Do Women Favor Globalization More Than Men?

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Globalization has affected the economic and cultural spheres. Economic globalization refers to the deeper integration and rapid interaction of economies through production, trade and financial transactions by banks, multinational corporations and institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization (Moghadam, 1999). On the other hand, cultural globalization refers to the growing contacts between different cultures which has led to flows of ideas, information, commitment, values and tastes across the world (Moghadam, 1999).

Globalization, whether economic globalization or cultural globalization, has mixed impact on women. Economic globalization has generated jobs for women in export processing zones, free trade zones and world market factories. Women were able to earn their own income and to break away from traditional roles. Much of these work available to women in export processing zones are badly paid, demeaning or insecure (Moghadam, 1999). Cultural globalization has led to the global dissemination of women's rights and movements worldwide. These included international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Moghadam, 1999).

Globalization studies attempt to rank countries on their level of globalization. There are very few studies that examine attitudes towards globalization, especially women. One study examined attitudes of American, Taiwanese and Filipino college students towards globalization. This showed that women differed from men in their attitudes towards economic globalization. The women expressed more negative views towards four of the 12 items dealing with economic globalization (Czepiech, Roxas, Jao & Suplico, 2007). Gender, however, seemed to have little impact in both Taiwanese and Filipino men and women when asked about issues concerning economic globalization (Czepiech, Roxas, Jao & Suplico, 2007). On the other hand, there was no statistically significant difference between the responses of men and women in Taiwan and the US when asked about issues dealing with cultural globalization. This was also true for Filipino men and women except for issues such as "willingness to travel around the world" and "interests in other cultures" where Filipino women appeared more adventurous than Filipino men. Cultural globalization, as opposed to economic globalization, seemed to be a less risky concept for men and women in the Philippines, Taiwan and the US (Czepiech, Roxas, Jao & Suplico, 2007).

This study aims to compare globalization views of men and women in South Korea and Vietnam. It focuses on graduate students as consumers. Not only can they become potential consumers of existing and proposed global products but they can also be entrepreneurs engaged in global business. Thus, their views towards globalization can influence the acceptance of global products and promotion of foreign trade.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

In the global marketplace, there are opportunities for firms to introduce products to foreign markets. The products' success depends on various factors such as effective marketing strategies. Some scholars argue that globalization has led to a global market for standardized products, particularly to the young middle class (Levitt, 1983). Standardized products are also known as global products (Levitt, 1983). Global products lead to greater brand power and reduced costs from economies of scale (Kotler & Armstrong, 2008). Other scholars, however, showed empirical evidence that global standardization may not be an effective marketing strategy due to cultural factors that will influence consumer behavior (De Mooij, 2000; Kotler & Keller, 2006; Suh & Kwon, 2002 and Yeniyurt & Townsend, 2003).

Culture and Consumer Behavior

Since consumer behavior is influenced by cultural, social and personal factors, consumer needs vary and marketing strategies should be tailored to each target group (Kotler & Keller, 2006). …