Globalization is a complex, interdependent phenomenon, which is changing the world’s cultures rapidly, especially Asian cultures, where people are caught in the midst of new economic and transnational crosscurrents.
There are life-affirming changes on many fronts — improvement in national infrastructure, travel, communications, technology and health care. But these changes are giving rise to some new ethical problems.
Rapid and irreversible changes are taking place in all Asian countries, especially in India and China, the two emerging economic superpowers in the region. There is an ongoing expansion of huge corporations, accompanied by impressive communication networks. A supracultural force of economic authority seems to have emerged, which influences the policies of the nation-states.
Some argue globalization is not a new phenomenon and that it has been a part of human history all along. It is true the quest for transcending one’s own world has been native to every culture from the ancient times, but the present trends are different in that they are multidirectional and intense, accompanied by emigration, transfer of technology, business outsourcing and communications on a massive scale.
As a transnational process, globalization has produced far-reaching consequences for most Asian cultures, whose traditional values have remained somewhat stable for millennia. Some religious leaders are alarmed by the invasion of market forces, which is seen as a new form of colonialism from the secularized West. Nevertheless, the governments in these countries are equally aggressive and relentless in the pursuit of new opportunities through partnership with the West.
A number of modern trends are easily noticeable in Asian societies. First, there is a strong element of westernization and a synthesis of various global cultures. This is facilitated by the spread of new technology, which provides cable television, cell phone, movie, music and video games....