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1. The words “globalization” and “culture” have been rather ubiquitous terms, but ones that are complex and often misunderstood. Describe, in your own words and backing it up with evidence/example(s), what you understand both terms to be
Globalization is the bridging of the real-time barriers emanating from human physical disbursement through mobile and wireless communication as well as through various form of transporting including rail, road, water and air (Appadurai, 296). Globalization is evident in the e-commerce where businesses are being managed globally with managers situated in specific countries. Also, the global online shopping has allowed people to make purchases across the globe from stores located in specific countries.
Culture refers to the daily ‘way of doing things’ of a group of people. ‘Way of doing things’ includes decision-making processes, values, virtues, beliefs and norms. Also, sub-cultures exist within the main culture (The New Yorker, 2). An example of culture is the practice of customary marriage by Indians where is believed that a successful marriage ought to be blessed by the parents and the community. Culture is also profound in business evident in the Apple Company where its values are enshrined in luxurious and quality products.
2. Time’s Up and #MeToo are two social movements against the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. How can we understand their successes or failures? From a theoretical angle of your choosing, analyze the functions, effects, and efficacy of these movements
Prevalence of sexual assault and harassment stems from the cultural fabric of the society which determines the perception towards gender and sexuality. The success of the social movements fighting against sexual assault and harassment as seen in the case of Time’s Up and Me Too can be understood on the rate of sexual awareness and the mitigation processes at the communal level against the menace. The functions of social movements are to create the awareness and capacity among individuals to protect themselves from sexual discriminations and provide support mechanisms for the victims of the vice (Smith, 5). Effects of social movements in the fight for hetero-patriarchy have been witnessed in the increased awareness of civil rights. Based on the theory of orientalism expected results from social movements include the increase in capacity building, expression and collaboration in the society as a way of attaining social progress (Said, 15).
3. Explain your understanding of neoliberalism and its connection to culture, using at least one specific example that exemplifies your perspective. How do the theories of neoliberalism either contradict or support the actual practices? How might change in the current politico-economic structure realistically occur?
Neoliberalism has shifted the control of trade and economic resources from the states across the globe to private individuals. The contemporary culture is based on individualism and the quest for private success. The need for economic empowerment and the cultural inclination towards success has enhanced neoliberalism (Harvey, 146). The society is pressurizing everyone to live a decent life which includes education, housing, health insurance, vacations and car ownership thus forcing people to acquire property and venture into business to cope with the life demands. Neoliberalism is supporting the quest for economic privatization by ensuring that government control in business is minimized while the interplay of monetary and fiscal forces predicts market performance. Change in the politico-economic structure will occur as the control of nations shift from politicians to the businesspeople who will have the financial muscles to control decision making in state organs (Mathieu, 113).
4. According to the writers, we have read what role does race play in the construction of subjectivity? How is race approached and understood? How do certain writers articulate the formation and maintenance of racial domination?
Race creates subjectivity in societies due to the inherent notions that create social hierarchy founded on racial superiority. Discrimination based on race is witnessed in a universal manner where notions attitudes held against a given race are evident in social interactions and professional backgrounds (Xu Lizhi,(Worker Poet), 2018). While human beings are inherently equal since no approved research has depicted existing superiority based on race, racial attitudes stem from historical occurrences which include slavery and colonization. The race is understood by many as a defining factor which distinguishes people and a basis for subjective treatment and discrimination. Foucault (254) asserts that racism was invented and has been in existence for centuries. The maintenance of the racial domination is attained through the inscription of biopower into the state mechanisms. It is evident that the prevalence of bias in state nominations and resource allocation based on race is a way of maintaining racism.
Explain the role that language plays in globalization. How does language shape our understanding of all aspects of social life? How is language connected to power structures that govern not only global processes but also everyday life of citizens?
Language provides the medium for sharing information in the global arena. Individuals, governments and business organizations can interact, share ideas and broker economic deals based on mutual understanding. While the world communities have different languages, advanced interpretation technology has ensured seamless global processes by surpassing language barriers (Marx, 8). Language has been used in tracking the historical and cultural development of societies. Also, the use of language defines social attitudes and emotional expression creating avenues for functional relationships. Language is used as an element of social identity. Ethnic, tribal and citizens of a country have been able to identify themselves using language. Proficiency in language is a tool of power used in boardroom communications of business and politics leading to attainment of influence and the creation of power (New Yorker, 3).
Discuss what roles we have as individuals in processes of globalization. How are we subjects in larger structures of power, both socially and ideologically?
Individuals play the role of idea providers, sellers of goods and services and consumers of products in the global business environment (de, 195). While organizations, governments and corporates play a bigger role in the furthering of the globalization through policy formulation, individuals are the implementers of the ideas. Individuals have a primary role in providing ideas, market and developing private business ventures that operate in the global business environment (Bauman, 80). Individuals are the subjects of the larger structure of power where governments use the local population as the leverage for the negotiation of international deals. The economic development directed by citizens is used by the investors as the reference point in decision making thus making ’us’ the subjects. Multinationals are using the social platform to study the market and the acceptance of ideologies. The creation of consumer brands is an example of how citizens are subjects of the larger structure of power, vulnerable to modification and subjection.
How have theorists attempted to define social hierarchies, and how do these hierarchies affect our sense of self?
Social hierarchies refer to the societal creation of classes based on income levels, race, occupation, age or religion. The social hierarchies emanate from the notion that the beliefs, values, norms and the physical abilities of given social strata are sophisticated, superior and more acceptable. Social hierarchies have implications on self-esteem and the access to the opportunities by individuals ((Koskela, 296). People from the higher hierarchies perceive themselves as more deserved to better lives and opportunities which in turn boost self-image and aggressiveness. The motivation associated with career and social life is dependent on social hierarchies where one will set self-targets based on the societal definition of the hierarchy he or she belongs (Cook, 647)
8. How can we read and evaluate fictional or otherwise creative narratives? What can we glean from such literature about the social system within and during which they are written? How are creative texts (literature, films, art, etc.) relevant objects in a Cultural Studies project? Provide an example(s) and location within the clear theoretical framework(s
The evaluation of creative narratives is based on the use of language, symbolism, themes, characterization and hidden messages. Creative writing is based on the ability to create a deeper meaning from daily aspects of life whereby, one would be required to invoke his or her imaginations to understand what an author or creative narrator intends to inform the audience. Creative and fictional texts are events from imaginations. However, the themes and messages in a piece of art represent the occurrences and the human behavior in the real world (Low, 52). Culture is therefore enshrined in the themes of creative narratives. In the case of Migrant Worker Poetry (Iron Nails), the author stipulates how people in a daily set up go about the struggle as they strive to make a living. Also, Zizek (1-4) narrates human experience embedded in a creative narrative.
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Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto (Manifesto of the Communist Party). Mansfield, Connecticut: Martino Publishing, 2012
The New Yorker. Stuart Hall and the Rise of Cultural Studies. (Online). Available at https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/stuart-hall-and-the-rise-of-cultural-studies. Accessed March 8th, 2018.
Said, Edward W. Orientalism. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014.
Smith, Andrea. HETEROPATRIARCHY AND THE THREE PILLARS OF WHITE SUPREMACY. [publisher and place of publication unidentified]. 2016
Zizek, Slovoj. First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ. 2018
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