Sunday, 15 July 2012

What is Globalisation?

Cityscape - Sydney, Australia by Dan Heller (source)

The word "Globalisation" makes me think of technology, communication and the sharing of information, products and services on a global scale. However to some extent this is my own interpretation of a word that has many meanings. Giddens (2009; 126) explains the term as 'individuals, groups and nations, becoming ever more interdependent’ on one another. However, Globalisation is not a new process, rather, it has been occurring over a longer period of human history than many people think (Giddens, 2009; 126). The concept of sharing technology and communicating cross-culturally has been around for many years, but the Internet has allowed Globalisation to advance in other ways. 
'Big Think' blog (source)
The digital age and development of information and communication technologies ‘have intensified the speed and scope of interaction between people all over the world’ (Giddens, 2009), further enabling the Globalisation process. It is these methods that also allow the bringing together of culture, trading of goods and the positive interaction between various countries.
However, the term 'global'-isation also tends to create a false image of equal opportunity and prosperity. This inequality that still exists between developing and developed countries, means that more than one billion people worldwide still live on less than $US1 a day (Giddens, 2009;120). This is where the digital divide is obvious - although technology has helped many countries progress, but not all of them. It seems that as long as the process of Globalisation is determined by technological, political and economic advances, developing countries that lack in these areas are likely to get further left behind. 

Giddens, A 2009, Sociology 6th ed, Polity Press, Cambridge, UK.

Heller, D, 2003, Sydney City Scape Aerial, digital photograph, Dan Heller  Photography, accessed 15 July, 2012 <>
Technology-and-human-communication image, 2012, digital photograph, ‘Big Think’ blog by Ray Kurzweil, accessed 15 July, 2012


  1. Hi Kate,

    Really interesting stuff! I also wrote about the inaccuracy of the term 'global-isation' this week. I've seen a few people mention that via globalisation, developing countries will benefit from our advances in technology and communication. It's a big call considering we haven't navigated a way around space, corruption, governments and self-interest to get food, clean water and proper medical care to some of these areas, but apparently we'll have them all on Facebook soon enough. I don't think it's anything more sinister than a lack of understanding of just how small a percentage of the globe live in 'our world'. I certainly don't count myself as someone who fully comprehends the magnitude of the issues but I would like the see the perspective shifted more often. I really enjoyed your blog post, it was informative but also quite engaging.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I completely agree with you, many people don't quite understand the level of poverty in some countries especially when compared with our own. We are very fortunate here in Australia to have the quality of life and resources that we do; however we're also raised in a country where we grow up expecting to have the best and grasping the idea of poverty is as difficult as understanding the concept of Globalisation. It seems to me that globalisation simply gives us an opportunity to 'use' smaller and less wealthy countries for their labour and resources, and better our own country, rather than helping them out.

  2. Hey Kate, very well constructed piece and you have provided very good points such as the level of poverty backed up by very engaging references. Giddens is a very reliable resource and I believe you have utilised his quotes in a great manner! Very true about the digital divide as well, as we are lucky to be in our country which is on the positive side of things there are some that aren't so lucky.