Assessment 2 Case Study
SOC 10007 Understanding the modern world
Globalisation and Rationalisation
The era of modernity, began and flourished in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. In every language, the meaning of ‘modern’ would mean up to date or contemporary. In sociology, it was referred to as the ‘Great transformation’, a term which reflects the enormous magnitude of change that took place (Polanyi, 1973). The main features of modernity were growth of productive capabilities, efficient food production, and the replacement of agriculture by industrial manufacturing, as the dominant form of productive activity. Modernity saw the development of new political ideas, such as liberalism, conservatism and of scientific and technical innovation. Religious doctrines declined as the process of secularisation emerged, with science, truth and progress as the new faith.
The two modernisation processes I will focus on are: Globalisation and Rationalisation. This case study, analysing the impact of these two social processes, will involve an interview with a family member, in which a series of questions will be asked in relation to the topics. I will use a series of open ended questions. I will send a copy of my questions in an email to the interviewer and have a paper copy with the questions and answers.
Globalisation refers to the fact that we all increasingly live in one world, so that we become more interdependent in areas political, economic, financial, cultural, and social, with productivity and international distribution of labour (Giddens, A 2009). It was stimulated by the analyses of global media by Marshall McLuhan, who coined the term 'Global Village'. The dynamics of globalisation have made the world grow smaller and countries have become increasingly interlinked. Its dimensions operate at both the global level and local level at the same time. The use of satellite communications has taken on a new meaning of time and space. Transnational corporations operate in more than one country, such as Coca-Cola, General Motors, Kodak, and Colgate-Palmolive, account for two thirds of all world trade (Giddens, A 2009). Television programs are sponsored by foreign companies. We now operate in a world capitalist economy, interest rates rise because of international currency speculation (Pakulski, J 2011).
Economic globalisation is accompanied by political globalisation triggered by the increasing speed of cross-national political alliances with the collapse of the Soviet Union and increasing roles of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), al-Qaeda, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the expansion of American influence on a global scale and the rise of other world powers such as China and India. We are seeing a new global world politic emerge cross-nations and multi polar which are less predictable. (Germov, J et al, 2011 pp 353).
Globalisation has encouraged cultural homogenisation on a large scale. It is now common place to see a proliferation of niche subcultures such as particular styles of music, for example, American Hip Hop, which was once rooted in American cities, centred on African American gang related lifestyles and issues, has made its way into mainstream culture in western countries that would normally have a different traditional culture and extending not only to the music but to fashion as well. For example in Japan, it is not uncommon to find the youth of today sporting such attire, such as loosely fitted sports clothing and baseball caps, as is seen in video clips of American Hip Hop music (Bilton et al. 2002). Under the influence of globalising trends, these subcultures are forced to interact, causing the crumbling of traditional cultures, producing accelerated modernisation with intensified fear and cultural...
References: Bilton, T, Bonnett, K, Jones, P, Lawson, T, Skinner, D, Stanworth, M, Webster, A 2002, Introductory Sociology, 4th edn, Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
Giddens, A, 2009 Chapter 4 Globalisation and the changing world in Sociology, 6th edn, Polity, Cambridge, pp. 125-151.
Kloska, A, 2015 Unpublished interview for SLSS 101 Case Study, Swinburne Online, South Australia, 11 January.
Pakulski, J 2011 Chapter 18 Globalisation, power and social movements in J Germov & M Poole, Public sociology: an introduction to Australian society, Allen & Unwin, Crow’s Nest NSW, Ch. 18, pp. 350-371.
Ritzer, G, 2001 Chapter 2 Irrationality of Rationality in Explorations in the Sociology of Consumption: Fast food, credit cards and casinos, pp. 23-25.
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