Globalization is a complex, interdependent phenomenon, which is changing the worldâ€™s cultures rapidly, especially Asian cultures, where people are caught in the midst of new economic and transnational crosscurrents.
There are life-affirming changes on many fronts â€” improvement in national infrastructure, travel, communications, technology and health care. But these changes are giving rise to some new ethical problems.
Rapid and irreversible changes are taking place in all Asian countries, especially in India and China, the two emerging economic superpowers in the region. There is an ongoing expansion of huge corporations, accompanied by impressive communication networks. A ...view middle of the document...
The new synthesis of cultures in Asian countries is so powerful it is beginning to obliterate the rather well-defined cultural boundaries as well as the specific social identities of the people. This cultural synthesis has become powerful enough to alter the traditional mindset of the people. In India, this began to happen on a large scale when the country introduced sweeping changes in its economic policies in the early 1990s. How to be a global partner, without losing oneâ€™s cultural identity, has become a crucial question in Asia.
Second, there is a growing middle class in countries such as India, comprising of 100 million people, with an unquenchable thirst for consumer goods. The spread of new capital has provided opportunities for those who have skills to participate in the growth. More jobs have been created in the country, and there is a sharp rise in salaries and personal incomes for millions of people.
But the widening gap between the rich and the poor in Asian societies has become a serious problem. There are millions who do not have the technological skills to participate in the dynamism of globalization; they are thus marginalized.
Today, even many remote villages have some access to a computer, phone or cable television, but when it comes to improving their economic status, they do not have the same opportunities. Traditional workers â€” artisans, shoemakers, fishermen and small-scale farmers â€” have been thrown out of their occupations, thereby creating economic problems for these families.
Third, the influences of foreign media on the people of Asia have been significant. These influences are positive and negative.
Transmitting information across cultures instantly has helped in exposing human rights violations and abuses of ethnic groups. For this reason, the authoritarian government in China or the dictatorship in Myanmar tries to curb the foreign media because of â€œWestern ideology and politics,â€ and their â€œunwholesome influences in...