“Think locally, act globally.”

This motto has helped McDonald’s flourish in the global marketplace. The term “glocalization” is a combination between “globalization” and “localization.” The neologism represents the key to successful international business. Without understanding local cultures, traditions, and lifestyles, multinational companies will not be able to compete in different markets. For example, McDonald’s did enough analysis to know that cows are considered sacred animals in Hinduism. By selling a veggie burger, they attracted the vegetarian market, a large population of India. For now, cultures of the world remain safe.

However, what happens in the future when the globalization grabs the world and kneads it like a ball of dough until everything is homogenized? Here is my hypothesis:

  • There are no “third-world countries” as all parts of the world are developed. In fact, there are no countries. Just one unified planet.
  • There is one currency. Everybody is part of the same economy.
  • There is one unified language. After a couple millennia, the languages of the world slowly, through linguistic Darwinism, dissolve or mesh until there is one unified language spoken by everybody. Of course, different parts of the world will have their own accent of this ideal language.
  • Everybody uses the metric system. Enough said.
  • There are no official religions. The majority of the world’s population is atheist due to the scientific progress made.
  • Google takes over the world.

All jokes aside, it is very interesting to try and view the futuristic world. Globalization is happening all around us. Often times, the consequences of globalization are not realized until much further down the road. I personally do not have a strong stance on globalization yet. On one hand, I think it is a good thing to share the world’s technology and resources. Medicine and medical devices can help save lives everywhere. On the other, I believe globalization has also had many negative consequences such as exploitation of underprivileged populations (slavery, sweatshops, etc.). What do you think?

I guess none of this matter because the world’s ending this year anyways.

From LexisNexis: Glocalizaion – a key success factor for global companies Korea Times December 4, 2011 Sunday


5 responses »

  1. Connie says:

    I feel like globalization is another one of those ambiguous concepts where you can’t really measure all of the consequences. Like you, in theory, I feel as if globalization could be so beneficial to the world. The mobilization of innovative ideas, concepts, and products between the brilliant minds throughout the world would be ground-breaking. But unfortunately, globalization could also lead to phenomenons such as an obsession with material objects and brands and the exploitation of lesser-developed countries as you mentioned. It’s hard to try to be in favor of globalization when there are so many negative consequences. But I guess there really isn’t any growth and progress without a few setbacks. Ultimately, I think I can support glocalization more than I can support globalization. When trying to introduce new ideas and cultural ideas, I think it’s absolutely crucial to measure the social environment and customs first, like McDonald’s did. That way, we wouldn’t really be trying to create this homogeneous society, like you state, but rather just many slightly differentiated societies. In other words, everyone would have access to the same resources and information, but they could adapt to their cultures and societies as they see fit.

    • My only comment to you Connie is that, do you really think that those consequences are negative from your perspective or from the foreign laborers? Because from our perspective it seems that globalization is exploiting cheap labor, but if you think about it from the perspective of one of those factory workers that might be his job, which he uses to provide for his family. I am not trying to argue in favor of exploiting foreign labor, just trying to figure out why they haven’t stopped it.

  2. Zach says:

    Globalization has undoubtedly pushed assimilation among cultures forward. However, I’m not sure globalization will lead to the homogenization to which you are referring. I think that people across the globe still value the aspects of their culture that make them unique. And while some “superficial” aspects of culture such as dress may eventual fade, when it really comes down to it, the values that certain countries emphasize will most likely stay intact. Also, fun fact: McDonald’s will soon be releasing the McBaguette in France; it is a hamburger with French cheese on, unsurprisingly, a baguette. I always found it interesting to see what differed in the McDonald’s around Europe when I was abroad. My favorite was probably the “Chicken Legend” in Italy.

  3. Alex Lin says:

    I agree with Connie’s the statement about supporting glocalization but what got me thinking about the future was how much of an impact McDonald’s still makes on any population, whether it’s in China, India, or Russia, even when it tries to be conscious to localize. Granted it was the most extreme case but I think it will be interesting to use our sociological imaginations a couple decades from now to truly see the effects of globalization.

  4. […] Alex (Globalization and the future) For choosing a great graphic […]

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