalization led to increased opportunities for women both in career and education

For the last few decades, women worldwide have been under pressure to fight for equal rights. The United Nations in 1993 affirmed that women’s rights were part of human rights. If the liberation had not taken place in the US and other nations, women in Peru would still up to date be victimized. After that, women were encouraged to take part in politics actively. After many years of social oppression, political liberation in Peru has been realized through globalization. The Communist Party of Peru started the people’s war in 1980. The political and a series of revolutions marked the first time that women had an equal chance of participation in politics as men.

Globalization in Peru holds more effects than the one’s the countries citizens experience. The developing nations which will observe the changes experienced in Peru willnot resist the implications of globalization. The effects of globalization pinch more when developing countries embrace it. The same way that women liberation in the US influenced the same in Peru, the advancements and innovations in Peru will cause innovations in the least developed and poor countries.[17]

Globalization cannot take effect at once and it is not the solution the world’s problems. As technology evolves, globalization as well will be evolving. As discussed earlier, critics argue that globalization fuels the world to adopt the American style of living. People will eventually lose their cultures against their will. Globalization is not perfect. The critic’s thoughts can be changed by considering that America is a country that guarantees everyone a chance to life. All people born or who live in Peru do not have a predetermined destiny. It is good that the country was influenced by America for its people live in a free, technologically advanced country.[18]

Some cultures are lost through globalization though not all cultures mean for the better. In the past, it was mostly likely that a girl born in China would is murdered. The Chinese people believed that only the boy child was of importance. Most of the Chinese did not find it appealing but, the Chinese government forced policies and traditions that led to the practice. It is better to abandon wrong and immoral practices especially the one’s brought by bad governance. Globalization enhances independence among citizens.

In Peru, globalization was met with resistance from some citizens. Changes brought by globalization are not seen as positive by everyone. Male chauvinists resisted women’s liberation in Peru as they held on that a woman’s place is home, being a mother or wife. When poverty levels reduced and more people joined the middle class, there were protests from the wealthy in the upper class. The rich started the protests after realizing that globalization was narrowing the social gap between the poor and the rich. Wealth links with power, the wealthy people in Peru had more power than the poor and their resistance to globalization was a big challenge.[19]

Countries that accept the cultures from globalization, such as Peru, benefit tremendously. Globalization helps to improve the country’s economic and political status. Peru was an underdeveloped country stuck in poverty, lack of education, and oppression. Globalization, however, resulted in the reduction of all of them. Globalization brought technological knowledge, improved economy, social, and political liberation to Peru.[20]

Globalization Economic Benefits

Resisting the benefits of globalization is such as taking part in a sports car competition while riding a bullock cart. Most countries refuse to engage in the race at all costs. The countries are of the belief that their indigenous and homemadeproducts will be affected if the rich countries access their markets. Below are pointers to the developmental benefits of global competition and free trade.
Globalization in Asian Countries

The Asian countries have developed due to technological advancements and good economic policies. India continues to record growth rate of eight percent every year. Fast access to multiple foreign capitals creates a competitive and thriving market. The country also enjoys increased foreign direct investments. As suppliers and players are many in the market, its citizens have access to good products at cheap prices. India has a low inflammation rate which helps in stabilizing its economy.[21]

Poverty levels in the South East Asian nations are reduced due to the adoption of liberalized economic policies. Foreign companies introduce their products accompanied by their technologies. The new technologies, research, and production means reduce their costs of production leading to increased sales. The foreign skills also sharpen the local labor force skills.
Globalization in Africa

It is a continent with most of the countries being downtrodden and poor. Many of the people in this continent sustain their lives through aquaculture and agriculture. Most of its regions are torn apart by violence and war. Stable incomes from steady employments can manage the in-fighting.[22]

Education is vital to the development in any country, but happens to be one of the drawbacks to the development of African countries. In 2000, UNESCO reported that 48% of the African children do not enroll in primary schools. The numbers of illiteracy can reduce if African nations allow free market policies. With major competitors and players in the market, significant impacts in the technological and education fields are possible in the continent. The countries can have more resources if they accept globalization. It will also lower the local currency exchange rate which would help boom their economies.[23]

Globalization is not a form of magic and should, therefore, not be expected to solve all of its problems. It will, however, create an environment that favors stable and fair governments. Globalization can bring the African countries close to the other world nations and as such, any wrong doings by the government can be monitored and stopped.

Co-dependence and trade treaties in business are enhanced by globalization. They can bring vast changes in the economic, social, and political environments in Africa. When more people and resources are come to Africa, its real and devastating problems can get the limelight of the international community. It is only through the international community that relief interventions can be availed to the African countries.

Globalization in Europe and America

Outsourcing gives the opportunity for corporates to have their works done offshores that reduce their costs of production. Outsourcing is also a disadvantage as it leads shortage of jobs among the local people in their native land. The right use of capital in the new markets and opportunities is the most important effect of globalization to the rich countries as it generates prosperity and wealth.[24]

Matters related to diversity and ethnic conflicts can be resolved by immigration and inter-continental travel. Travelling and immigration opens the avenues of cultural benefits. Europe and America are the winners in the globalization process. They get profits, consumers, assets, and employees and create a universal image for their companies. Drinks such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi are examples of this as they have reached all parts of the world.[25]

Conclusion

It is obvious that communications technology and globalization have some negative influences. The most quoted negative influence is the cultural imperialism. It is a negative practice that results from the global media. Globalization also has been used in some countries such as Peru to raise business growth and bring liberation. Both have contributed in reducing inequality and poverty in the developing countries. The result of interactions between communication technology and globalization is not bad practice. A lot of benefits can be and have resulted from the interaction. It has improved cultural understanding, social, political, economic, and many other developments.

Bibliography

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Forey, Gail.Globalization, communication and the workplace talking across the world. London: Continuum, 2010

Genovese, Frank C. "Measuring Human Development." American Journal of Economics and Sociology. (Oct, 1990): Vol. 49, No. 4, 457-458

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"Impact of Globalization in Peru."Posted March 22, 2006. Last accessed May 4, 2014. http://www.theglobalist.com/DBweb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=3784

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Kieh, George Klay. Africa and the new globalization.Aldershot, England: Ashgate Pub. Co., 2008.

Leon, Rafo. "Peru's Globalization Problem."Foreign Policy. (Nov, 2002): No. 133, 90-91.

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[1]Gail Forey.Globalization, communication and the workplace talking across the world. London: Continuum, 2010.

[2]Gail Forey.Globalization, communication and the workplace talking across the world. London: Continuum, 2010

[3]Gail Forey.Globalization, communication and the workplace talking across the world. London: Continuum, 2010

[4]Gail Forey.Globalization, communication and the workplace talking across the world. London: Continuum, 2010

[5]Gail Forey.Globalization, communication and the workplace talking across the world. London: Continuum, 2010

[6] Mc Chesney W. Robert “Global Media, Neoliberalism and Imperialism” Monthly Review, 2001,

[7] World Bank Report “Information and Communications for Development: Global Trends and Policies”, 2006.

[8]Wilkin Peter and Lacy J. Mark. “Global Politics in the Information Age”, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2005

[9]Wilkin Peter and Lacy J. Mark. “Global Politics in the Information Age”, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2005

[10]DeLong-Bas J. Natana, “The New Social Media and the Arab Spring” 2012 [Online]

[11]Held David “A globalizing world?-Culture, Economics, Politics-An Introduction to Social Sciences: Understanding Social Change”; Routledge Publishers, 2000

[12]Sklair Leslie “Globalization: capitalism & its alternatives” Oxford University Press; 2002

[13] Mc Chesney W. Robert “Global Media, Neoliberalism and Imperialism” Monthly Review, 2001,

[14]Held David “A globalizing world?-Culture, Economics, Politics-An Introduction to Social Sciences: Understanding Social Change”; Routledge Publishers, 2000

[15] Leon, Rafo. "Peru's Globalization Problem."Foreign Policy. (Nov, 2002): No. 133, 90-91.

[16]Genovese, Frank C. "Measuring Human Development." American Journal of Economics and Sociology. (Oct, 1990): Vol. 49, No. 4, 457-458

[17]"Impact of Globalization in Peru."Posted March 22, 2006. Last accessed October 4, 2006.

[18] Taylor, Milton C. "Problems of Development in Peru." Journal of Inter-American Studies, (Jan, 1967): Vol. 9, No. 1, 85-94.

[19]Kellner, Douglas. "Theorizing Globalization."Sociological Theory. (Nov, 2002): Vol. 20, No. 3, 285-305.

[20]Kellner, Douglas. "Theorizing Globalization."Sociological Theory. (Nov, 2002): Vol. 20, No. 3, 285-305.

[21]Yu, Zheng. China - Central Asian countries making new partnership : a rising China and its neighbors. Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press ;, 2011

[22]Kieh, George Klay. Africa and the new globalization.Aldershot, England: Ashgate Pub. Co., 2008

[23]Kieh, George Klay. Africa and the new globalization.Aldershot, England: Ashgate Pub. Co., 2008

[24]Peterson, John. Europe, America, Bush: transatlantic relations in the twenty-first century. London: Routledge, 2003.

[25] Peterson, John. Europe, America, Bush: transatlantic relations in the twenty-first century. London: Routledge, 2003.