Globalization: Positive Or Negative Phenomenon

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Arising from such debates about Western hegemony and the relative strength of the local is the question of whether or not Globalization is seen as a generally positive or generally negative phenomenon. On the positive side, there are scholars, such as Kenichi Ohmae (1990, 1995; in Block, 2004, p. 25), who not only argue that global market forces and transactional corporations run the world today and that the nation state and labour unions have become obsolete as structures of social organisation, but that these developments are a mark of progress. More typical of scholars, however, is a more sceptical and even negative stance.

Eric Hobsbawm (1994; in Block, 2004, p. 25) and Paul Smith (1997; in Block, 2004, p. 25) make the point that Globalization is really the traditional capitalism of economic imperialism and international hierarchies, which has been transformed by the use of new technologies and a clearer than ever distinction between industrially-based and service-based economies. Elsewhere, Gray (1998; in Block, 2004,
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And the two social phenomena that intersect and are the focus of this issue of the IJMS- language use and Internet use- cannot be discussed, researched or analysed without taking into account the contrasting views on Globalization outlined above. Indeed, as I have started to indicate, there is an obvious parallel between global/local tension running cross the views summarised above and the competition between English and other languages as media for the Internet. I will have more to say about this below. First, however, I discuss the relationship between Globalization and the spread of English, the origins of the Internet and how English came to be considered ‘the language of the Internet’ during the mid-nineties. (Block, 2004, p.
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