As we move towards a new decade, the global society as a whole faces new and old challenges. The year 2020 proved itself to be a period of taking a long pause from how the world has been used to function daily. It has been a year of deep reflection, isolation, and a productive work pattern from home lifestyle.
Humanity as a whole was put to the test as we were forced into cooperating for the first time in a long time. Our survival depended upon the person sitting next to us on a bus, a person buying eggs from the same grocery shop, a stranger walking on the road.
The fact that we are experiencing Covid-19 in a globalized world makes the world seem smaller and dangerous. What seemed to be a novel idea can now be attributed as a contributing factor in the expansion and spread of Covid-19 throughout the world.
We are already experiencing globalisation, but what does it mean to live in a globalized world and not perish? To understand the process of globalisation from a sociological point of view would be to recognize that globalisation is simply a phenomenon that leads to an interconnected change in the various spheres of society such as cultural, social, economic, and political.
However, the question that needs to be answered is the effect of globalisation on the unit of a society, the individual. The force of globalization is so powerful that it reproduces old structures in the garb of modernity. The dialectics is between homogeneity and subjectivity.
Although both homogeneity and subjectivity support the sustenance of globalisation in the long run, the longevity of globalisation is ensured as long as a market exists to fulfill its own requirements (capital) and those of the individuals in a society.
We are a slave to a system that came before us, a system that denies that individuals can be above systems. So, it’s quite natural that as long as we are trapped in the web of a slave mentality, homogeneity and capitalism together with the force of globalization will lead to the denial of the individual to fully express their subjectivity.
It implies that individual expression will be restrained by the homogeneous, traditional, collective way of living in a globalised world. Let us take an example from the Indian context; globalisation has given us the tools to identify our difference by giving us the choices to be different, and yet our traditional systems limit our individual expressions by sanctioning them and branding them as different, weird, alien, western, mad and eccentric.
Globalisation and capitalism benefit from both homogeneity and subjectivity by catering to the needs of both the cultural universe and subjective universe.
In today’s globalised world, innovation is an instrument that can be used as a means to curb expression as well as give a platform for individuals to express themselves authentically. The objective of globalisation is to promote interconnectedness by selling the idea of modernity while the experience of such modernity is fragmented in a society.
Therefore, different strata of society experience globalisation in a unique manner. The uniqueness in a traditional society is suppressed and controlled. Otherwise, it may disrupt the usual functioning of the society, and covid-19 has been successful in highlighting the traditional way of response to the pandemic, which was to depend upon the governments to provide a possible solution that did not exist before.
In a globalised world, the differences are merely accidental in nature. These differences are used for the benefit of traditional structures. However, the differences are not empowered in a globalised society, for it might threaten the growth of globalisation itself.
Globalisation and uniqueness are juxtaposed ideas that can see eye to eye by confronting each other. If uniqueness or difference is celebrated and empowered in a globalised world, then being a member of a globalised world would be defined by acceptance. Inclusion of individual expression of sexuality and identity would truly make it a modern and progressive phenomenon where modernity can coexist with the traditional.