Globalization impacts cultures in a multitude of ways, both positive and negative. As the concept can be perceived as the increasing movement of goods and resources across national borders, this modernization has had a significant effect on China as well as in the Kenyan culture. Some critics question whether or not globalization economically benefits countries like Kenya. Although, Kenya financially benefitted from tourism and export-based flower and tea industries, a majority of Kenyans remain significantly affected by poverty. Globalization helped this country. Less bureaucracy and more government changes will continue to allow for the benefits of globalization. On the other hand, unique to China’s vast population, globalization quickly impacted this culture as modern values and technologies rapidly passed through communities and positive economic effects and industry growth emerged. This impact did not spontaneously emerge overnight. Rather, “it was created by the dominant social forces in the world today to serve their specific interests” (Mandunagu, 1999). With this influence in addition to economic reform, China is “rapidly industrializing itself into an economic superpower” (Yue, 2012).
While the economic impact of globalization on several cultures has resulted in a positive and profitable transformation, globalization into the African country of Kenya may be understood as “driven by the interests and needs of the developed world” (Grieco and Holmes, 1999). The developed country, such as the United States, may believe that undoing trade barriers may help poorer counties. Kenya was described as a country with great potential, with a “successful education system, tourist-ready natural beauty, and a tolerant society largely free of the ethnic violence that plagues other countries in the region” (Lehmann, 2004). This push from more developed countries and influence from surrounding countries led to globalization in Kenya to hopefully encourage a better economic future.
As information and exchanges occurred, more of the inequality emerged between Kenya and other countries. Competing countries offered imports that surpassed the bargaining value of Kenya’s goods. For example, products that were produced primarily in Kenya were mass produced in Japan and sold at lower prices. This commodity-based economy suffered when Kenya received less money from exports due to the competitiveness of other countries. Yet, even as foreign investors might hesitate to consider commodities from Kenya, “horticulture [more specifically flowers] was one of the few industries that continued to attract foreign investment” (Lehmann, 2004). Even with some economic success, a majority of Kenyans did not see the benefits of globalization as they believed that an “open global market economy will provide benefits only when the government is effective and efficient” (Lehmann, 2004). They did not see the great success that an open global market could bring as the result did not bring significant financial progress as other countries observed, such as China. Although, the election of a new government in 2002 gave Kenyans hope that a change in poverty levels might occur. Current economic forecasts look positive as Kenya continues to grow due to tourism, modern forms of communication, technology, education of the younger generation, and more agriculture success.
As modernization from one country to another is useful with increasing job opportunities and advancing lifestyles, globalization into China (initiated by leader Deng Xiaoping) helped to turn China from a planned to market economy. A planned economy resulted in rigid guidelines on the consumption of goods and at times, insufficient supplies available for consumers. A market economy helped to allow for the movement of goods, funds, knowledge, and technology across borders. Economic reforms, led by Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s and early