February 12, 2015
Reading Summary #1
The idea that some people are better than others is almost nature. What this means is that if a person sees herself as superior than another person, it does not mean that she is actually superior but that is how she defines herself, therefore defining the other person as inferior. This is not necessarily intentional but it does tend to happen to many people. However, this example of superiority is not limited to individuals but it also involves neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, countries, etc. This concept of us vs. them, the west being better than the east, the poor vs. rich, pretty vs. ugly, developed vs. under ...view middle of the document...
As Steger argues in Intro to Globalization, he believes that the generations to come will be better off because as the world globalizes and as it becomes more open to different cultures and believes, the people in the future will be able to determine better solutions to deal with world problems. “It is likely that our great-grandchildren will have a better sense of which alternative is likely to win out.” Perhaps based on Steger’s definition, Said would elaborate in that, if later generations really do have a better sense of different alternatives, then people will not be so judgmental or make quick assumptions about who is better than who in a society. By taking Steger’s elephant metaphor, one is able to see that the “us” vs ”them” concept is similar because many western europeans were blind to those eastern europeans and only saw facts that they though were true, just as today we continue to do the same with other countries by generalizing about them. Instead, people should see other people (the elephant) as they are and not be so fast to make any judgements before learning and understanding their cultures and ideologies.
However, these generalizations that countries make about each other could decrease with globalization as everybody starts to learn about everybody else. There wouldn’t be that idea of orientalism where some people think they are more superior than others. “Certain parts of what we are used to calling the ‘third world’ are now actually more advanced, technologically, industrially, and economically, than some parts of the west (Tomlinson, pg 30).” Many countries also don’t like being in the bottom so, many of them want to strive for a better economy and compete with other bigger world powers/countries. Not only is there culture a factor but also how much these countries are willing to do to advance in their economy and be noticed by others around the world. Tomlinson gives the reader the idea that other cultures have evolved because they have adjusted to other cultures. This means that if this keeps on happening, people won’t see themselves as individuals but almost as equals.
However, in order to see oneself as equal with someone else, one should stop defining herself by defining others. This even happens inside countries, in different communities and neighborhoods. By looking at The City and the City, one may be able to see this “us” vs “those” concept when looking at the different neighborhoods where a crime took place. “Besźel’s dark ages are very dark. Sometime between two thousand and seventeen hundred years ago the city was founded, here in this curl of coastline… It may or may not have been Besźel, that we built, back then, while others may have...