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Subject: Caribbean Studies

Class: Upper Six (6) Arts


Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

The Oxford University Press (2013) clearly defines globalization as the process by which

businesses or other organizations develop international influence or start operating on an

international scale. Globalization has been seen by some as beneficial where it is the key to

future world economic development, it is irreversible and inevitable. On the other hand, some

view it as a mode to increase inequality within and between nations, threatens employment and

living standards and thwarts social progress1. It is the result of human innovation and

technological progress. Globalization refers to the integration of the world economies,

predominantly through trade and financial flows. It is also used in regard to the emigration of

people (labour) and knowledge across the international borders, which inherently is promoting

international trade.

Globalization is not new to the world and certainly not to the Caribbean region. Recorded

history reveals that for over a century there has been the international trading of commodities by

the Region. This essay will examine how globalization has moved into the Caribbean and the

positive and negative impacts that are created in the Caribbean. Some of these positive aspects

include a basic 'knowledge-sharing' and easier access to more resources. While negative aspects

include threatens employment, living standards and the effects of the economies.

1
Oxford University Press. (2013). Globalization. Retrieved
1
Subject: Caribbean Studies
Class: Upper Six (6) Arts
Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

Due to twentieth century leaps in communication techniques, national banks and

investment entities that aid in generating finance for their respective Caribbean states are now

able to access income generating programmers such as the trading of money, stock and bonds

twenty-four hours a day, in almost every part of the world. These communication techniques

have also greatly reduced communication costs. Additionally, Caribbean people have found that

they are also able to access greater, more varied range of services as a result of globalization.

With the use of technologies like the internet, they can buy and sell almost anything from almost

any place on earth with just a click of a mouse button; sometimes for a fraction of its cost had it

been purchased locally. Furthermore, with policies such as that of free trade food items such as

clothes, educational equipment, and other products deemed necessary to maintain a particular

standard of living have also become more easily to obtain.

In addition, because of the way in which technology has opened mediums of

communications while cutting its costs, Caribbean people have found an easily accessible,

cheaper means of communicating with each other. Hence, Share of different culture and

recognizing the commonalities are exposed. This is due the used of internet, television, radio and

telephone media. Globalization has also provided Caribbean governments with a more efficient

access to pharmaceuticals, health aid apparatus and educational equipment. This has resulted in a

general improvement in the 'health statistics', as well as the 'educational statistics' around the

Caribbean, as its citizens are able to obtain better health care and more reliable, modern

educational tools.

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Subject: Caribbean Studies
Class: Upper Six (6) Arts
Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

The improvement of transportation technology around the globe is another important

component of globalization. In the Caribbean, traveling from one country to another around the

region has become less time consuming and inexpensive. This is an advantage because regional

tourists who purchase food supplies, clothes and stock for personal use or for business from

neighboring countries, are a means through which governments in these countries generate

revenue. Additionally, there is also the fact that regional governments also supplement their

income with the money spent by regional tourists who travel around the Caribbean to attend

cultural events like Trinidad's 'Carnival', or Barbados' 'Jazz Festival'. It must be noted that the

improvement in transportation due to globalization has also strengthened the region's

'international tourist' industry, as visitors find it more efficient by plane and by boat. This is a

crucial factor for the many countries in the region, where tourism provides most of their

revenue.2 Improved transportation methods have also made it easier for the Caribbean to

transport goods abroad to regions where it would have been impossible before to transport them

because of their distance or inaccessibility, this widening of the regional market means an

increase in export profits for the region's nations. There is also the related drop in transportation

costs and the reduction in the loss of profits due to spoilage of goods, for example, fresh fruits

and vegetables traveling form the Caribbean to Europe, because transportation methods has

become speedier and more efficient.

Globalization also encourages emigration to move to areas around or outside the region

where employment is available. This is advantageous to the Caribbean in some ways because

many of the emigrants send money home to their families improving their standard of living and

2
Caribbean Tourist Organization. Annual Report, 2004.
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Subject: Caribbean Studies
Class: Upper Six (6) Arts
Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

generating valuable foreign income within their respective countries. Furthermore, when

Caribbean businesses expand outside the region they provide important economic links between

the Caribbean and the country to which they have moved, and also act as a type of advertisement

to people looking to invest in other Caribbean businesses. Hence, if applied under the right

conditions, globalization can be a positive force in the Caribbean, providing a framework for

progress along political, social and economic spheres.

However, globalization in the Caribbean tense to created inequality with and between

nations threatens employment and living standard and, hinders social progress. Since the

processes of globalization threaten every aspect of a country, including political systems. These

adversities must be dealt with, and appropriate strategies must be implemented to deal with them.

Trevor Munroe, 2002 stated that there are some negative aspects of present day Caribbean

politics. He believes that there has been a significant deterioration in systems of democratic

governance.3 Therefore, there are some signs of decay in the criminal justice system; for

example, corruption in government and the police force. He continued to argue that,

“unemployment and underemployment are relatively high throughout the region.” This affects

the high level of crime, increases in drug trade and poverty, as well as threatens the survival of

democracy.

Also the characteristics of globalization have been promoting the drug trade and causing

it to flourish. The technological advances have made communication and other technical issues

easy, endowing trafficking networkers with new and more efficient working tools to adapt, and

3
Trevor Munroe. An Introduction to Politics. Pg. 10
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Subject: Caribbean Studies
Class: Upper Six (6) Arts
Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

better export to the world economic system. This rise in drug trafficking has been affecting the

economic potential of the Caribbean states. It is therefore necessary that the Caribbean invest in

advanced technology that can help greatly to minimize the increase in drug trade within the

region.

As a result of globalization, the income gap between rich and poor countries has been

widening and has been giving rise to the high level of poverty in many developing countries.

According to the UN Human Development Indicator (HDI), the quality of life for many

countries has not improved, and many persons are still living in abject poverty. The ability of

Caribbean countries’ businesses to turn over profits has been reducing greatly as a result of the

high level of competition in the domestic and external markets, causing our economy not to be

booming so as to implement proper welfare policies to improve the quality of life of many

persons. This leads to the point that globalization has only created an avenue for larger, and more

developed countries to exploit the smaller countries in the region. An example would be the

preferential trade agreement for the former colonies of the European Union that favored banana

growers; however, this agreement restricted Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte three major banana

producing U.S companies which controlled two thirds of the world banana market‖ (Harper,n.d).

These three companies controlled 42% of the European market compared to 8% by the

Caribbean (Harper, n.d). Chiquita and Dole also contributed to the US political parties. In

1996the US government protested to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on behalf of these

companies. It should be noted that the US does not export banana. The removal of the

preferential trade agreement caused the banana market in the Caribbean to decline steadily, as

they are limited by physical size and the increasing cost of production. In countries like

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Subject: Caribbean Studies
Class: Upper Six (6) Arts
Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

Dominica and St. Lucia which depended on banana exports, the removal of the preferential trade

agreement was detrimental to the economy. This was considered an example of “quid pro quo

[this for that] motivated trade policies.” In other words the developed country operating with its

own interests in mind at the expense of developing countries

In addition, globalization has resulted in the loss of cultural boundaries. In this wise, it

has caused the extinction of several languages in many developing nations. The way languages

are going extinct is very rapid, and this has been predicted to continue unless something can be

done to stop the complex process of globalization.4 The enhanced interaction of western cultures

with local cultures in the developing world has led to melting of previously existing cultural

barriers so that the individuality of the local cultures begin to fade. This is due to the developing

technology such as radio, television and internet. Also there have been several different styles of

music that originated on the islands of the Caribbean. Some of the genres include traditional

Puerto Rico Aguinaldo, Jamaican Mento, Calypso, Soca (Trinidad and Tobago), Reggae and

Dancehall (Jamaica). However, due to Globalization, Caribbean people are moving away from

more traditional types of music and dance that are indigenous to the islands.5 They are embracing

more readily, the foreign, Western music and dance associated with “pop culture. Hence,

globalization has created a negative effect in the loss of cultural boundaries within the Caribbean

regions.

In conclusion, globalization as a complex process with wide reaching impacts on

developing countries. Globalization on its own has a lot of gains and benefits, but due to the

4
Cronin, M. (2003). Translation and globalization, Routledge, New York.
5
Adulraheem, Yusuf. “Impact of Globalization on Culture.”
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Subject: Caribbean Studies
Class: Upper Six (6) Arts
Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

influence of some other factors and especially the nature and structure of most developing

nations, it impacts negatively despite its advantages. These impacts hold serious challenges for

developing countries in the face of needed economic growth and development for these

countries. To this end, the leadership of the various nations in the developed world must

understand that their major responsibilities lie in the needs of their immediate societies. It is

therefore imperative that these countries formulate rational policies and reforms that would guide

liberalisation of trade and the complexities of globalization as a whole to conform to their own

domestic economic agenda. Globalization itself should not be hindered. But the extent and pace

of its progress should be made to reflect the nation’s situation and presenting economic

dispensation so that in the long run, the developing country itself would be able to strongly

compete in the wider confluence of globalization.

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Subject: Caribbean Studies
Class: Upper Six (6) Arts
Student Name: Tyron Rhamanohar

 Adulraheem, Yusuf. “Impact of Globalization on Culture.” Retrieved March 8, 2015

from http://www.academia.edu/6573965/impact_of_globalization_on_culture

 Caribbean Tourist Organization. Annual Report, 2004. (http://www.onecaribbean.org/)

 Cronin, M. (2003). Translation and globalization, Routledge, New York.

 Harper, A. (n.d). Developed nations exploit Caribbean economies. Retrieved from

http://da-academy.org/exploit.html

 Oxford University Press. (2013). Globalization. Retrieved from

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/globalization

 Trevor, M. (2002). An Introduction to Politics.