Globalization 101

Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?

On the backseat of a vehicle driven by a Maasai guide, I was able to view the city of Arusha in great detail through the window. While searching for distinctive cultural elements, I was distracted by the ubiquitous commercials along the street. “Coco Cola”, “Pepsi”, “Vodacom”, and “Huawei” fought for prime advertising spaces on guide boards and walls around every corner. Those commercials elicited an illusion. Am I really in Tanzania?

The Maasai driver bragged about his gallantry for killing a lion, but his denim jacket and expensive sunglasses evinced little credibility. A Tanzanian lion slayer should wear the traditional red gown; at least the figures illustrated in Maasai Warrior appeared so.

Those superimposing foreign commercials in a Tanzanian city disclosed the power of globalization and a trend of culture homogenization. The additional thought of a research paper I read, which stated that almost a quarter of world languages became extinct due to globalization, convinced me that the diffusion of popular culture indeed posed a threat to cultural diversity in the world.

Not long after the drive, I was alarmed in a workshop discussing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a physically-devastating and cruel practice performed as...

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