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The arrival of enhanced communication technology in the second half of the 20th century marked a great milestone in the life of human beings in terms of how they related with each other as well as how they worked. Essentially, lack of effective communication technology had been a great obstacle to development; socially, economically and politically. In this regard, the arrival of various communication technologies that eliminated communicated was a celebrated achievement. However, the same technology that was celebrated a few years ago has increased fear among different societies across the globe because of the spread of Westernisation. Note that as different communities across the globe embrace various forms of global communication technology, they are swallowed without their knowledge by Westernisation trends. This paper will focus on various aspects of the society that have been impacted greatly by westernisation as a result of the spread of global communication technology. These are business, culture and politics.
The cultural alignment of different societies across the globe is facing threats of becoming extinct as a result of global communication technology. Notably, most contemporary communication technologies facilitate the fast and easy flow of information. According to Fagan and Munck (2009, p. 20), there are indications that cultural flows today are overwhelmingly from the West outward. These authors further reiterates that the power of the new global media (e.g. CNN) is seen as destroying local cultural particularities, making global culture to be somewhat artificial production of globalisation (Fagan and Munck 2009, p. 20). Notably, the Western countries have continued to market their culture as more civilised than other cultures across the globe. In this respect, they employ all kinds of communication technology to ensure that their culture is highly marketed.
It is important to understand that the global community is generally affected by the culture that is perceived as more superior than its own. Speaking from this point of view, global communication technology has always created an image of a superior Western culture as compared to any other culture across the globe. For instance, the internet plays a significant role not only in communication today. However, having its origin from the Western world has given countries from this region an upper hand in communicating their culture more easily than any other country or society from other parts of the globe. Furthermore, communication over the internet has been given a more Westernised outlook more than has been given to other cultures across the globe. For example, Stamatellos (2007, p. 95) notes that global communication on the internet may produce cultural homogeneity and by extension, less cultural diversity as a result of such issues as the use of English as the main internet language.
Research also indicates that media as a global communication technology has also contributed to Westernisation of other parts of the world. Essentially, the media plays an important role in sharing of vital information concerning what is happening around the globe as well as educating people on various aspects of life. As such, Western countries have managed to spread their values and way of life among different societies of the world. For example, family planning was generally a western issue, yet it is mentioned today in the media countless time across the globe. Similarly, the Westernised entertainment industries has also taken the initiative to market music, movies and films that is full of westernised traditions. Note this has both positive and negative effects on the global community. The introduction of satellite and cable television has increased access to Westernised content, thus increasing its impact across the globe. For instance, Dabbagh (2005, p. 238) argues that the so-called 'modernisation' and 'Westernisation' of Palestinian society might be expected to lead to patterns of suicidal behaviour increasingly similar to those in the West.
With this in mind, the media as well as the internet has played a big role in the flow of Westernised culture from the West to other parts of the globe. Note that people emulate other cultural values either willingly or are forced to do so. In this regard, most people from other cultures who rely on Western media have either to adapt these cultures on their own or are forced to adopt it in order to continue using such media. On the other hand, the presentation of the internet as a global communication technology has been packaged in a Westernised way forcing users to adopt this culture. Whereas this is the case for culture, other areas of the society too have been affected by global communication technology.
One of the areas that have benefited a lot as a result of various communication technologies is the business sector. Generally, businesses across the globe have registered increased profits as well as efficiency. However, the current trends indicate that most businesses across the globe would be westernised in a near future. This is as a result of the proliferation of westernised concepts in most business sectors across the globe. In this regard, the current trends indicate that there could emerge a westernised business structure that is accepted worldwide as the standard way of doing business.
To begin with, most businesses across the globe have been transformed by the capitalist concept that was championed by the United States, especially during the cold war between this country and the USSR as well as during the war with North Korea and China. Until then, most nations operated on the make-profit basis. However, during and after the war period that is mentioned above, the United States of America as well as other Western nations launched a propaganda that discredited other business concepts and promoted the Westernised business concepts among them capitalism. Most importantly, Western countries have employed global communication technology such as the media (radio, television, newspapers) and the internet to pave way for their business models and practices in different markets across the globe (James 2004, p. 178). Note that by September 1999, there were 201 million users of the internet (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Secretariat 2000, p. 82)
Business activities are also affected by the markets structure in which they exist. Therefore, some market structures promote more business activities while others do not. In line with this, the global communication technologies are used purposely by the Western countries to promote their own markets structures as favourable for investment, unlike the Asian and the Africa market which are perceived on the global point of view as having been marred by unethical practices. In this regard, the global communications technologies favour the Westernised culture and practices of doing business. This has resulted in the transfer of Westernised knowledge and skills to Asian and African markets as a way of enhancing their productivity as well as attracting Western investors.
The success on the markets that have adopted westernised business practices would therefore continue to be a factor that help to enhance westernised through global communication technologies. Note that after successful implementation of westernised business practices, this is publicised through communications technologies leading to further spread of westernisation. For instance, it is highly publicised that in China, the Eastern seaboard exhibits elements of Westernised business practice while the inner provinces remain underdeveloped and largely agrarian (Hutchings & Mohannak 2007, p. 88).
The global politics politic too have been affected by Westernisation as a result of the growing use of various global communication technologies. In line with this, different countries across the globe have been forced to adopt the Westernised style of doing politics. Notably, the media as well as the internet as used in communication have affected the way countries in other continents conduct their politics, from election to other pertinent issues that pertain their political alignment. One of the issues that must be noted is the fact that Westernisation of politics across the globe is done through the media as well as other interactive communication technology such as the internet, with Western system being promoted as the best as compared to others.
First, as it was mentioned above where business concepts of the Western countries were promoted as the best as compared to other business concepts across the globe, Western countries also promote their way of conducting politics as more civilised than that of other countries around the world. For instance, when referring to political challenges that exist in the Arab world as well as in Africa, the Western media argue that this could be different if these countries had realised or rather embraced democracy, a Westernised political concept. Similarly, other systems of government have been portrayed in the global communications technology as being crude, and do not observe human rights. In reference to Freeman (2011, 77), it is commonly believed (and supported) that human rights and democracy are mutually supportive or related to each other by definition. In others words, the Western media believes that there is no single system of government that would be able to honour human rights as well as other significant issues that are affected by politics without embracing democracy. This is highly publicised through communications technologies such as the media.
In this regard, the Western world have proliferated the airwaves with information that their system of governance is the best as compared to other system of governance that exist across the globe. It is important to take note of the fact that most global media as well as other communications technologies are owned or sponsored by the Western world. On the other hand, these media and communications technologies are required to promote the policies as well as system of governance of these countries. As such, the global community has only two choices namely; exposed itself to global communications technology that is saturated with Westernised material and be enlightened on other important global issues or shun away from them and be shut away from the rest of the world (Fortner & Fackler 2011). More than 80% of the community has chosen the former as opposed to the latter.
Future Implications and Conclusion
Until this far, the Western world has managed to proliferate the worlds with its business concepts, culture, technology, science, etc. The analysis of the current trends indicates that such trends have no signs of abating in a near future. On the contrary, the world will continue to be exposed to Westernised material, with every form of exposure earning converts to Westernisation. This is as a result of an increase in the number of people who have access to communications technologies. One of the questions that have been asked is the outcome of these trends in future. To answer this question, one has to understand that Westernisation had two perspectives; positive and negative. In this regard, the continued promotion of Westernisation through global communications technologies would create an avenue for the Western world to rule the globe indirectly, without necessarily fighting to do so. Similarly, whereas other countries will benefit from the positive aspects of Westernisation, they would to do with its inevitable consequences. In other words, by accepting Westernisation these countries must accept both its positive and negative effects on the society.