The self in a globalizing world : a study of globalization and its impact on identity


Abstract
Anthony Giddens' ideas on modernity and globalization show that globalization is modernity at the global level. The three characteristics of modernity: time-space separation, disembedding of social systems, and reflexivity have all been intensified in the last twenty years. Globalization is, on one hand, pulling different cultures together to form a global world; on the other hand, diversifying and fragmenting the social contexts of human activities. The modern individual struggles to adapt to the different social milieux he is involved in and finds it difficult to form a coherent identity. Modern social systems provide more security; it also creates risks of high-consequence. Human life is threatened with a sense of meaninglessness. Giddens suggests, in order to liberate themselves, human individuals should take more responsibility to make decisions on their own lifestyles and on social issues. Education should aim to develop the individual's ability to make rational choices.
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