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A study of the term globalisation.

1. The term globalization/globalisation

The term globalization entered popular usage in the 1980's, with the aim of describing the increased economic, political, social, cultural and ideological interconnectedness among the world's populations, as a result of the amplified movement of people, knowledge, ideas, goods and money across the borders of the nation-state. Globalization has become an issue in a wide-ranging global debate. Some argue that it is a positive phenomenon, which leads to richer societies and brings information and, therefore, knowledge to people all around the world. Others perceive the oppressive global capitalism as unfair to the poor, and as threatening to traditional cultures. These critics consider the declining conditions in which some populations live, and the "extremist" networks that commit terrorist acts as a result of globalization. Thanks to present technology, these terrorist networks span rapidly and dangerously throughout the world, within what can now be called globalized terrorism. According to this view, concern is expressed over the consequences of global change to the well-being of various groups, the sovereignty and identity of countries, and the health of the environment.

Even though globalization is most of the times thought of in economic terms--the global marketplace--this process has many political, social, ideological and cultural implications as well. Globally, it is thought of in terms of the challenges it poses nowadays to the role of the traditional nation-state in international affairs and global economy, whereas locally, communities link globalization to modernization, or the transformation of traditional societies into Western ones (Steger, 2003).

2. The Economic Dimension of Globalization

According to Fraser et al. (2000), globalization can also be grasped as the 'triumph of capitalism', that is, as the ascendancy of economics over politics, of corporate demands over public policy, of the private over the public interest. It is the last stage in the capitalization of the world. Over the past two centuries, economic activities have become, mainly thanks to international trade, globally oriented and national economies are now part of a global economy. The integration of national economies is based on the need for a free global market with few trade barriers, which would allow true competition across borders. For this purpose, various international economic institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), North America Free Trade Association (NAFTA), the European Union (EU), and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) facilitate a barrier-free flow of goods, services, and money.

Many critics assess economic globalization as having a positive impact, linking increased economic transactions across national borders to opportunities for economic development and an increased world Gross Development Product (GDP), others, on the other hand, are concerned that globalization adversely affects workers and the environment in many countries around the world. The latter consider that the economies of the industrial North (North America, Europe, East Asia) have, indeed, benefited from globalization, while at the same time, non-industrial or less-industrialized countries of the geo-political South (Africa, parts of Asia, Central and South America) have faced economic downturns. According to Thomas Friedman (1999), globalization is the inexorable integration of markets, nation-states and technologies. On the contrary, some critics view globalization as a deliberate, ideological project of economic liberalization that subjects states and individuals to more intense market forces (McMichael, 1999; Hirst and Thompson, 1996).

Discussions on globalization often convey a sense that something new is happening to the world: a new world order is emerging, according to "hyperglobal" accounts (Held, 1995). Skeptics counter that globalization is age-old capitalism spread across the globe, or that governments and regions retain distinct strengths in a supposedly integrated world (Hirst and Thompson, 1996).

Globalization can further be defined as the arrival of 'self-generating capital' at the global level. This is different from the mere internationalization of capital, which assumes a world of national capitals and nation states; it is the supersession by capital of the nation state. These definitions emphasize different aspects of the same phenomenon, one that is proceeding but not yet complete. The present era is a transitional one in which the world of nation states and national markets is being transformed into a single world market with growing percentages of all economic activity accounted for by a few hundred corporations. Thus, world trade increasingly is intra-corporate rather than international.

3. The Cultural Dimension of Globalization: Sameness vs. Diversity

During the last two decades we have witnessed the exponential worldwide expansion of computer-based communication through the Internet and electronic mail, which has promoted the spreading of information and lead to democratization, as people in nearly every country are able to communicate their opinions and perspectives on issues that impact their lives. Still, this expansion of information technology has been uneven, as geography and economic status lead to differences in accessing and using the Internet and other information technologies. Often, access to information technology in many developing countries is controlled by the state or is available only to a small minority who can afford it.

In recent years there has been a significant rise in power of global news services to construct and disseminate news. Thanks to satellite technology, CNN and its few competitors extend their reach to the most geographically remote areas of the world. This raises some important issues, among which the question of who determines what news is newsworthy and what the potential political consequences of the silencing of alternative voices and perspectives are.

Therefore, information technology has had a dramatic impact on popular culture, enabling a diversity of locally-based popular culture to develop and reach a larger audience. However, while globalization has increased transmission of popular culture from the developed countries easily and inexpensively throughout the world, nationally-based media tried hard to develop local television, movie, and video programs. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that globalization leads to cultural homogeneity: interaction and integration diminish difference and global culture overtakes local background.

Many cultural means, such as the media, reflect exclusively Western interests and control the cultural imperialism of the United States. They make possible the global spread of American symbols and popular culture (Ciugureanu, 2002; Vlad, 2010). Media markets in countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are saturated with productions from the U.S., Europe and a few countries in Asia (especially Japan and India) and critics condemn the hegemony of Western culture and the potential global homogenization of values and cultural taste, with the resulting silencing of domestic cultural expression. The counterargument stresses the heterogeneity resulting from globalization: interaction leads to the mixture of cultures and integration is likely to provoke a defense of tradition in many countries and regions.

4. The Political Dimension of Globalization

According to some political scientists, globalization is weakening nation-states and global institutions gradually take over the functions and power of nation-states. Globalization constrains states, i.e. free trade limits their ability to set policies and protect domestic companies. Moreover, global problems exceed the grasp of individual states, entrusting global institutions with more and more power.

On the other hand, social scientists believe that, irrespective of the dramatic changes in world politics, particularly in international relations and the increasing of global inter-connectivity, the nation-state will remain at the center of international political activity. They suggest that in a more integrated world, nation-states may even become more important, due to the fact that they have special roles in creating conditions for growth and compensating for the effects of economic competition. In addition, they are key players in organizations and treaties that address global problems. Furthermore, they are themselves global models charged with great authority by global norms.

The increase of international political interrelations across the globe leads to the questioning of the principle of state sovereignty and to the growing power of intergovernmental organizations, with the inherent changes foreseen in the regional and global governance. The economic and political aspects of globalization are profoundly interconnected. While, clearly, economic activities depend on political decisions, in turn, these decisions are made in particular economic contexts.

There is a debate on this issue between the hyperglobalizers who talk about a radical deterritorialization of politics, rule, and governance--thanks to massive flows of capital, people, and technology across territorial boundaries--and the globalization skeptics who state the continued relevance of the nation-state and the emergence of regional blocs as evidence for new forms of territorialization. In the last centuries, territorial borders have generated a sense of belonging to a particular nation-state and people thought their political differences along these lines. Globalization has led, however, to the permeation of these old territorial borders and, consequently, to the mixture of cultures.

We cannot examine political globalization without discussing the modern nation-state system, dating back to 17th century Europe, more exactly to the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which concluded a series of religious wars among the main European powers as a result of the Protestant Reformation. What came to be known as the Westphalian model gradually strengthened a new notion of law based on the principle that all states had equal rights to self-determination. This model became the basis for modernity's national system of political power. The centuries subsequent to the Peace of Westphalia brought a further centralization of political power, the expansion of state administration and the development of diplomacy.

During the 1970s, as globalization tendencies grew stronger, states turned into a global web of political interdependencies that challenged the sovereignty of nation-states. In 1990, at the beginning of the Gulf War, George H. W. Bush pronounced the Westphalian model dead and announced the birth of a "new world order". According to the hyperglobalizers' view, in the future the main role of government will be to serve as a superconductor for global capitalism (Steger, 2003).

As territorial divisions are becoming more and more irrelevant, nation-states have become vulnerable to the discipline imposed by economic choices made elsewhere, over which states have no practical control. In hyperglobalizers' view, the political order of the future will be determined by regional economies linked together in an almost seamless global web of production and exchange. Global markets undermine the capacity of governments to set independent national policy objectives and impose their own domestic standards.

The means of communication, particularly the internet, have come to be viewed as foundations for the transgression and redefinition of the boundaries of political space. In a world of virtual space, the limits of national governments are constantly challenged. According to some critics, the new communication and information technologies have become tools for political organization, and they have become the basis for the advancement of cosmopolitan democracy.

On the other hand, globalization skeptics point to the essential role of politics in unleashing the forces of globalization, especially through the successful enlistment of political power. According to their view, the rapid growth of global economic activity cannot be reduced to a law of the market or to the development of computer technology. Thus, skeptics insist on the continued relevance of conventional political units. After all, governments can make their economies more attractive to global investors and have control over education, infrastructure, and population movements.

Political globalization is also visible in the rise of supraterritorial institutions and associations held together by common interests, leading some to speculate that they will eventually replace nation-states as the basic unit of governance. Starting out as attempts to integrate regional economies, these regional blocs have, in some cases, already evolved into loose political federations with common institutions of governance. For example, governments have formed a number of international organizations, including the UN, NATO, WTO.

In addition, we notice a global civil society, consisting of thousands of non-governmental associations. International NGOs like Amnesty International or Greenpeace represent millions of citizens prepared to challenge political and economic decisions made by nation-states and intergovernmental organizations. Within this global civil society some globalization researchers predict that political globalization will facilitate the emergence of democratic transnational social forces and anticipate the creation of a democratic global governance structure based on Western cosmopolitan ideals.

Nation-states are also required to satisfy the demands of ethnic groups who feel that they form a political community. Some of these communities are based on language and customs, some on religion, some on geographic ties. Furthermore, the nation-state provides a forum for the political expression of the popular will. Consumers, by expressing their popular will, establish legal rights within national legal systems. By diminishing the nation-state which is the vehicle for the expression of popular will, forces would destroy their own legal infrastructure.

5. The Linguistic Dimension of Globalization

To a certain extent, this paper is an analysis of an electronic corpus of naturally-occurring texts created by us. See also Sinclair and his team working on the Cobuild English Dictionary Project at Birmingham, UK (Sinclair, 1991). The major reason for using computer corpora is the quality of linguistic evidence, particularly on collocations and typical uses of lexical items (Sinclair 1991: 42). Bernadini et al. (2003) summarize corpus typology and the uses of each type:

* monolingual corpora -large collections of texts which may be analyzed for naturalness, e.g. the British National Corpus (BNC):, and the Cobuild Bank of English:

* comparable bilingual corpora--specialized collections of similar source texts (STs) in the two languages;

* parallel corpora--of source texts (STs)--target texts (TTs) pairs, when aligned (sentence by sentence) can allow the strategies employed by the translator to be investigated (see other corpus-based studies in Munday, 2001, republished in 2008; terminology tools, authoring tools, and computer-aided translation tools in Munday, 2009).

Teubert and Cermakova (2007) analyzed a sample of 200 citations (from the Bank of English) of globalisation. The computer gave them the most frequent collocates of the word (anti, world, against, means, economic, international and business). They found out that globalisation is and is not lots of things. Therefore, globalisation is: a fact, a much overused word, a trend, a redistribution, a relic, a story, a fancy euphemism, a process, an accepted phenomenon, an open society, an opportunity, an unstoppable force, a bigger market, like a giant wave. On the other hand; globalization is not inevitable, to be resisted, to fight it, a painless exercise, a one-way street, a code word.

We have used a piece of authentic language--corpus (200 citations)--from a British newspaper and a KWIC (Key Word in Context)--the word globalization with its British spelling: globalisation.

Firstly, we have analyzed the areas in which the term globalisation occurred: the European Union, capitalism, knowledge, economy (markets, financial markets, trade, mortgage lending, business, economic rise, state intervention, rising debt, car industry, the corporate world), law (lawless, immigrant ghettos), people (groups, protesters, writers, working-class families), politics, religion, football, TV, cinema, music, books, food, education, health.

Secondly, we have found out that:

* globalisation is/has been a grafted; a double-edged sword (3); more of a threat than an opportunity; controversial; a fact of life; good; good for business.

* globalisation is rendered as guroubarizeeshyon.

* globalisation seems like a pact with the devil.

* globalisation means needing to answer emails in the middle of the night to hit deadlines across multiple time zones.

* globalisation does/is doing/has done/did/was doing/was to: accelerates, offers, works, does create winners and losers, "incubates" ..., is reaching higher education.

* globalisation has created opportunities, forced them to become increasingly international, gathered pace, made such narrow-focus antipathy meaningless, produced structural imbalances in the world economy, saturated the country with cheap junk food, "stalled" ...

* globalisation was coming under attack, was creating a crisis of ..., was to bring unprecedented prosperity.

Thirdly, from a morphological point of view, we can notice that the word globalisation is a mass noun (Nadrag, 2004; Hornoiu, 2009). It can stand alone as a complete nominal expression, without a determiner. It takes the of-construction in the genitive. Moreover, the noun globalisation has become part of numerous noun phrases:

(another) aspect of globalization (3)

benefits of globalisation

challenge of globalisation

(logical), (negative) consequence of globalisation

context of globalisation

crisis of globalisation (5)

critics of globalisation (3)

decades of globalisation

effects of globalisation (2)

end of globalisation

era of globalisation (2)

evils of globalisation

forces of globalisation

future of globalisation

future impact of globalisation

impact of globalisation

issue of globalisation

opportunities of globalisation

(the growing) realities of globalisation (in commercial law)

result of globalisation (2)

(the dark) side of globalisation

speed, scope and scale of globalisation

(the next) stage of globalisation

(the strong) tail winds of globalisation

tenets of globalisation

themes of globalisation

theory of globalisation

tide of globalisation

turmoil of globalisation

virtues of globalisation

We can also notice the presence of the following derivative word forms: anti-globalisation (2), anti-globalisation activist, forces, groups (2), movement (3), people, protesters (2), treatise, writers; pro-globalisation stance; de-globalisation of a globalised world.

6. Conclusions

In our opinion, this study can help at least three categories of people:

* students can find out the main economic, cultural, political and linguistic aspects concerning the process of globalisation;

* content subject teachers can check the latest topics and discussions on globalisation;

* English language teachers can find out and then teach some of the most frequently used collocations with the term globalisation.


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Author:Nadrag, Lavinia; Bala, Monica
Publication:Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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