Globalization broadly refers to the various types of flows namely, flow of ideas, flow of capital, flow of commodities, flow of people across borders. People are getting interconnected with the help of these various flows and this interconnectedness is in turn creating a global culture. It is wrong to assume that Globalisation has a single aspect. It is a multi-dimensional concept and has political, economic as well as cultural dimensions. It is the result of centuries of advancements made in technology and growing international cooperation between the countries. This term gained recognition in 1990s that is after the cold war years. Culture refers to a set of basic beliefs, traditions, morals, values, way of living, language, literature, etc. hold by any country which are being practiced by the natives of that country at any particular time. Globalisation also has cultural impacts. It is affecting the way of eating, drinking and clothing habits, it is affecting the way one thinks. It is leading to a rise in uniform culture. This emergence of uniform culture is also known as cultural homogenisation. Its impact on culture transcends race and demographic boundaries.

Main body and its critical analysis

The analysis of Globalization can be made culturally, economically, politically and institutionally on the basis of increasing heterogeneity and homogeneity. These are two extreme terms. The term homogeneity is closely linked with the concept of cultural imperialism. Cultural imperialism refers to the dominance or influence of one culture over a number of other varied cultures. Cultural imperialism can be mainly seen through western dominance particularly American dominance, though this imperialism has varied forms. This American influence can also be understood by the soft power that USA acquires through which it is exercising hegemony over rest of the world.

This idea of cultural imperialism is opposed by many people. One among them is Roland Robertson. He came up with a distinct concept of Glocalization. It is the concept under which the global interacts with the local in order to produce a distinct product that is glocal in nature. In other words its opposed to the imperialism concept as unlike the imperialism concept in glocalization no one culture is able to spread its influence over rest of all but all different cultures are intermingling to create a distinct culture. Therefore, Ronald Robertson is not criticizing the theory directly by using the term cultural imperialism but has come forward with a different theory which is opposed to this theory.

There are various theories analyzing the impact of globalization on culture. All of these theories centered around classifying the culture as different, converging or hybrid that is based on the concept of glocalization as mentioned above.

Cultural Differentialism: 

According to this theory, there are wide differences among different cultures and these cultures are not largely affected by globalization or any other process. It does not propagate the idea that culture remains totally unaffected by globalization. As per this theory globalization affects culture only on its surface and not very deeply so as to be able to change its structure. There are various adherents of this theory, one of whom is Samuel Huntington who believes in the persistence of varied cultures and civilizations in this era of wide spreading Globalization.

This theory has been criticized due to the two events that have taken place recently. One is the 9/11 attacks i.e. the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001 in USA and the subsequent wars between Afghanistan and Iraq. According to the critics, these events are a result of the cultural differences between the Islamic and the western culture.

Cultural convergence: 

As opposed to the Cultural Differentiation theory, the theory of Cultural Convergence is based on the notion that culture and civilizations are having a huge impact of Globalization and they are changing largely due to globalization. One can see the growth of varied cultures in increasingly similar directions. The global assimilation of cultures is leading to the adoption of the traits of the dominant culture on a wide scale. This concept is being studied by various other concepts like Cultural Imperialism, Global capitalism, Westernization, Americanization, McDonaldization, World Culture, etc.

Cultural Hybridization: 

This theory is a very positive theory which is based on heterogenization rather than homogenization of cultures. The hybrid culture is created with the integration of the global and the local culture. It is a very romantic concept which views globalization as a very creative process that helps in the emergence of new cultural realities and helps creating a continuing heterogeneity among different locale culture. It is closely associated with the term we discussed above that is Glocalization. Unlike the concept of grobalization which focuses on uniformity the concept of hybrid culture emphasizes on the increasing diversity that is created by the intermixing of the global and the local.

The effects of globalization on culture are both positive and negative in nature. There are some people who are appreciate the cultural changes brought about by globalization and on the other hand there are others who criticize the impact of globalization on culture.

Looking at the positive impact of globalization, it has helped increasing the limited options which people earlier used to have in the market. Take the example of food, now people have the choice to taste a varied genre of products, for example: Italian, Chinese, Indian food stuff, etc. which otherwise was not available to them. Globalization has also let to urbanization of the developing countries. It has helped in the creation of employment opportunities and has also enhanced the lifestyle and living standard of the native citizens of developing countries to a significant level. It has helped people to become considerate and compassionate about cultures other than one’s own. It has helped in making people get aware and understand cultures, ideas and beliefs of people from different part of the world. People have now started appreciating various dance forms, art, literature, music, cinema from the west and have started inculcating them in their day to day life. Walking on the parallel lines people from the west have started adopting the practice of yoga and meditation which is prevalent in the east and have benefited a lot out of it. There has been a positive surge of common sharing of values, lifestyles, ideas, art forms across the borders. Also the educational system has changed a lot due to this upcoming globalization and modernzation leading to the development of modern skills that are being acquired by the students across the borders thus creating a healthy cross border culture.

Coming to the negative impact of globalization on culture or the critical analysis of the globalization impacting culture, it is leading to misrepresentation of the culture and hence resulting in the loss of one’s culture or individual identity. With the coming of new technology, people are now able to sell, resell the symbols, icons, of dance and art forms etc which is an integral part of one’s culture in the foreign market thus resulting in the loss of this valuable heritage. Globalization is often defined as westernization of developing countries. It is leading people towards the western culture leading to the extinction of local handicrafts, sculptures which represents a country’s culture. Globalization is deviating people from their traditional ways of living. People are gradually adopting a global identity in this cross border culture. It is further encouraging cultural imperialism. With the help of economic interconnections and global markets, the third world countries are asserting their power through the imposition of their ideas and culture on the developing countries thus resulting in the traditional practices of developing countries becoming obsolete and inferior.

The uniform culture which is rising due to this globalization is not the same as global culture. Here the concept of cultural imperialism is coming into picture where instead of all the cultures intermixing with each other there is only the culture of the west which is getting prominence and which is influencing the native cultures of all the other countries. The concept of McDonaldization also comes into the picture when we discuss the hegemony exercised by USA by virtue of its soft powers that is the result of cultural globalization. People while making arguments about this cultural hegemony draw attention to the McDonaldization of the world, with cultures seeking to buy into the dominant American dream.


Globalization is a concept which is increasingly in use in the modern day times. With the advent of new technology, the concept of globalization is getting prominent. There is an increase in the cross border flow of goods, commodities, capital and people with the end of cold war. It has political, cultural, economic as well as institutional manifestations. It has huge effects on the native culture of many nations. The effects are both positive as well as negative. On one hand it is leading to exchange of cultural values and traditions of different countries, opening up more and more options for people to choose from, leading to intermixing of cultures which in turn is creating hybrid culture. And on the other hand it is leading to cultural imperialism, where US is exercising its hegemony and influencing upon the ideas and cultures of the developing nations which in turn is making the native cultures of the developing nations obsolete.