globalization definition

Globalization is the tendency of businesses, technologies, or philosophies to spread throughout the world, or the process of making this happen. The global economy is sometimes referred to as a globality, characterized as a totally interconnected marketplace, unhampered by time zones or national boundaries. The proliferation of McDonalds restaurants around the world is an example of globalization; the fact that they adapt their menus to suit local tastes is an example of glocalization (also known as internationalization), a combination of globalization and localization.

Whether or not the establishment of the global marketplace will be beneficial is in dispute. Proponents believe that globalization has the potential to create greater opportunities for growth throughout the world, benefiting the developed nations while leveling the playing field everywhere else; opponents of globalization believe that it will merely increase the opportunities for the wealthier nations to take advantage of the poorer ones and, furthermore, could eradicate regional diversity and lead to a homogenized world culture.


This was first published in April 2007

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