When looking at the composition of the world over the past years, it is not hard to see that the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. If you look at a basic product, it is more than likely that the product you are looking at is made from components in various parts of the world. This increasing economic integration called globalization is having profound effects on many countries. Advances in transportation and telecommunications, including the rise of the Internet, are major factors contributing to globalization that have generated further economic interdependence and universal cultural activities. However, these are certainly not the only factors contributing to globalization. Today, I will show you how the entertainment industry has been a major driver of globalization.
Just a few weeks ago it was announced that China has become the world’s second biggest movie market, with box office revenues surging 36 percent to a total of $2.7 billion. This surge came shortly after China eased restrictions on the number of foreign films allowed to be screened in China. This news has underscored China’s importance as a key market for movie makers in the United States and other countries. What is more noteworthy is the fact that Chinese consumers seem to demand foreign films shown by the rising box office numbers. On the other hand, foreign films have seen signs of new life in the United States and have a long history of significance in the market.
So why are movies important and relevant in terms of globalization? To answer this question, one must consider the universal themes portrayed in movies yet at the same time their depiction of cultural distinctiveness. American movies undoubtedly contain cultural ties to American ideals but at the same time contain universal themes that people in other countries can relate to such as love for one’s family or good versus evil. The same can be said about Chinese, Japanese, or French movies shown in America. Foreign movies not only give people an insight into the cultural views of others but they also bring people together at some level with the help of universal human themes.
Just as movies have had the effect of diffusing cultural awareness around the globe, music has also had a similar influence. There is a famous saying that, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” This quote embodies the idea that music creates a common likeness between individuals regardless of their location around the world. It’s true that different cultures have their own distinct taste in music but underlying these differences is a common appreciation for music. This appreciation has led other cultures to partake in events such as music festivals that bring cultural differences into the consciousness of music fans. For example, music festivals in the United Kingdom such as T in the Park bring together artists from various countries, not to mention people as well.
Due to the popularity of American bands and musicians abroad, some people have even stated that music like Rock and Roll is America’s greatest export. While this may be a slight exaggeration, what cannot be denied is the idea that music influences the formation of a global culture. However, at the exact same time, music has also allowed unique cultural ideas to disseminate throughout the world. This paradox created by globalization and exemplified by music is why I find the future of globalization very exciting and promising for a world in need of a hopeful spark.