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Globalization and its effect on Indian society
Dec 10, 2013

Globalization indicates that the world today is more interconnected than before.  Globalization in its basic economic sense refers to the adoption of open and unfettered trading markets (through lowering of trade barriers, removal of capital controls, and liberalization of  foreign exchange restrictions). Large volumes of money movement, increased volumes of trade, changes in information technology and communication are all integral to a global world.  There is also a significant movement of people from one country to another for trade and work.  Such increases in the movement of goods, labor, and services have weakened national barriers and restrictions that are imposed by a nation state.  Some identify a new emergence of a “global village.” In the past two decades, economic globalization has been the driving force behind the overall process of globalization.  

The effects are:

a) The movements of people from rural to urban areas have accelerated, and the growth of cities in the developing world especially is linked to substandard living for many. 

b) Family disruption and social and domestic violence are increasing.  For example, 2004 New Delhi police reports indicate that deaths in the city of about six women everyday are dowry-related suicides.

c) Concepts of national identity, and of family, job and tradition are changing rapidly and significantly. 

d) There is concern that competitiveness introduced by globalization is leading to more individualistic societies. 

e) Loss of tolerance for differences in religion and culture. 

f) It is believed that the illicit drug trade has grown in recent years to form a significant proportion of the total business volume in the world.

g) In a capitalistic market, multinational companies are taking the lead in establishing themselves and creating a major presence in almost every part of the world.  Coca Cola, McDonalds, and Nike are examples of such growth and proliferation.  This process becomes consumerism within a capitalistic culture.

h) The first is the development of a bicultural identity or perhaps a hybrid identity, which means that part of one’s identity is rooted in the local culture while another part stems from an awareness of one’s relation to the global world.  

i) The development of global identities is no longer just a part of immigrants and ethic minorities.  

j) People today especially the young develop an identity that gives them a sense of belonging to a worldwide culture, which includes an awareness of events, practices, styles and information that are a part of the global culture.  

k) A good example of bicultural identity is among the educated youth in India who despite being integrated into the global fast paced technological world, may continue to have deep rooted traditional Indian values with respect to their personal lives and choices such as preference for an arranged marriage, caring for parents in their old age.  Although developing a bicultural identity means that a local identity is retained alongside a global identity, there is no doubt that local cultures are being modified by globalization.  As traditional cultural practices and beliefs change, a bicultural or a hybrid multicultural identity likely develops to include the elements of the native, local and global culture.  This is especially true with immigrants.

l) Migration of younger generations from rural to urban areas and from one urban center to another as well as transnational migration has resulted results in the elderly being left to fend for themselves at a time when family support becomes more crucial. With more women joining the workforce system, the care of aged within families has declined.  For those who live within extended families the elderly have to live in harmony with the younger generation that has to face a highly competitive world of globalization.  While the nuclear family system is increasingly becoming the norm, modern life-styles, changing professional and personal expectations are impacting relationships of marriage and commitment.  In cities young people are starting to choose their own partners. Arranged marriages, however, continue. Meanwhile, as divorce rates increase especially in cities, the concept of single parenthood has not caught on in the Indian culture.  According to the India’s Ministry of Health reports (1997), teenage pregnancies are reaching an all-time high.  In the southern state of Kerala, teenage abortions rose by 20 per cent in a year, while the western state of Maharashtra, one-fifth of all abortion were with girls less than 15. 

m) The growth of the computer and technology sector has provided middle class educated women with better wages, flex-timings, and the capacity to negotiate their role and status within the household and society.  On the other hand, women continue to work in poorly paid, mentally and physically unhealthy, and insecure situations.

n) For most women, their domestic responsibilities are not alleviated.  Wage gaps have not showed any significant changes in most employment sectors other than information technology.  Additionally, prostitution, abuse and dowry related suicides are on the increase despite globalization and some say that the materialistic greed is one of the main causes.



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