The Meaning of Globalization: From Ulrich Beck’s Vision to the Rise of Anti-Globalization

WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION? Globalization is a social phenomenon with the characteristic of “diffusibility”, influencing the development of human politics, economy, and culture, affecting the tendency of the ecological changing of the Nature. This phenomenon has been studied by many scholars in academia. For example, Anthony Giddens argues globalization gives rise to the fact that “we are living ‘through a major period of historical transformation’ (Giddens 1999:1)… suggests that we feel ‘out of control’ in a ‘runaway world’ where many of the influences that were meant to make life feel more predictable such as science and technology have had the opposite effect…it is an unavoidable reality[1]. Besides, Jan Aart Scholte, to go further, presents a more optimistic point of view on globalization, arguing that the phenomenon is of “the spread of transplanetary – and in recent times also more particularly supraterritorial – connections between people[2], indicating that “globalization involves reductions of barriers to such transworld social contacts. With globalization people become more able – physically, legally, linguistically, culturally and psychologically – to engage with each other wherever on planet Earth they might be.[3] The point here is the theorists mostly agree that globalization is sophisticatedly developing in the world which has produced many powerful effects, including the positive and the negative ones.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] See: Jones, Andrew (2010). Globalization Key Thinkers. Cambridge: Polity. p. 45.

[2] See: Scholte, Jan Aart (2005). Globalization A Critical Introduction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 50-51.

[3] Ibid.