What Is the Meaning of Globalization in Sociology?

Globalization as a process has been quite significant which can be seen as trying to bring closer the regions which were never close before. It is an ongoing process involving the ever-increasing integration in economic, cultural, social and political spheres between nations, states, and even small isolated regions. It is the exchange of cultural values, resources, ideas and beliefs between countries.

In economic terms, it refers to the idea that economic relations and activities operate on an increasingly transnational basis. Economic globalization refers to the process by which far off places are brought close through economic exchanges, production system, commodity chains, and communication flow. The factors that lie behind globalization are the technological innovation in information and communication, transport, production, infrastructure, and so on. Its features are increasing trade across and within borders, growth rate and range of foreign capital investment, growth of financial markets due to their political deregulation, organization of production and services, and the international division of labour. The concept of globalization comprises of many theories.

The World System Theory developed by Immanuel Wallerstein views the world as a whole unit rather than taking into consideration the individual countries. It divides the world into three regions; core, peripheral, and semi-peripheral countries.

The core region comprises of the developed areas like Western Europe and the United States which have strong central governments, proper taxation system, are economically diversified, industrialized, and are relatively independent of outside control.

Peripheral countries are those which supply raw materials, resources and often slaves to the core countries. They comprise of the areas like Latin America and Africa with a relatively weak government, generally depending on only one type of economic activity, for instance, extracting raw materials. The proportions of poor and uneducated people are more with only a small upper class which dominates most of the economy, creating inequality in the population. They are not independent of outside control and are mostly influenced by the core countries and transnational corporations.

The semi-peripheral countries are located between core and periphery like India and Brazil.  Although they do not have a dominant position in international trade but they are relatively developed and diversified economy than those of the periphery. Wallerstein asserts that semi-periphery is quite important in maintaining the overall stability of the world economy. Its in-between position ensures that the world economy is not polarised between the exploited majority in the periphery and the privileged minority in the core. The second theory of globalization is that of modernisation which proposes that all countries follow a similar path of development from traditional to modern a modern society. In reaction to modernization theory, came the dependency theory that used the concepts of core and periphery countries to look at the inequalities between countries.

Although with globalization, development and modernization set forth, but there are still many people across the world who has not tasted those advantages brought about by it. This kind of phenomena in the globalized world is known as the digital divide.

Also Read:

  1. Globalization: Key Debates, Concepts, and Perspectives

2. Globalization and Contemporary issues

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Sabnam, pursuing Sociology from Miranda House, Delhi University hails from the land of red River, Assam. 1500 dollar loans online. She is a pure non-realist, because, as she puts it, "reality hurts and pain is not what I endure but what I pour into paper!".