What is a MEDC?
What is an LEDC?
What is a TNC?
MEDC = More
LEDC = Less Economically
TNC = Transnational
By the end of this lesson, I
be more familiar with terms surrounding globalisation
be more confident in individual research and application of
We now communicate and share each other's cultures through travel and trade, transporting
products around the world in hours or days. We are in a huge global economy where
something that happens in one area can have knock on effects worldwide. This process is
Globalisation is the process by which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected as a
result of massively increased trade and cultural exchange. Globalisation has increased the
production of goods and services. The biggest companies are no longer national firms but
multinational corporations with subsidiaries in many countries.
Globalisation has been taking place for hundreds of years, but has speeded up enormously over
the last half-century.
Globalisation has resulted in:
• increased international trade
• a company operating in more than one country
• greater dependence on the global economy
• freer movement of capital, goods, and services
• recognition of companies such as McDonalds and Starbucks in LEDCs
Although globalisation is probably helping to create more wealth in developing countries - it is
not helping to close the gap between the world's poorest countries and the world's richest.
Reasons for globalisation
• There are several key factors which have influenced the process of
• Improvements in transportation - larger cargo ships mean that
the cost of transporting goods between countries has decreased.
Economies of scale mean the cost per item can reduce when
operating on a larger scale. Transport improvements also mean
that goods and people can travel more quickly.
• Freedom of trade - organisations like the World Trade
Organisation (WTO) promote free trade between countries, which
help to remove barriers between countries.
• Improvements of communications - the internet and mobile
technology has allowed greater communication between people in
• Labour availability and skills - countries such as India have lower
labour costs (about a third of that of the UK) and also high skill
levels. Labour intensive industries such as clothing can take
advantage of cheaper labour costs and reduced legal restrictions in
Globalisation has resulted in many businesses setting
up or buying operations in other countries. When a
foreign company invests in a country, perhaps by
building a factory or a shop, this is called inward
investment. Companies that operate in several
countries are called multinational corporations
(MNCs) or transnational corporations (TNCs). The US
fast-food chain McDonald's is a large MNC - it has
nearly 30,000 restaurants in 119 countries.
• Increased free trade between nations.
• Increased liquidity of capital allowing investors in developed
nations to invest in developing nations.
• Corporations have greater flexibility to operate across borders.
• Global mass media ties the world together.
• Increased flow of communications allows vital information to be
shared between individuals and corporations around the world.
• Greater ease and speed of transportation for goods and people.
• Reduction of cultural barriers increases the global village effect.
• Spread of democratic ideals to developed nations.
• Greater interdependence of nation-states.
• Reduction of likelihood of war between developed nations.
• Increases in environmental protection in developed nations.
• Increased flow of skilled and non-skilled jobs from developed to
developing nations as corporations seek out the cheapest labor
• Increased likelihood of economic disruptions in one nation affecting
• Corporate influence of nation-states exceeds that of civil society
organizations and average individuals
• Threat that control of world media by a handful of corporations will
limit cultural expression
• Greater chance of reactions for globalization being violent in an
attempt to preserve cultural heritage
• Spread of a materialistic lifestyle and attitude that sees
consumption as the path to prosperity
• International bodies like the World Trade Organization infringe on
national and individual Sovereignty
• Increase in the chances of civil war within developing countries and
open war between developing countries as they vie for resources
• Decreases in environmental integrity as polluting corporations take
advantage of weak regulatory rules in developing countries
The globalisation of media means that we now have more globalised cultural influences
available to us in terms of lifestyle choices and consumption. This globalisation takes several
forms. Ownership of mass media is no longer restricted by national boundaries. Moguls, such as
Rupert Murdoch, and media conglomerates, such as Time Warner, own hundreds of media
companies spread throughout the world. Satellite television has opened up the world to the
television viewer. Access to the worldwide web via the Internet, global webservers (such as AOL
or Google) and new technology (such as wireless broadband) mean that we can access
information and entertainment in all parts of the world. Advertising occurs on a global scale and
particular brands and logos have become globalised as a result. Post-modernists see the global
media as beneficial because it is primarily responsible for diffusing different cultural styles
around the world and creating new global hybrid styles in fashion, music, consumption and
lifestyle. It is argued that, in the post-modern global world, this cultural diversity and pluralism
will become the global norm. However, Marxists argue that globalisation restricts choice
because transnational media companies and their owners have too much power. Marxists are
particularly concerned that local media and cultures may be replaced by a global culture. Kellner
(1999) suggests that this global media culture is about sameness and that it erases
individuality, specificity and difference. However, Cohen and Kennedy (2000) suggest that
cultural pessimists under-estimate the strength of local cultures – they note that people do not
generally abandon their cultural traditions, family duties, religious beliefs and national identities
because they listen to Madonna or watch a Disney film. Rather, they appropriate elements of
global culture, and mix and match with elements of local culture, in much the same way as the
citizens of the USA and Britain. - See more at:
Links for Independent Research
How important is the growth of
worldwide media networks?