The 21st century is the era of globalization. Technological advancement gave birth to globalization, increasing global connectivity day by day (Byrnes, 2007). For example, we can listen to the latest American pop songs via Youtube, we can buy most of the brand products no matter where we are. We are now able to access to the information all around the world through internet, media or travel. In other words, our everyday life are no longer subject to geographical restrictions, we can choose what we want or what is suitable for us in this globalized market.
People can benefit from the globalized market. Transnational corporations sell their products and gain profit worldwide. They viewed the world as a single country (Robinson, 2004). The globalized market enables transnational capitalists to accumulate profit and become more powerful based on the worldwide market liberalization(Robinson, 2004) over global labor by “acting as a centripetal force for the capitalist class and a centrifugal force for the working class”(Robinson,P.49). To a certain extent, the large amount of profit gain by the transnational corporations is from the exploitation of workers in the production process(Robinson, 2004). Most of the transnational capitalists are the owners of different global brands in the worldwide market. The successful global brands distribute their products globally and gain profit from the global economy scale. These global brands provide consumers accessibility to their products.
The circulation of commodities enables consumers all over the world to buy whatever they want. The globalized market allows consumers to reach the globalized market, bringing more choices to them. We can buy clothing in Zara, which is originated from Spain. We can have a cup of Starbucks coffee, which is originally from the United States. Think about the things you own or your everyday choices of food and drinks, how many of them are from the global brands?
The consumers share similar choices in the globalized market may also seemed to be a limitation of choices. Take Hong Kong as an example, because of the expensive rent, many of the local shops are replaced by global brands. There are two shopping centers which have hundreds of different local shops, are now replaced by H&M because H&M as a global brand, can afford the tremendous price of rent.
People can reach the globalized market is undoubtedly bringing more choices to them. The transnational corporations get benefit under globalization and enable consumers to access the resources globally.(Sundar Chintha and George, 2012) However, the global brands are more powerful than local shops in terms of wealth, local shops may have little faith in the globalized market because they are comparatively vulnerable, making the local market losing it uniqueness. Imagine a day without any local shops, do you think your life will be affected? Would you recognize the situation as limitation of choices or vice versa?
By: Hilary Chan
Byrnes, K. (2007). The Sharing of Culture: Global Consumerism. [online] Available at: http://www.uwlax.edu/urc/JUR-online/PDF/2007/byrnes.pdf [Accessed 24 Nov. 2014].
Sundar Chintha, S. and George, B. (2012). Globalization, Mobility, Identity, and Consumerism: an Analysis of the Genesis of Unsustainable Consumption. [online] Palermo Business Review. Available at: http://www.palermo.edu/economicas/PDF_2012/PBR6/PBR-edicion-especial-03.pdf [Accessed 25 Nov. 2014].
William I. Robinson (2004) ‘Global Class Formation and the Rise of a Transnational Capital Class’, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class and State in a Transnational World (Johns Hopkins), pp. 33 – 84.