Countries are becoming more and more similar because people are able to buy the same products anywhere in the world. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?
International trade and globalization have made it possible for people to buy the same products no matter where they live. Because of this trend, people have become much more similar culturally than they used to be. While this does have some positive factors, I believe that it is primarily a negative development.
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Before looking at the negative points, it is useful to understand the positive impact of increased global trade and the resulting similarity in people from different countries. One easy example is in regard to international understanding. People tend to judge each other by their appearance and thus a person with completely different clothing can instill fear into people who are not familiar with the style of clothing. However, with globalized trade, people wear similar clothing around the world, making it easier to see each other as fellow human beings.
Nonetheless, the negative effect of this increase in similarity should not be understated. Using the previous example, the rising popularity of western fashion has resulted in the death of many historical styles of dress around the world. In Japan, the suit and tie have replaced more traditional Japanese attire and children choose to wear Nike shoes rather than Japan-made footwear. In addition to the obvious negative business effect that this trend has, it is said that traditional wear is being lost or replaced.
Overall, while there are certainly some benefits brought by increasing similarity in taste resulting from globally available products, the negative effect that it has had on culturally significant products is worrying. Unfortunately, it may be the case that in the near future everyone will be wearing the same brand of shoes and more historically and culturally prominent products will only exist in the museum.
Topic Countries are becoming more and more similar because people are able to buy the same products – written by Tran Anh Khang
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