Is globalization real? or an illusion?
I think we (in developed countries) have reached to the present point as we believed in globalization. Transportation, telecommunication, and internet. What technology has allowed us is immense. We move around, travel, live, and work across the globe. Operation as well as strategies of business have dramatically changed in pursuit of globalization. Food, energy, clothes, cars, machines, etc. etc… our consumption is indispensably dependent on overseas.
However, I assume that we are gradually becoming aware that “global” and “universal” are not necessarily true all the time. It’s like a relation between Newtonian physics and the theory of relativity. Each works in a different condition, in a different dimension. Globalization functions fine in some cases, but it’s neither perfect or thorough. There is another situation where we need yet another lens.
Aspiration for globalization has steered us to dig a foreign culture much deeper. We cultivate and rediscover the new ways of living and working around the world. The more we learn, the bigger discrepancy we find out. Consequently, we cannot help but facing a huge difference among nations and cultures.
Globalization, yeah, for sure. But, wait. Does globalization help everything?
My answer is NO. Though we once abandoned hierarchical anthropology, shifted into cultural relativism, and then advocated universal standard as well as globalization, we now reflect on the importance of cultural difference again in order to attain profound understanding of each and every land where we conduct our social activities (i.e. business.) That’s why ethnography and ethnomethodology draw so much attention these days. I suppose.
With that said, not only globalization but also localization is critical for our progress. Nowadays, local generation and distribution of energy and food is seen to be the key for sustainable future. Local governance and community building are seriously and positively reexamined.
In this current, I have a gut feeling that my interest, knowledge, and experience in cross-cultural/inter-cultural communication will be of big help and practically serve the society, especially here in Japan.