Durand, Alain-Philippe [faculty advisor, Department of Modern and Classical Languages]
La Mondialisation; globalization; La France; USA; business; french
Globalization is an integral part of our society today: economically, socially and politically. Some may see Globalization as the world coming together through the ease and speed of capital, goods, services, ideas, information, and technology across our “shrinking” borders. Others may hold a more negative view of Globalization, and may see it as simply growing conflicts between nations and cultures. One of the central problems of globalization is the fear of homogenization or Americanization. Many cultures see globalization as cultural uniformity. As Benedict Anderson has said, “one man’s imagined community is another mans political prison.” This quote can help to show us the apprehension of smaller countries in the world to become more globalized. They fear that globalization will mean cultural absorption by larger more powerful countries. In some countries, such as France, the people are so strongly attached to their culture and national identity that they feel threatened by globalization. This phenomenon has caused many challenges to their country in recent years. Globalization has reformed many of the business practices and procedures, however, laws such as the French thirty-five hour work week and strict worker protections have made it harder for multinational companies to successfully do business with the French. In recent years, The French have actually been slowly adapting to the new globalized world without even knowing it. Some form of globalization must take place in countries with large economies in order to keep up with the rest of the world. However, this phenomenon had led the French to resist a change that is actually already taking place. Because of this, the French are having a very hard time coping with change. France seems very resistant to change in fear that they will loose their strong culture and national pride. All of this has led to their outspoken views of anti-globalization (or anti-Americanization), and to laws and changes in government to help preserve their heritage and national identity. In order to fully understand why the French are so reluctant to adapt to our globalized world, is to realize their strong attachment to their culture and identity. This strong national identity dates back to the beginnings of their nation. Subsequently, we must look at which aspects of globalization are direct threats to their culture and identity. Only after examining these two parts can we fully determine how this is phenomenon effects business in France and with the rest of the world.