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What are some of the characteristics of globalization?

Updated April 17, 2017

Globalisation is a word with many meanings, and different people can have very different definitions of globalisation. In general, when experts discuss globalisation, they mean the increasing levels of interconnectedness among people around the globe. This interconnectedness comes in many forms: political, communication, economic and cultural.

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Cultural globalisation occurs as people of different cultures interact more often. Cultural globalisation takes many forms. McDonald's has spread across the globe, bringing American food to places all over the world. Rather than simply serve the same food everywhere, though, McDonald's adapts to each culture, selling kosher cheese-free burgers in Israel and serving no beef in India, creating a blend of both American fast food and traditional tastes and customs. Cultural globalisation occurs along many different avenues, with a nation's film, art and music increasingly incorporating ideas from other cultures.


Increased communication, particularly through the Internet, is a hallmark of contemporary globalisation. Social networking has allowed people from across the globe to connect and communicate in ways that were impossible before, and the result is the wide dissemination of ideas. Americans can watch global new reports from both the British BBC and the Qatari Al-Jazeera. Protesters in Egypt, after hearing about popular demonstrations in Tunisia on the news, planned demonstrations of their own using Facebook and mobile phones and reported the situation in real time to people worldwide using Twitter.


Many people think of economics when they talk about globalisation. The economies of the world become increasingly integrated every day, as multinational corporations both produce goods and sell them in many countries. Products now often contain parts built all over the world. The parts of a computer could have been built individually across Asia, assembled in the United States, sold by a Chinese laptop company with technical support handled by call centres in India.


The world politically has also become more integrated. Free trade agreements and bilateral investment treaties, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, have mushroomed between countries. Many European countries have joined the European Union, which integrates aspects of their foreign and domestic policy such as immigration and sales taxes.

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About the Author

Chris Burke began writing professionally in 2007. In addition to writing for student-run literary journals in college, he has authored content for The George Washington University, as well as the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Burke holds a Bachelor of Arts in international affairs and is pursuing a law degree from Columbia University.

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