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What Do We Have to Learn from Romanisation for Our Life in a Global World

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Vittorio Mello

Universität Potsdam.

WiSe 2017/2018

Course: Foundations of American

Cosmopolitanism

Teacher: Mischke, D.

What do we have to learn from Romanisation for our life in the Global World?


Index:

  1. Globalisation                                        p. 3
  1. Economic Globalisation                        p. 3
  2. Cultural Globalisation                        p. 4
  1. Romanisation _                                        p. 5

2.1- The Romanisation of Britain _                p. 6

2.2- The Problems of Romanisation _                p. 7

  1. Globalisation under a Spotlight _                p. 8        

3.1- The Global Culture _                                p. 11

  1. Conclusion _                                                p. 12


1-Globalistion

The Online Etymology Dictionary traces the origin of the word globalisation from the word globalise. This term refers to the emergence of an international network between economic systems, but globalisation is not only this, it is a very complex concept that has different aspect in meaning and usage and a very modern one, being brought to the mainstream audience only around the second half of the 1980’s.

This term was coined to refer to a process of interconnection, trade and cultural exchange between national states, but also individuals, which was made possible by communication technology, a field that saw its uprising in the past century and achieved impressive progress in the last thirty years.

According to Wikipedia, which already is a perfect example of how communication technology has changed the way we approach to reality, in this case knowledge, by accessing a world-wide memory where anyone can contribute, David Held’s definition of globalisation in his work “Global Transformations” is the most cited one in 2014 and states:

"Transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions; assessed in terms of their extensity, intensity, velocity and impact, generating transcontinental or inter-regional flows.” 

1.1 -Economic Globalisation 

On the one hand we have economic globalisation, which has bright sides and down sides, being for example the possibility for some underdeveloped countries to enter the world trade and make profit out of the exportation of their products and the importation of important resources from other countries, or to receive foreign investments, but also the exploitation of work by multinational corporation, which export their line of production in countries where outdated laws, corruption and poverty allow them to be very competitive, but at a very high human price.  

1.2-Cultural Globalisation

On the other hand, we have cultural globalisation. This term refers to an exchange of ideas, values, art and also the products of the entertainment industry. This aspect of globalisation is more problematic because while commerce is (almost always) culturally neutral and can happen easily even between individuals or corporations that are very distant from each other in every aspect, the exportation of culture can create friction and conflict between cultural groups for many reasons.

It is easy to agree on the fact that cultural globalisation is creating a globalised culture, which is spread through television, newspapers and books, but mostly through the internet. Here communication is so fast, efficient and hectic that it is almost impossible not to be part of it. A good percentage of the world’s population owns an account on a social network allowing he or she to potentially come in contact with every person in the world.

The immense network of people using the internet at the moment is a real melting pot where cultures are disassembled and reorganized to create new meaning. Considering all these factors, the questions we must ask are: what are the ingredients for this new globalised culture? Is it true that globalisation is bringing the world together and creating a new shared culture between people from all around the globe or is it mostly a new form of cultural imperialism led on by the so called first-world countries?

If we look at the world as it is today, it is evident that the values and ideas being exported all around the globe through globalisation are those of the western world. Ideas of equality, freedom, tolerance, peace and shared welfare are the roots of global culture.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a perfect example. This declaration was drafted after the Second World War with the intent of protecting humanity from the horrors of war and dictatorship, and to prevent injustice of any kind. It was approved in 1948 by the 58 member-states of the U.N. and is historically one of the best efforts to ensure world peace.

In recent history though the human rights have been violated many times and, when it wasn’t one of the member-states violating them itself, but another state or a dictator, the U.N. almost never hesitated to intervene with its military force, thus going against its own declaration. Clear examples of this are the wars fought in Kosovo and Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, where the United Nations played an important role in restoring peace, bur also in causing new conflict or worsening already existing ones.

The universality of the Declaration has also been contested, mostly by countries where Islam is the most popular religion, or the religion of the state. These countries argue that the Declaration of Human Rights is not universal, but a secular agreement between the Judaic and the Christian tradition, which cannot be accepted for its incompatibility with the Sharia Law.

Another rejection of the globalised culture comes from within the countries where this process is very advanced. Many movements have risen to criticise, stop, reverse or fight globalisation which they see as a threat to a healthy life because of the consumerist behaviour it seems to carry and because pollution and global warming are the result of a ferocious exploitation of the environment by corporations or because they see their original culture is threatened by a lower but powerful and homogenising one.

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