General Paper

General Paper


GE3219: Globalization and its Asian Cities

AY 2009 – 2010 Semester I

Individual Essay

Lim Wee Hsien (U08 1927 J)

Tutorial Group: DE 3

Date: 16th October 2009


In the context of a fast changing world, forces of geographical transformation, particularly processes of globalization, constitute the major impetus to provide large scale physical metamorphosis to places and cultural transmogrification. As Dicken(1996) points out, globalization suggest significant “qualitative changes occurring in nature, extent and intensity of social interaction and cultural exchange on a worldwide scale associated with new technologies, imperatives to move commodities and people around the world”.

This paper seeks to examine the amplitude of cultural homogenization in the light of globalization. Using Clarke Quay as a reference site, I will introduce Terkenli’s (2002) concepts of “enworldment” and “unworldment” to understand the underlying mechanisms of cultural homogeneity in the first part of the paper. Next, the paper attempts to interpret the “misconception of cultural homogenization as an absolute consequence of globalization” (Scholte, 2005, p1495). As Elliot (2008, p547) suggests, “globalization processes may have homogenizing tendencies but local cultures are not clearly undermined by them”

Indeed, the multidimensional complexity of culture/places should not be underestimated in its capacity to reshape and reproduce in the dynamics of globalization. Other globalizing trends such as hybridization and localization exist within globalized places, playing unique roles of globalization in reviving, innovating and repackaging culture, therefore, nullifying the actualization of rampant homogeneity. While other trends such as commodification and glocalization are in play, the paper recognizes these trends as by-products of hybridization, thus, narrowing its scope to allow a more critical evaluation of the latter.

In the second section,...

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