Global consumerism has lead to a loss of cultural diversity

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Global consumerism has lead to a loss of cultural diversity and independence. This is mainly due to the TNC's economic dominance on global labor structures, through media, tourism, news and entertainment. Global consumerism is mainly caused by TNC's, globalization, new generation and improved infrastructure. And TNC's are a result of the human needs of a consumerist society, advertising and the media. An increase in free time has lead to and increase in capital. This has introduced a consumer culture which is then linked with the introduction of tourism and entertainment. Global consumerism results in a loss of culture, everything becomes commercial; the exploitation of culture. The effects of TNCs on labor, law, power, competition, investment, capital and taxes are also what results in Global consumerism.

A great example of this global consumerism forced in with TNCs is Disney. The company has its finger in everything: books, magazine and newspaper publishing, mainstream feature-film production and distribution, cable TV, music recording, live stage shows, real estate development, major league baseball and ice hockey, video production and sales, retail stores, product licensing, computer software and on-line services.

It has practically taken over the world in a sense controlling all these things around the world. It has had made many changes on the surroundings, an example if Florida. The now Disney part of Florida used to be untouched by mass tourism. By buying practically all the land (which is practically the size of Manhattan) it has given Disney the right from the government to have all the rights and powers of an independent public government. What this means that is that Disney has the power to do pretty much whatever it wants including the power to build its own roads, operate its own sewage and water treatment plants, run its own police and fire stations, administer its own planning and zoning and employ its own inspectors. It can also write down some of its capital expenditures as "local taxes". Having this much power also allows them to protect themselves to a great degree. For example they have made use of the law in Florida which prohibits lawyers from suing people they've represented before, by hiring all the lawyers possible. This allows them not to get sued. Even though Disney's got this much strength, practically its own dictatorship it doesn't contribute to the public road system which brings in their guests, its basically done for the benefit of the rich. All is done for this for example animals along with people are dragged into Florida to create the African atmosphere, causing disturbances both to the people that lend an authentic flavor and the animals which are bothered by the relentless noise and exhaust from the roaring vehicles. Such a quick change is not healthy and can cause psychological disorders both to men and animal. What's even more shocking is that after doing this the company claims to have a 'global commitment to wildlife'. Disney is also a good example of the changing nature of the US economy where one company has total control. In the case of Disney it has the largest number of employees in the country at a single worksite. This is ironic because it's like a TNC within a TNC. I think what's more degrading is the impact that Disney has on human morals. People in Disney are assigned jobs according to their age and appearance. For example the pretty and young people get the main front line jobs. Old ladies sell the merchandise, old men work in security. Haitian women work in housekeeping, Puerto Rican young people in food services and preparation. African Americans work as cooks, stewards or in the food preparation and all of the "less presentable" people are put into the third shift from 11 at night to 7 in the morning. This is appalling because its segregation in everyway from race, gender and age. These parks are heavily-themed and are drowned by shopping and eating places making them the "fullest representation of co modified space in North America", this untroubled consumerism and guiltless leisure activity is boring and vicious. With all of this money and world domination Disney can now bind and referee the social relations around the world. Residential areas around Disney are also dictated by it by having its own rules set by the Disney Management. This is a highly controlled community at the purest with being consumed to its utmost. Disney has also made rapid changes to the state of Florida by pushing the population of the city from 20000 to nearly a million. This is dangerous due to the fact that after a while the supply will not be able to satisfy the demand. An example of this can be seen with the fact that there is no public transport and there's a 'downward spiral in public services'. Also the standards are really low making the average wage here beneath both the state and national average. With this much money kept to them Disney causes an imbalance between the rich and poor. They won't hand out the money to those that need it. The investment is done in Florida but all the money goes to California. This causes the workers to be another consumable resource in the way of Disney.

Disney is also into brand clothing in Haiti. This is exploitation of cheap labor. The top rate one can earn in an hour is 42 cents, but even the best sewers reach this quota 2 or 3 times a week. Some people after working for 5 years still earn 30 cents an hour. This is the minimum wage in Haiti. Haiti is again affected by consumerism because its food is imported therefore it's the same price as the other food around the world. When one man earns $2.40 a day how can he pay for a simple meal of rice and beans with tomato paste and bread which is $2.89. In ELDCs controlled by TNCs human rights is a big issue, there's too much pressure and cruel treatment. There's forced overtime, lack of clean drinking water and limited bathroom breaks. Disney also dictates its own employees by not having changed the starting wage in 5 years. Its very fake dude to the fact that workers are ordered to flash a constant smile after getting verbal abuse from the customers. This can cause psychological problems.

Cultural identities aren't directly engulfed by consumerism but are sneakily tricked into it. An example of this can be seen with TNCs altering and co modifying cultural identities. They make uses of cultural things such as religious ceremonies or holidays by making it purely for their benefit; a shopping spree. The whole culture of the world is being disnifyed. The malls throughout Western Europe are identical and display the same brands and logos. Culture is clichéd by Disney. Natural things are changed into brand names for example soapberries become Lux. It underestimates and practically degrades ones culture. By making this all seem perfectly normal to the youth it brain washes them and narrows their insight to the world. People no longer find the joy of living their own lives but are up to other people around the world and the celebrities on TV. There's also a business culture that is spread around the world with consumerism everyone now wants to have a masters degree or the such and end up being unemployed due to their country needing low order workers. With the power of companies such as Disney it is hard for smaller places to keep their own identity. Being built on making profit is selfish for the whole world. Wouldn't it be scary if we were all the same? Well that's what we are becoming.