Globalisation Is Westernisation Essay

Globalisation is Westernisation Globalisation is Westernisation, and aspects of ‘the West’ can be found all around the world today – from the consumer culture of Western capitalism (with cultural icons such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Levi Jeans and Starbucks), the spread of European languages (such as English), styles of dress, eating habits and TV viewing habits (Tomlinson, 2002). Tomlinson (2002) notes that globalisation is “the rapidly developing process of complex interconnections between societies, cultures, institutions and individuals worldwide” (p. 2). Globalisation is a social and cultural process that diminishes traditional geographic, social and cultural boundaries (Banerjee and Linstead, 2001). Globalisation makes the world seem smaller, and in a certain sense, bring human beings closer together through shared experiences and understanding (Tomlinson, 2002). Globalisation can be viewed as a negative continuation of colonialism through the ongoing expansion of Western capitalist society and culture around the world (Banerjee and Linstead, 2001).

The West has made a powerful impact and influenced cultures all around the world (Tomlinson, 2002). While aspects of Easternisation can be seen globally, it is not as influential or as widespread as Westernisation. For example, British consumers are far more likely to consume ‘Indian’ cuisine than they are to wear ‘Asian’ clothing such as salwaar-kameez or saris (Jackson, 2004). The same cannot be said for individuals from South East Asia – they are more likely to consume Western food (e. . McDonalds) and dress like a Westerner (e. g. Nike and Levis) than the reverse scenario in Britain. Globalisation has also led to cosmopolitanism – when people from all around the world view the world as their market place, consciously seeking to consume products, places and experiences originating from cultures other than their own (Caldwell, Blackwell and Tulloch, 2006). Individuals from large cities all around the world, share more in common with each other for this reason.

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Cosmopolitanism has led to an emergence of a ‘global’ culture (Banerjee and Linstead, 2001). Culture is “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another” (Merz, He and Alden, 2008, p. 167). Consumption is not just limited to a material products and processes, but also includes signs, symbols and ideas (Banerjee and Linstead, 2001). Most of these consumption habits replicate Western consumption habits.

This collective development of global culture all around the world is leading to uniformity of customer needs and wants, as citizens relate and compare themselves to others in economic centres such as North America, Europe, and Japan. Thanks to globalisation and Westernisation, the world is becoming a single marketplace for everyone (Merz, He and Alden, 2008). Globalisation has led to consumer consumption to fulfil symbolic needs, rather than for rational reasons such as practicability or need.

This helps each individual feel connected to a global ‘imagined community’ that shares their beliefs, attitudes and opinions. Most communities are imagined because members of even the smallest community will “never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the mind of each lives the image of their communion” (Anderson, 2006, p. 6). For example, consumers in the USA, Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa visit malls mainly due to the symbolic value of being associated with certain consumption behaviour and imagined community from the West (Merz, He and Alden, 2008).

Global brands such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are also consumed all around the world for the same reasons (Jackson, 2006). Purchasing western products is a symbol of international material well-being (Merz, He and Alden, 2008). This slideshow will demonstrate how globalisation is westernisation, through the display of consumer products, the clothes people wear, the food they eat and the products they consume. This will demonstrate that globalisation is westernisation in large international cities all around the world.


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