[Solved] Are we losing our local identity for the global identity? Discuss (UPSC GS-1 mains 2019)

The Globalization and modernization era has resulted in the development of a global identity. This identity is based upon modern, secular ethos of the members of the society where individualism and materialism are primary to the social interactions.

 The local identity is based upon the traditional structures, institutions, processes and where communitarian, collectivistic ethos and social obligations are primary to the social interactions.

 Coexistence of Global and Local identities:

 The Geographical and social mobility has resulted in the movement of the people from one area to another and from one society to another respectively. For example People working in the United Nations work for the humanity and the whole world irrespective of the nations they belong. Although they aim at promotion of national interests (localized) but at the same time form one unified humane identity (Globalized).

 The economic progress has led to the diverse workforce entering into the labour markets. This workforce belongs to the diverse local backgrounds but work for the organization for the public interest. For example in MNCs the workers though show local identity in interpersonal relations but work for the larger public and societal interest ( globalized identity). Hence local identity is kept at a distance from the global identity.

Globalization is free movement of goods, services, people and ideas across political borders. As a consequence of it, a global identity has emerged. Global identity is a consciousness which conceives itself as a part of emerging world community. The increased interaction between societies with rise in the people to people contact both physically and virtually (through ICT) has led to changes in the identity.

 The scientific progress has led to the development of the inventions, innovations. This has brought about a change to rational outlook and thinking. Thus the aim is the progress of humanity (global identity). At the same time the local identity is kept to personal sphere. For example Chandrayaan 2 mission was for the finding of elements at moon for whole of humanity, however the mission started with the offerings to God. Hence although it aimed at global endeavours but localized elements provided it the legitimacy or credibility.

 The Dependent of the underdeveloped countries on the developed world shows that the global identity (in form of developed) is used for the localized development (underdeveloped).

 Similarly the Indian Diaspora, Indian companies invest in other countries and aim at betterment of the people (global identity). But they make sure that local identity (Indian) is not forgotten while pursuing various tasks.

 The working for the purpose of humanity and while practicing spiritualism in personal life also shows that global and local identity are kept together.

 The terrorism, fundamentalism, Radicalization processes often lead to security concerns by developing a global identity (destruction of society) based on religion, state, ideology and forgetting local ones.

 Self and identity are related to the social world in which individuals live and are constructed within social relationships.

 Yes, to an extent, we are losing our local identity.

 ▪ Loss of traditional modes of entertainment like dramas and puppetry for Netflix and western music

 ▪ Tastes in younger generation are changing with respect to cuisines. Ex: Traditional snacks which are being replaced by McDonalds and other such global chains

 ▪ Change in value systems from respect to elders to everyone being called by their name in a corporate setting, predominance of individual identity over collective identity lately ▪ Handlooms and Khadi replaced by Global brands like Reebok and Armani

 ▪ The recent resurgence of local and ethnic identities in Europe, particularly in wealthier regions with an interest in gaining more control over their own affairs, parallels the rise in nationalistic sentiment sand a common social identity.

 ▪ The appeal for a common language and identity aptly forged by the regionalist movement in Catalonia to mobilize regional interests and policies provides a good example However, there is a strong local identity which is thriving in India

 ▪ Jallikattu protests showed that there is assertion of our cultural identity even when the laws are against it.

 ▪ Linguistic identity is strong despite the advent of English as lingua franca of the world ▪ Dressing and food habits have not changed in majority of population, but only in urban affluent pockets

 Also, there is a reactionary reassertion of local identity over global identity as seen below ▪ Glorification of the past achievements like scientific discoveries and mathematical concepts ▪ Rise of new age gurus who have become extremely popular and billionaires in a short span of time

 ▪ Newfound confidence in Indianness abroad linked to rich Indian culture and diversity ▪ Anti-cow slaughter movement in many states

 And then there is a mixture of both global and local identity which is creating a GLOCAL identity ▪ McAlootikki burgers instead of traditional beef burgers

 ▪ Dominance of fairness creams in Indian markets by companies which do not sell them in the west

 ▪ Barbie dolls with sarees

 ▪ Jain special foods by multinationals without onion and garlic

 It is not just Indian culture that is being influenced by global culture, but the reverse is also true. For instance

 ▪ India’s chicken tikka masala has been Britain’s favorite food multiple times in a row ▪ Indian TV serials are very popular in central Asia

 ▪ Bollywood movies and other similar things  have influenced many parts of the word including western Europe and USA

 In an era marked by a borderless, interconnected global economy, the result has been a truly integrated and accelerated communication across time and space. Between the force of global economic independence and electronic information this accelerated change makes the world, “a burgeoning hybrid of cultures”. Hence, the economic and scientific progress at a large scale in the world has resulted in the attainment of the global identity at the macro level while keeping, and restricting the local identity to the micro structures such as the individual, family, and the community.

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