Topic 1: Increasing travels between countries enable people to learn different cultures or to increase tension between people from different countries?
Globalisation is a catch-allterm that refers to any activity that involves more than one country, for example, travel from one country to another. The dramatic increase in transnational travel in recent years has sparked controversy over the potential impacts of this trend on individual countries, especially those new member states of globalisation. Some people are concerned that the upsurge in new arrivals will prompt local hostilityagainst visitors, instead of promotingtheir understanding on mutual cultural background. This notion should be rejected as one can see many facts in favour of this development between countries.
The first reason why international travels would never bring conflict is rooted inthe fact that both visitors and locals are economically motivated. International travel opens up opportunities for business development throughout the world. Entrepreneursare interested not only in the domestic market but also in the overseas market. Foreigners should learn the culture of a country before winning over the local people. In turn, locals should show their hospitality to visitors in exchange for their trust. They share a view that acceptance of each other's cultural background is a necessary condition for cooperation.
Understanding a culture has other implications. Differences in social background, cultural values and religious belief might make the discrepancyof foreigners and local inhabitants on some issues indelible; however, the higher interaction, the higher level of communication and understanding. Arabians, for example, used to consider westerners as their foes. Now they have concreterelations with their western allies in many fields. In the initial stage, their divergence seemed inherent but over time, with better mutual understanding, they take the same position on many issues.
Undeniably, it is likely that in some resorts, foreign visitors repelthe local community with their scantregard for the local environment and conventions when they first arrive. However, it should be noted that most offense is accidental, rather than intentional. Instead, visitors disobey rules and conventions simply because they have no knowledge of them. This situation is expected to be improved with the passing of time when visitors from different countries increase their knowledge of a local culture.
According to the above analysis, we can observe that the increase in the international travel should not be taken as the cause of any conflict that arises between two countries. Alternatively, one should recognise its role in improving mutual understanding between two countries.
9. resort; tourist resort; holiday resort; beach resort; scenic spot; place of interest
10. repel = revolt = repulse
11. scant = limited = scarce
Topic 2: When international media (including movies, fashion shows, advertisements and other TV programmes) convey the same messages to the global audience, people argue that the expansion of international media has negative impacts on cultural diversity. What is your opinion?
As international media companies expand across the world, the growing popularity and uniformity of some media programmes (such as TV shows, movies, fashion shows) is causing worldwide concern. Many people have strong views toward this trend. In my opinion, international media is closely linked to cultural globalisation and cultural homogeneity.
The dominanceof international media is a signof Western cultural imperialism and has the potential to thwartcultural diversity. It is not a secret that international media is owned and operated by a handful ofgiant corporations, such as Time Warner. They control large sectors of the media market and place national media companies at risk. The contractionin the number of media owners will cause a proportionalreduction in the variety of programmes broadcasted. For example, painting, music and movies accessible in the media have a small number of genres, imposing restraints on one's knowledge of artworks of different cultural backgrounds.
In addition to seizing control over those creative industries, global entertainment companies affect cultural diversity by reshaping the perceptions, beliefs and norms of ordinary citizens in different countries. Most of the cultural values and idealspromoted by the leading mainstream media are of American origin. American culture values individuality, maximisation of one's benefits and material wealth, rather than communal life and familysolidarity, the values and norms previously treasured in many Asian countries. Unfortunately, many Asian people now imitate American people, causing the alteration of their perceptions of family. This radical change can be attributed to those movies and TV programmes that portray the success of American individuals or corporations.
The loss of media diversity is also responsible for people's narrow sense of ways of life. The ruling class of many countries speaks English, favours Western food, wears Western-style jackets and even prefers Western weddings. Young people are captivated byAmerican basketball and some even daubing the names of NBA stars on their school sweatsuits. All these transformations in life are the result of the audience's exposure to Hollywood movies, TV shows and sports reports. The loss of media diversity will lead to degradation of culture and to a minimisation of cultural diversity. It is a worrying trend, as people need cultural diversity to preserve and pass ontheir valuable heritage to future generations, including lifestyle.
As shown above, international media, controlled by a handful of transnational media corporations, is exporting Western culture worldwide and putting many indigenous cultures at the risk of extinction. The uniformity of media programmes has led to that of artworks, norms and ways of life wherever international media goes.
1. dominance = domination = power
2. sign = symbol = mark = signal = indication
3. thwart = prevent = spoil = ruin
4. a handful of = a small number of
5. contraction = reduction
6. proportional = relative
7. perception = view = opinion
8. ideal = value = belief = principle
9. solidarity = unity = harmony = cohesion
10. be captivated by = be obsessed with = be passionate about = be addicted to = be keen on = be enthusiastic about