Tens of millions of people live in countries far away from their birthplaces or those of their parents. Together with revolutionary communication networks and a truly global, fast-paced economic system, immigration has made our world both significantly smaller and infinitely bigger: we now can reach out to people thousands of miles away, while at the same time the number of cultures and peoples we encounter daily has vastly increased. These changes have made a deep impact on the way we interact with each other and, indeed, on our own identities. Very few of us can now claim to have just one national or ethnic identity. Increasingly, we share some parts of our identity with people who live elsewhere. Globalization has also changed our perception of who is like us and who is different. In this section we will explore how people’s sense of belonging and identity are changing.
- Globalization : The increasing flow of people, ideas, commodities, languages, and traditions throughout the world. Modern transportation, migration, e-business, multinational companies, and trade agreements, as well as the use of the Internet and cell phones, speeds up this process and contributes to a “global culture,” which some fear threatens the diversity of human cultures.