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Globalization Effects on Native Non-Western Cultural Practices

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Submitted By jessann5
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Impact of globalization on non-western cultures
Globalization has reached to practically every corner of the globe. It brings to the world an exchange of information, goods, services, economy, and awareness of other cultures. Two cultures that have benefited from globalization economically are China and India. China is an excellent example of how globalization has transformed a once stagnant economy into an economic super power. Change occurred as a result of international influence from the United States. The United States had hopes in the Chinese economy and realized the capabilities China possessed in the export of goods to the United States and other countries. The United States helped China become aware of how shut off it had become from a growing global economy and helped to make them aware of the positive impact an open economic system could have on its nation. In 1986, China began to work towards joining the World Trade Organization. In 2001, China finally joined (China and the, 2014). The United States had a major role in China’s decision to open their economy, and they supported the effort fully. The influence on China from globalized nations was both direct and indirect. It was direct because countries such as the United States, worked closely with China during their admission to the World Trade Organization even requiring changes to the Chinese economy before they would be allowed to proceed. The influence was also indirect as the Chinese government had initiated globalization themselves in hopes of becoming a world economic leader (China and the, 2014). After China joined the World Trade Organization, United States imports from China grew from 51.5 billion dollars’ worth of trade in 1996 to over 100 billion dollars in trade in 2001 (China and the, 2014). The influence from The United States and other foreign industrialized nations was direct and indirect.
Prior to the globalization and economic reform, China shunned any outside influence or trade in regards to economic change or impact. The country had a closed economy and was not amenable to any outside trade or commerce. This resulted in an impoverished non-developing nation with very little hope for the future (China and the, 2014). In 1978, over 30% of the Chinese population lived below the poverty line, earning less than 17 cents per day (The Chinese economy, 2010). The people of China held onto their traditions of being self-sustaining and rejecting help or influence from foreign sources. The people of China struggled with finding a balance between traditions and cultural heritage while at the same time, accepting the changes that westernized culture was bringing into their country (Why china and, 2014). Globalization was widely unpopular idea among the Chinese people. Newspapers and media outlets avoided using the term “globalization” for the stigma it represented to the Chinese people (Keping, 2009). As globalization gradually occurred in China with the economic reform, people began to see and feel the positive effects it was having on their lives and culture.
Today, China is the world’s largest exporter and is the world’s second largest economy after the United States (China economy, 2014). The people of China have enjoyed and benefited from this new global economy in many ways. There is opportunity for employment, escape and relief from poverty, an uprising of the middle class, and development of modern infrastructure in their cities. Today, the Chinese unemployment rate is 6.5% and they have the largest labor force in the world with 798.5 million workers. As of 2009, the number of Chinese living below the poverty line has been reduced to 11.8% (The Chinese economy, 2010). These are positive signs of impact that globalization has had upon China.
The response of the Chinese people regarding globalization and the change in the economy is mixed. Chinese people often regard westernization in a slightly positive light especially in regards to media and fashion. But, they hold out some distain for their perceived self-diluted attitude they observe in western culture. The overall response of the Chinese people to the reform of their economy has been positive. A recent public opinion poll has shown that the Chinese people are the most optimistic people in the world, when it comes to the economy and the future (Whitehead, 2013).
With all of the success China has enjoyed, come some hardships. Environmental damage from the new industrial factories is causing hazards such as pollution, soil erosion, and water shortages. Safe work place conditions and labor laws are also new to the Chinese industrial markets. Although efforts are being made to improve upon these issues, progress is slow and many Chinese workers suffer long laborious hours and hazardous unsafe working conditions. These are a few examples of the potentially negative impact globalization has had on China.
With the Indian population of over one billion people, and a previous economic mindset of self-reliance, isolation and inward progress, the Indian economy had become ineffective and isolated. Refusal to open up the economy to foreign investments and trade was crippling to the economy. As a result, the country suffered greatly. In1991, India hit a financial crisis with the near collapse of its central bank making it impossible for the country to sustain its government or purchase any goods. The Indian government was facing a shut down. After the crisis, Narasimah Rao took over as the countries prime minister and reform began to take place with the initiation of free and liberal marketplace principals. Money was borrowed from international sources such as England and Switzerland (a concept that was not practiced before in Indian economics) and as a result, they were able to stabilize the Indian economy and prevent a shutdown (1991 Indian economic crisis, 2014).
The Indian media called these measures “liberalization of the economy” and the acts were widely unpopular amongst the traditional beliefs most Indians held. Despite the unpopularity, Narasimha Rao continued his mission to stop the decline of the Indian economy and open up the markets to international investments. With support from globalized nations such as England and Switzerland, India has shed their hermit ways of thinking and as a result the economy is blossoming. As of today, the Indian economy is the 10th largest in the world; they export 313.2 billion dollars’ worth of goods, and import 467.5 billion dollars’ worth of goods each year (Economy of India, 2014). Thanks to globalization and international support from developed nations such as England and Switzerland, India is now a member of the World Trade Organization and is growing a prosperous and efficient economy that is open to the international markets.
Prior to globalization, less than 10% of the native society of India had access to television, over 50% of the population lived in poverty, and 48% of the country was illiterate, (Poverty in India, 2014). The people of India were suffering greatly with illiteracy, poverty, hunger, and extreme classes divide between the rich and the poor. Prior to globalization of the economy, people in Indian culture were by nature, introverted with a self-reliant theory and they held fast to traditional ways of thinking and declined outside influence. As the peoples suffering became more unbearable, some opened up to the idea of change that Narasimha Rao was attempting to implement. As they years when by, and economic reform took place, the lives of the native Indian people began to improve.
Today, the people of India are enjoying a booming economy, a growing and thriving middle class, employment opportunities, and an education system dedicated to eradicating illiteracy in the country. In 2011, the national poverty level of India had dropped drastically to11.8% of the population, literacy rates are up to 74.4%, and the middle class has blossomed to over 250 million people ("Standard of living," 2014). Today, most Indians have accepted the change globalization has brought to their country and have a positive attitude regarding the outside influence globalization has created (Sundaram, 2006). It is also noted, that the Indian people have high regard for outside influence and especially western culture. There is a positive attitude regarding western society and culture. It is even noted that some Indians have a worshipful attitude towards western ideas and culture because of the positive impact that western ideas have brought to their country (Sundaram, 2006).

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