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Impact of New Technologies and Globalization on Literature

The issue of globalization’s effect on the development of different countries has always been rather controversial. A number scholars wrangle whether globalization “completely submerges the sovereignty of independent states” (Okogbule 214) or advances the country it affects offering it economic, political, and cultural benefits. Some of the scholars state that “technological developments and the emergent concept of globalization have conspired to drastically reduce the world to a global village” (Okogbule 214) emphasizing the destructiveness of globalization, while others claim that global diffusion of technology “may increase knowledge diffusion through improving communication efficiency.” (Chinn and Fairlie 1) Globalization has proved to unequally affect different countries; the rate of destructiveness of globalization depends on how much the country had been developed before the informational technologies started to be implemented; underdeveloped countries are believed to experience difficulties in accepting new technologies due to the lack of funds for their implementation and because globalization involves unexpected changes in economical, political, and cultural life of the countries.

The matter is that some countries are not ready to accept globalization; it can negatively influence their economic and political development which is, as a rule, slow even without globalization. This, in the first place, concerns African states which turned out to be absolutely unready for globalization. For instance, the study on the effect of globalization on economic sovereignty and development of African states revealed that “the structural imbalance in the economies of African countries … renders them incapable of responding adequately to the worst effects of globalization.” (Okogbule 224) Instead of getting more developed, African states get even more underdeveloped than prior to the influence of globalization. The effect of computer technologies on the distribution of the African Diaspora through literature has also been negative. Patricia Spears Jones, an American of African origin, concluded that the availability of computer technology changed the modern writers’ perception of the reality. Computer technologies facilitate their work and make them prosperous; as a result, a number of writers “have lost the need to look at our [African-American] lives critically, to focus on our unique position in the planet’s history, and to form ways to celebrate and re-create our humanity as they pursue a higher level of prosperity.” (Jones 18) This means that globalization affected not only economical but cultural development of certain countries.

Globalization as proved to have a negative effect on the economic and political life of developing and underdeveloped countries. Thus, globalization of Gulf Arab states led to monopolization of mass media and telecommunications, which resulted in identifying ICTs “as a means of propagating new political cultures based on national and civic (as opposed to localized, traditional, and tribal) identities.” (Murphy 1061) Moreover, the country was not ready for the globalization financially: “There is no ‘ownership’ of the internet and the infrastructure that enables access is more extensive and expensive than the relative simplicity of purchasing a dish.” (Murphy 1072) The expenses that globalization involves cannot be handled by developing and underdeveloped countries; globalization usually undermines national policies “because world market forces are stronger than even the most powerful states.” (Prange 23)

Development of informational technologies may also influence decision making or the overall firm performance. The use of computer technologies by firms has certain impact on their performance. Global firms have a better chance for development than those which are run by underdeveloped countries: “Among firms using the Internet to conduct business, global firms use the technology more extensively … engaging in a wider variety of e-commerce activities than less global firms.” (Kraemer, Gibbs, and Dedrick 338) This proves that globalization favors the development of already developed countries leaving the underdeveloped ones behind.

The research testifies that globalization affects decision making of the managers in different countries in different ways. The comparative study of the decision making in Korea and the USA showed that “Korean managers found computing to cause much information overload for operational decisions” while “the US manager … reports no impact of computing on information overload for operational decisions.” (Calhoun, Teng, and Cheon 299) Culture plays a crucial role in IT acceptance. Managers in different countries treat the implementation of new technologies differently because “perceptions of a technology’s ease of use and usefulness are connected to an individual’s broader system of belief, including culturally sensitive beliefs.” (Veiga, Floyd, and Dechant 148) Computer penetration rates differ depending on the readiness of the country to accept computerization. “The United States has the highest computer penetration rate … The top ten also contains … Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands.” (Chinn and Fairlie 7) The countries which have high computer penetration rates also include Canada, Singapore, Korea, and Australia. China and India has shown much lower computer penetration rates; African countries showed the lowest results which means that the society almost does not use computer technologies (in the course of the study Chinn and Fairlie did not manage to tie the level of computer penetration with the electricity consumption rates of different countries, which, according to them, could be one of the reasons for lower penetration rates).

Globalization is believed to be destructive for the culture of the country it affects. Internet has indeed facilitated the lives of a number of nations erasing national borders and distances of space and time and producing the effect of global connectivity; “but it achieved these transparently instrumental effects at a tremendous cost of cultural dislocation.” (Poster 239) Such a dislocation often involves the corrosion of the vitality of norms of a definite society. Aligning all the countries in technological development, “globalization can disrupt the social forces that make some communities better able than others to exert social control and maintain community vitality.” (Keenan 327)

Not all the results of the studies discussed above can be agreed with. The study by Chinn and Fairlie provides a list of the countries with high computer penetration rates. The matter is that all of those countries, except Korea, are relatively wealthy, which means that the penetration rates of computer technologies are higher in those countries whose financial position allows using these technologies. Computer penetration rates will never be high in African or Gulf Arab states where globalization has mostly destructive effects due to the inability of the countries’ economy to handle the expenses that the introduction of innovations involves. The results of some of the studies can be called inconclusive because they concentrated on the globalization and its effect on the economic, political, or cultural life of certain countries. They describe what globalization affected but not what it entailed. The desire of the studies to prove that globalization is beneficial for both developed and underdeveloped countries made them highlight only positive effects of globalization; most of the studies (except those which concerned cultural impacts) ignore the destructive effect of globalization on the undeveloped countries whose economies are not ready for drastic changes.

Works Cited

Calhoun, Kenneth J., Teng, James T., and Cheon, Myun Joong. “Impact of National Culture on Information Technology Usage behavior: an Exploratory Study of Decision Making in Korea and the USA.” Behavior and Information Technology 21.4 (2002): 293-302.

Chinn, Menzie D. and Fairlie, Robert W. ‘The Determinants of the Global Digital Divide.” Scholarship Depositary, 2009.

Jones, Patricia S. “Impact of New Technologies and Globalization on Literature, Publishing, and Distribution in the African Diaspora.” The Black Scholar 38.2-3 (2004): 17-18.

Keenan, Patrick J. “Do Norms Still Matter? the Corrosive Effects of Globalization on the Vitality of Norms.” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 41.2 (2008): 327.

Kraemer, Kenneth L., Gibbs, Jennifer, and Dedrick, Jason. “Impacts of Globalization on E-Commerce Use and Firm Performance: A Cross-Country Investigation.” The Information Society 21 (2005): 323-340.

Murphy, Emma C. ‘Agency and Space: the Political Impact of Information Technologies in the Gulf Arab States.” Third World Quarterly 27.6 (2006): 1059-1083.

Okogbule, Nlerum S. ‘Globalization, Economic Sovereignty and African Development: From Principles to Realities.” Journal of Third World Studies 25.1 (2008): 213-231.

Poster, Mark. “National Identities and Communications Technologies.” The Information Society 15 (1999): 235-240.

Prange, Heiko. “Rethinking the Impact of Globalization on the Nation-State: The Case of Science and Technology Policies in Germany.” German Politics 12.1 (2003): 23-42.

Veiga, John F., Floyd, Steven, and Dechant, Kathleen. “Towards Modelling the Effects of National Culture on IT Implementation and Acceptance.” Journal of Information Technology 16 (2001): 145-158.


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