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Globalization, Hybridization and Indigenization

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The question that this essay intends to tackle is ‘What consumer practices / behavior / fashions can you identify that reveal the impact of processes of globalization, hybridization and indigenization upon everyday life?’ This essay will put forward the argument that technology is the main tool used in the advancement of globalization, hybridization and indigenization. It has been observed that people from different backgrounds are continually gravitating towards similar things and this has been made possible by different technological advancements including telephones, internet usage cars among others. Due to technology, ideas can be transported from their place of origin to numerous other places instantly.

            In order to fully address this question, it is necessary to ensure that the three main words of operation are understood in the context that they will be used throughout this essay. The definition of globalization that will be used in the essay is that it is the process through which phenomena that emanates from one specific place or region is transformed into becoming global phenomena identified and utilized the world over. These phenomena would include technology, people capital and goods and services whereby all or any of these can be transported and fit into any part of the globe.

            While globalization is the generalization of something specific, indigenization on the other hand is the transformation of new phenomena to fit the new culture in which it finds itself relocated or transported to. This means that whatever is “imported” from other cultures is changed to fit the people in the local region. Hybridization however, refers to the mixing of different ideas from different cultures to come up with a new identity that reflects a bit of both cultures. This occurs when part of one culture is intermingled with another to form new phenomena that would otherwise not exist.

            Taking into consideration that fashion can be defined as referring to cuisine, clothing, car models, literature, art, décor, architecture among others. The changes that occur in any of these areas is what is termed as fashion. In each of these areas, one can be able to notice how globalization is affecting the way people think in terms of what they prefer. Ideas emanating from different locations in the world end up becoming globalized, indigenized and hybridized depending on how it is received by the recipient culture.

            When it comes to cuisine, it is easy to notice how food has traveled in various countries and some has remained as it was originally made while some has been changed to suit the places where it is used. The most pronounced effect can be seen in the fast food industry. All over the world, there is no place where one can fail to access French fries, burgers, sodas, sausages or ketchup. Although the origin of these foods is in different places, it has become known and accepted all over the world although there are some changes in some areas (Robertson R. & White K. E. 2003).

            Gender plays a role when it comes to the acceptability of the foods. This is because there are different notions especially in recent times of what is important to ones body and the body type that is perfect. As a result, the French fries have been changed to not only use the Irish potatoes that were originally the only ingredient to using various ingredients like bananas, arrowroots, and others. To also make them taste different to fit ones taste, there is the use of different spices to make it suit different people. The women are the most affected gender because they are expected to be more conscious of their physical appearance and hence have to take care of what they eat.

            The effects of tourism on the foods prepared in different countries have to be put into perspective. When a country receives a lot of tourists, it tends to change its cuisine to include not only what is originally from the region but also what the tourists enjoy in their countries. This may be an adaptation of the original recipe or exactly the same recipe as they enjoy using in their home areas. When it comes to shopping, a rational consumer would prefer to get the most for the least amount of money possible. This then means that some foods may be highly adaptable either due to their availability or due to their price although depending on ones class the opposite may also be true.

            When it comes to effects of globalization on clothing, this is another very pronounced area where the effects are rather evident. In our day to day lives, we find that we are constantly bombarded with advertisements and living walking human beings dressed in different fashions that all may be appealing to our sense of fashion. Technology is used to transmit the latest fashions to the whole world through various means including internet, adverts through the televisions, the beauty magazines that are transported very fast using airplanes and many other means.

            Both men and women are greatly affected by the fashion industry because they want to look up to date with the latest trends especially if they are involved in work which requires one to work closely with others. Image is supposed to be everything and it is among the things that make one to work hard to achieve the desired image so that it may send the required message to the intended recipient. To be able to fit in with the clique that one associates with, it is necessary to dress accordingly. It is therefore not a big surprise to learn that people all over the world would spend a lot of money on the clothing that they wear because it helps them feel good about themselves or fit in with their peers.

            Women are however more conscious of the latest dress fashions than men since their fashion tends to change a lot while that of men only has some changes done to the original design. When you go to any country, it is expected that for any business related or official affairs the men will dress in suits where the only difference may be in the cut depending on the body shape of an individual. This is in spite of the fact that suits are generally believed to have originated in the European countries. Female designs however vary with the time and the occasion and also the country.

            The other fashion that is closely related to the clothing industry is the body size fashion. Once more, the people who are most affected by this fashion are the women. This is because since time immemorial, all societies expect the man to be strong enough physically to protect and provide for his family and the changes in this have been minimal. However, it is different when it comes to the women who are required to change their way of life in every generation (http://science.jrank.org). Professional women are under most pressure to become slim and attractive to be able to project the image of success and this is happening in the whole world. This trend started in the European countries and in America but can now be found all around the globe.

            In some cultures however, like the African, Arab and the Asian cultures, there has been the subtle and at times the not so subtle changes to the original designs (http://www.unpac.ca). For the men, they may be dressed in suits that however reflect their native mode of dressing. The women go an extra mile in ensuring that their clothing reflects either their religion or their native mode of dressing. In such situations they may decide to completely ignore the trends around them or decide to use them alongside their preferred or accepted mode of dressing.

            When choosing the make and model of the car that one wants, one shops around in the catalogues provided in the websites and also those provided by the dealers. One may decide to make a phone call to the dealers so as to enquire about the latest models and their efficiency and the advantage each has over the other vehicles. Since in most countries there are no automobile making industries since it requires a lot of capital to join this industry, one would also most probably need to transport the car from the country of origin. The choice of mode of travel is determined by the distance from the place of origin to the destination.

            In some countries, since they are unable to come up with the manufacturing business for cars, they instead put up an assembly line of vehicles. The end product is a hybrid of the imported parts from whichever country they have been imported from and the bodies built in the country of assemblage (Chung M. N. D.). Once the vehicles are sold to the end users, they then change them to reflect their taste as can be seen in the programme “Pimp my Ride”. In the programme the car is changed completely to become something that the owner is proud to be seen in and this can only be termed to be indigenization.

            The literature read all over the world has come from different places. Depending on what one would prefer to read, it becomes obvious that the country of origin of the book does not matter. An example would be that there are few books written in Africa, Asia and the Arab countries that contain the romantic notions evident in books in the European and the United States. Love and romance has become very important to a majority of readers and for the reader in the countries where this is not available it becomes necessary for them to import the books so as to satisfy their needs.

            Other than the books read for fun, most third world countries have little to offer in the way of intellectual material. This is in the sense that there are few researches conducted by the natives and thus whatever research is recorded has been done by foreigners who then document it in their home countries. This then means that even the documentation that is about the poor country does not belong to them and in order for them to get they have to import it from other countries mostly the first world. The only way they can claim any of the material is if one writes an interpretation of the results or their own opinion of it but cite the original writer of the information.

            In the art department, one finds art from all over the world in the different museums that one visits despite its location. Furthermore, the art has been affected by what is happening in the world which in other words is modernization. What would have interested artists previously is no longer that important as to be scrutinized to the point of recording it as art. The attention of artists is now captured by the things seen in the current lifestyle of people which is almost similar the world over (http://www.cnn.com).

            Since music is part of art, it can be considered as the most affected form of art by globalization. The various types of music have been modified by different societies to reflect something of that society while maintaining its originality. There is rock music, hip-hop, soul and many more (Ulrich A. July 2005). The most obvious form of hybridization in music is the afro-fusion which is supposed to be a combination of classical jazz and African traditional music. This then becomes a perfect example how two totally different cultures can be joined to form a new entity.

            Still on music, one finds that the various instruments have been changed by various cultures to fit in with their music. As modernization occurs, it becomes obvious that people are increasingly relying on mechanization. This is evidenced by the presence of electric guitars instead of the original ones, keyboards to replace pianos and people are even having computers generate the rhythm to their songs. After all this has been done, they are recorded singing and then the computers are used to ensure that their voices come out as the best with absolutely no flaws.

            The architectural designs used currently are very different with those that were in use some years back. Most societies have borrowed the best aspects of architecture from other societies depending on their need. The architectural design is most probably determined by the security of a location, the climate of the area, the geographical placement of the area in relation to the earth’s movement, the available capital, and the available resources among other reasons. Bearing this in mind, the architect has to come up with a building that encompasses all the good qualities of the various designs of building which are even taught in architectural schools all over the world and still be the best for the customer (Anderson R. & Al-Bader J. 2006).

            Most of the indigenous designs have been abandoned and where they are found they may have been used alongside the modern designs. Furthermore this can only be found in those countries which depend on tourism as one of their income earners. One has to note that this does not mean in any way that the traditional housing has been totally abandoned instead even when they are still in existence the presence of modern comforts are very evident. Unless it is a case of extreme poverty, the people would prefer to be living in modern houses that afford them the comfort that they want.

            When it comes to décor the case is similar to that of the architecture. Although people try to maintain their culture in their day to day life, it becomes impossible because of the increasingly tasteful décor that keeps emerging. Since one would not want to have a drab looking house that may be interpreted as a sign of poverty, they peruse the magazines for the latest available styles. This is even more pronounced in the kitchen where there are numerous magazines about the latest convenience that one must absolutely have for the kitchen to function properly.

            Throughout this essay the attempt to show that technology is of absolute importance to the processes of globalization, hybridization and indigenization is evident. The technology that has been focused on is the travel technology whether by air or sea that ensures that the entire world is connected and one can purchase anything from anywhere and have it delivered to where they are. It also ensures that the latest fashions are circulated round the world in the shortest time possible through the magazines and books.

            The telephone, the computer and internet connection and fax are the technologies that are currently in use to ensure that one can make purchases and close business deals far from the person they are conducting business with. This therefore clearly illustrates that technology is responsible fro the biggest part of globalization, indigenization and hybridization by making sure that one gets the news fast and the delivery of the goods or services is also prompt.


  1. Anderson R. & Al-Bader J. 2006 Recent Kuwaiti Architecture: Regionalism Vs   Globalization Journal Of Architectural And Planning Research Vol. 23 Issue 2 Published By Locke Science Publishing Company Inc.
  2. Chung M. (N. D.) Globalization Strategies Of Korean Motor Vehicle Industry: A Case Of Hyundai Han Nam University Coree Du Sud
  3. Cox K., Swyngedouw E., Clark G. & O’Connor K. 1997 Spaces Of Globalization: Reasserting The Power Of The Local University Of Toronto University Of Manchester
  4. Dress-Globalization Of Fashion Retrieved From http://science.jrank.org/pages/9031/Dress-Globalization-Fashion.html On 25 October 2008 Copyright @ 2008 Net Industries
  5. Robertson R. & White K. E. 2003 Globalization: Critical Concepts In Sociology Published By Taylor And Francis
  6. Tanneeru M. November 27 2006 Globalization, Technology Changing The Art World CNN Entertainment CNN.com Retrieved From http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/11/26/art.globalization/ On 25 October 2008
  7. United Nations Platform For Action Committee Women And The Economy Retrieved From http://www.unpac.ca/economy/g_clothes.html On 25 October 2008 Last Updated On March 2006
  8. Ulrich A. July 2005 “Ich bin der Rock’n’Roll-Ubermensch”: Globalization And Localization In German Music Television Popular Music And Society Vol. 28 No. 3 Routledge Part Of The Taylor And Francis Group
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