Skills to Develop
By the end of the unit, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- What is globalization?
- How did the modern era of globalization develop?
- What is the relationship between culture and globalization?
In this unit, you will explore globalization and development and its effects on indigenous peoples. Modern economic and political development is driven by the assumption that the results will be beneficial for all people; however, cultural differences are not taken into consideration, leading often to the destruction of indigenous cultures. Understanding the context of modern development students become versant in the current debate about globalization.
- 3.1: Introduction to Globalization, Modernization & Development
- Modern economic and political development is driven by the assumption that modernization and development will be beneficial for all people; however, cultural differences are not taken into consideration, often leading to the destruction of indigenous cultures. Understanding the context of modern development enables us to understand our own place in an increasingly interconnected world.
- 3.2: Modernization
- Modernization then is a process of cultural and socio-economic change whereby less developed countries (LDCs) acquire characteristics of western, industrialized societies. It should be noted that this definition is used primarily by European-derived cultures. Modernization implies that other societies should be more like “us;” otherwise, that society is inferior. This is the legacy of European colonialism.
- 3.3: Legacy of Colonialism
- Colonialism refers to the domination of one culture, society, or nation over another. In the context of modern globalization and to oversimplify, colonialism specifically refers to Western European domination over much of the world starting in the fifteenth century, but the origins of that movement is in the Asian overland-trade routes previously established.
- 3.4: Development
- In this context, development refers to “change directed toward improving human welfare”. What this definition fails to mention is that the change is based on a model developed by former colonial powers the result of which is “dislocated cultural space”. While western culture has historically taken precedence through the process of colonialism in more recent years that dominance has been challenged resulting in interconnected cultural space.
- 3.5: Anthropology and Development
- Anthropologists specializing in development studies may call themselves applied anthropologists, economic anthropologists, environmental anthropologists, ecological anthropologists, or development anthropologists.
Thumbnail: Counter service in a McDonald's restaurant in Dukhan, Qatar. Image used with permission (CC BY-SA 3.0; Vincent van Zeijst).