Globalisation & Indian Society

  • Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology.
  • Modern globalization originated with the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. The driving factors are democracy and capitalism—Washington consensus or neo-liberalism.
  • In India, after the LPG Reform of 1991, globalization came as a revolutionary force along with liberalization and privatisation and changed the soul of the Indian economy.
  • Globalization is primarily an economic process, but it is one that clearly has profound social implications.
  • There has also been opposition to globalization in certain parts of the globe. People wary about the uprooting of the culture have started assertion of their identity. This has led to movements such as:
  1. Rise of religious fundamentalism.
  2. Rise of Cosmopolitan Localism.

Glocalisation: It is a phenomenon that is a combination of words such as ‘globalisation’ and ‘localisation’. It points to the simultaneous occurrence of both universalizing and particularizing tendencies in contemporary social, political and economic systems.

Examples of Glocalisation in the Indian context:

  • Popularisation of Desi Chinese in India.
  • Mcdonald’s selling Aaloo Tikki burgers in India etc.

Impact of Globalization on Indian Society


Young people are growing up in a world of globalization and inequality, taking part in a development process that is simultaneously bringing people closer together and widening the divisions between them.

Positive Impacts

  • Health and education provision has improved in many developing countries that have been more actively involved in globalization.
  • Win-Win situation: Youth getting the best of both worlds. For a casual gathering, they might choose to wear jeans but for formal occasions, they prefer traditional dresses. Furthermore, while they may decide to marry for love, they are equally eager for their parents to accept their choice of partner and give their blessings on the marriage.
  • More aware, more independent: The role of parents are decreasing in the various important decision of their children’s lives in general and on the study and job-related matters.

Negative Impacts

  • Growth of consumerism: Youth culture today tends to be strongly associated with increasing commercialism that has permeated and changed the fabric of contemporary Indian society observable by youth’s acceptance of Western foods and beverages, dresses, cosmetics, ornamentations, music dance etc.
  • Traditional Indian values weakened: For example, relationships and marriages have had a severe blow from the pornography available on the internet.
  • Leads to exclusion: Globalization is characterized by spatial segregation; in that, it actively increases the disparities that already exist between global elites and the localized majority.


While youth and adult are the main carriers of this process, children-as a passive agent has also been variedly affected.

  • Broadened access: to goods and services e.g., childcare products.
  • Infused multiculturism: Increasing respect and tolerance for other cultures and ethnicities.
  • Enhanced avenues for learning: e.g., Student exchange programs have broadened student exposure.
  • Internet as an equalizer: has opened a window of opportunities for kids belonging to all classes of society.
  • Awareness: due to the ease of access to the internet and related technologies
  • The exploitation of the environment: e.g., the dumping of e-waste by developed nations into poor developing countries has exposed kids to the problems of toxic air and water.
  • Fast food culture: e.g., McDonaldization has tilted children’s dietary preferences towards unhealthy junk food over home-cook food.
  • Enhanced unproductive time: being spent on social networking and online gaming like Pubg.
  • Exaberated problem of child labour: e.g., due to huge global demand an estimated 300,000 children work in India’s hand-knotted carpet industry.

Thus, although globalization has made Indian children are now more future ready. But its dark side as seen, presents a word of caution.


Positive Impacts

  • Caste System: Globalization has relaxed norms of socializing, intermingling, and inter-caste marriages. Expanding economic opportunities and a breakdown of the traditional division of labour led to social mobility.
  • Religious System: Spread of religious ideas through migration has caused the rise of spiritual affiliation in Western countries. Also, globalization led to the questioning of exploitative traditions like Deva-Dasi, and Triple Talaq.
  • Marriage: There is an increase in the concept of love marriages. Web-based marriage alliance systems have also become a common phenomenon.
  • Marriage: There is an increase in the concept of love marriages. Web-based marriage alliance systems have also become a common phenomenon.
  • Homogenization of culture: The process of rising global interconnectedness and interdependence has led to the uniformization of culture across the world.

Negative Impacts

  • Food Culture: Lifestyle changes due to the consumption of junk foods promoted by global food chains like McDonald’s and KFC are not only affecting food culture but also giving rise to sedentary lifestyle-based health disorders.
  • Clothing Culture: Traditional dresses has become a symbol of the ceremony while Western clothing like denim dominate everyday life across regions, gender and demography
  • Family: Decline in joint family pattern, the dominance of nuclear families. Modern thoughts like live-in culture have also been recognised as seen in the famous Kanniammal case.
  • Linguistic culture: The influence of transnational corporations dominated the English language over regional and minority languages. For example, Families in urban areas often use English in their daily communication. However, it has led Indians to excel in the country’s services sector.

Rural India

Positive Impacts

  • Revolutionized the primary sector: Activities like agriculture, animal husbandry, pisciculture,
    and horticulture. by providing cheap and affordable machines, tools, hybrid and different varieties.
  • Generated employment: Thereby elevating the standard of living in rural India.
  • Opened access to newer markets: To sell their products globally at good prices.
  • Intensification and internal labour migration: Labour migration to cities from rural areas in search of employment is a common phenomenon.
  • Access to better services: ICT led to better service delivery like Common Service Centre (CSC) and better health services using e-Health.
  • Technical education: Available on the internet via tele-education has helped students from rural areas to secure employment.
  • Exposure to global culture: Through mass media and education has encouraged rural people to abandon traditional social conservative norms and taboos.
  • Caste system: Due to globalization, there have been changes in the traditional caste system in the following ways: Due to globalization, there has been an expansion of economic opportunities, education and liberal thoughts, which has resulted in the weakening of the caste system. Intercaste marriages are becoming more common and are being accepted gradually. The traditional division of labour was breaking down due to industrialization; this was given a boost by globalization. Increasing use of modern communication facilities and increased interaction between members of different castes has led to a decrease in the
    • feeling of Casteism.
    • Globalization has resulted in growing urbanization, which has facilitated a secular pattern of living and hence impacted the “separation of contact” aspect of the caste system.

However, despite changes, the caste system has shown immense resilience and still continues to exist as one of the significant features of Indian society.

Negative Impacts

Deterioration in the emotional attachment: with the spread of mobile handsets and internet in the rural areas people are getting detached from social gatherings.

Spread of consumerism: the culture of consumerism has penetrated in rural areas due to globalization which has led to the growth of materialism in rural areas.

Culture of imitation in the name of modernisation: in the blind race of progress people are imitating rather than modernising like buying a car by selling land or having caste-based speakers on their vehicles.



  • Growing global demand has given a boost to the tribal economy: For example, Orissa tribal culture became very popular, because of dance, handicrafts such as wooden products stone products and some other handmade product sales in the global market.


  • Displacement of Tribals: About 55 per cent of the country’s tribal population now resides outside their traditional habitats. Development induces displacements like irrigation developments are the major causes. For eg: The Narmada Bacho Andolan.
  • Unsustainable development of Tribal regions: Rapid technological advancement and unrivalled economic and political strength of capitalism, have created favourable conditions for the evasion and extraction of natural resources from the ecologically fragile territories of tribal people.
  • New advances in technology, the reorientation toward export-led development, and the imperatives of pleasing global financial markets are all driving forces in the extermination of countless native communities which stand in their way.
  • Traditional sovereignty over hunting and gathering rights has been thrown into question as national governments bind themselves to new global economic treaties.
  • New trade and investment agreements, which are opening up previously inaccessible territory to industrial extraction of natural resources have forced indigenous peoples to defend their homelands under an invasion of unprecedented rate and scale: Big dams, mines, pipelines,
    roads, energy developments, and military intrusions all threaten native lands.
  • Global rules on the patenting of genetic resources via the WTO have made possible the privatization of indigenous peoples’ genomes, the biological diversity upon which they depend, and the very knowledge of how that biodiversity might be used commercially.
  • National governments making decisions on export development strategies or international trade and investment rules do not consult native communities.


Positive impacts

  • It promoted equal wages to women including in the informal sector.
  • It has increased the average wages of women
  • Women’s employment opportunities have increased
  • The social choices of women have increased
  • In addition to giving them self-confidence and increasing their morale

Negative impacts

  • Women work two full-time jobs. As they moved to workplaces but their responsibilities have not decreased.
  • Although some women enjoy the freedom of delaying marriage, they soon realize that this form of independence might actually be a burden because finding a husband later in life is not as easy as in their youth.
  • Sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • Due to illiteracy and unawareness rural-area women are more exploited than urban-area women.
  • Women’s weaker property rights and limited access to productive inputs also constrain their capacity to benefit from trade openness.
  • Many new jobs in growth sectors have low wages, insecure tenure and limited training or promotional prospects.


Positive Impacts

  • Globalisation has decreased costs and increased access to new healthcare technology Average life expectancy and health has increased because of improvement in technology, medical facilities, and living standards.
  • The rapid growth in communication technologies has made the world a small place. Aged people who could not be lucky to live with their children due to the job pressures of the young, can now easily interact with them over Skype and Zoom.
  • Remittances: 18 million India living outside send money to their parents at Home to improve their quality of life The
  • longevity dividend: The people now have become more economically prosperous because of better employment opportunities across the world, and due to this they are able to save more for their old age.

Negative Impacts:

  • Fallouts of disintegration of joint families
  • Unclear Roles in a fast-changing world
  • The problem is aggravated when parents are economically dependent on children.
  • The rapid cultural shock that they experience because of globalisation has led them into a trap of anxiety.
  • Globalisation has not only led to faster growth but also faster inflation. The elderly population find their savings are often eaten away by inflation.
  • Psychological problems like a sense of dependence, insecurity, fear and alienation.


Positive Impacts

  • Increase in farm productivity: Globalization has enhanced farm productivity on account of new seeds, technology like drip irrigation etc. It has also led to the efficient utilization of farm inputs, making farming financially viable and profitable.
  • Increase in export of agricultural goods: The prices of agricultural goods are higher in the international market than in the Indian markets. The international market for agricultural goods in India has increased farmers’ income.
  • Research collaboration with foreign countries: Has increased R&D in the field of agriculture and technology.
  • Contract farming: Globalization has encouraged corporate and contract farming which have helped farmers.
  • Value addition: Through the proliferation of food processing industries has improved farmers’ income.

Negative impacts

  • Intellectual property rights: Intellectual property rights cause unfavourable impacts on Indian agriculture. Multinational companies can easily enter the field of agriculture and it will be bad for the margin farmers.
  • International institutions: Like WTO pressurizing to curb amber box subsidies such as Electricity, Fertilisers, Seeds, Water, MSP etc. Since it considers nearly all domestic support measures as distortion on production as well as international trade.
  • Price fluctuation in global markets: Import inflation impact local prices that affect Indian consumers e.g., Edible oil.

Informal sector

The informal sector consists of units engaged in the production of goods or services with the primary objective of generating employment and income for the persons engaged in the activity. The worker work under highly exploitative, low paid and low social security conditions, owing to their low human capital capabilities, and hence are more exposed to economic upheavals.

  • Heightened competition due to Globalization: Encourages sub-contracting of work to the informal sector because of low wages and lost cost of production in the informal section.
  • The casualization of labour: Global competition tends to encourage firms to shift formal wage workers to informal employment arrangements without minimum wages, assured work, or benefits.
  • Rise of the Gig Economy: Presents new opportunities for the unskilled worker of the informal economy. Eg – new employment opportunities introduce by companies like Uber.
  • Globalization benefits large companies which can move quickly and easily across borders but possess disadvantages to labour, especially lower-skilled workers that cannot migrate easily or at all.
  • Women are pushed to the lowest income end of the informal economy as more and more men enter the informal economy.

Deglobalization/Reverse Globalization

Deglobalization is defined as the process of diminishing interdependence and integration between certain units around the world, typically nation-states. It is widely used to describe the periods of history when economic trade and investment between countries decline. It stands in contrast to Globalization in which units become increasingly integrated over time and generally span the time between periods of globalization.

It is marked by the outbreak of a series of “black swan” incidents such as the Brexit referendum, the US-China trade war, growing trade protection, border crossing and immigration control, which has caused widespread concern.

Reasons behind the emergence of deglobalisation

  • Protectionism and unilateral withdrawal from international organizations and agreements. For example – Brexit.
  • Changing geopolitical equations. For example, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the aggressive rise of China.
  • The rise of national consciousness and unemployment in Western countries led to stricter immigration policies. For eg, the policies in Saudi Arabia against immigrant workers.
  • Crisis and inflow of refugees affecting national resources. For example – Syrian refugees, and Rohingya refugees.
  • Fear of the spread of the pandemic especially COVID-19.


  • Restriction of labour movements: India would be affected because it enjoys the benefit of remittance in the global economy. For eg, Kerala’s Remittance economy has been shaken during the lockdown.
  • The affected inflow of foreign investments:  This will affect employment generation, forex reserves and the flow of new technologies in the country.
  • Reduced cooperation and coordination among countries: Will impact overall global economic growth.
  • While globalization and deglobalization are antitheses, they are no mirror images. But global leaders must come together to timely mould this trend in a manner that makes reverse globalization more like a self-correcting mechanism to overcome the challenges posed by globalization while retaining its benefits.
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