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"We now live in a world of multinational and transnational corporations" (Abercrombie and Warde). What implications does this have for us?

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Introduction

"We now live in a world of multinational and transnational corporations" (Abercrombie and Warde). What implications does this have for us? This is a question about the effects of globalisation on the world. Globalisation is quite a recent phenomenon, with the term only really being coined in the 1980's, however the concept has been around for decades, even centuries with the earliest expansion of European capitalism dating back to the early 16th century with the beginnings of colonialism. However, the rapid growth of globalisation began in the late 19th century with the build up to the 1st World War and the great depression forcing countries to trade. Following WW2 companies began to look globally for expansion with new markets now available. The 2nd industrial divide and development of new technologies, especially in the field of communication led to development of international business and when the Berlin Wall fell and the USSR broke up, capitalism was dominant and new areas of possibility began appearing. With the communication revolution that is occurring, especially the Internet and large corporations such as McDonalds spreading throughout the world globalisation is a reality that affects every single one of us in one way or another. ...read more.

Middle

This has led to many large social impacts. Most notably, the Internet has created an international exchange of information where people can contact each other 24/7 in a matter of milliseconds over a vast telephone and satellite network. The internet and phone network (including mobile phones) have largely contributed to globalisation as 'international' business can now be conducted from home. Travel time is now hugely reduced and widely available with long haul planes going anywhere in the world. This has led to what many sociologist call 'time compression' as everything can now be done quicker and on a much larger scale. However, there are bad social consequences too. Many of these large companies have become extremely prosperous and powerful. Some of the larger corporations, such as General Electric (GE) and Microsoft now have incomes much greater than that of many nations and exercise huge amounts of power (for example, GE has a market value close to that of the GDP of The Netherlands - approximately $375,000 million). This is very undemocratic as these bodies are unelected and in many cases only there to pursue their own personal greed, able to operate secretly and without any social responsibility. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Britain, this has a large effect on us as our parliament is no longer supreme, with European decisions affecting us. This has led to many changes in Britain, such as the government can now be challenged at the European Court of Human Rights and many internal policies have been changed to align with the European equivalent, such as the rule that all 'E' numbers be listed on foods (E standing for European) and rules for Health and Safety at Work. This lowering of national borders have led to problems becoming international problems, with organisations such as the UN set up to deal with major problems by an international consortium, such as famine in Africa and wars in the Balkans. In conclusion, globalisation has many affects on us wherever we are, both in our everyday lives and greater effects that we might never be aware of. Whether or not globalisation is a good thing or not is open to debate, with mass support and mass hatred, not only from those in foreign countries. Many like the idea of globalisation, but not in the way that it is carried out with America taking the lead. No doubt this is an argument that will continue for a long time yet, problems and riots will still occur and many will also still reap the benefits. ...read more.

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