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Class Supplement,TOEFL Essay, Has your country become more similar to other countries because of modern communicaiton and transportation methods?


Writing Topic
With many technological advances in communication and transportation, many people feel that the various countries of the world are becoming more similar to each other. Do you agree that your county has become more similar to other countries because of modern communication and transportation methods? Use specific examples and details to explain why or why not.

☆Let’s think
A quick look at this topic will tell you that it is related to what you call globalization. But what exactly is the question? It is not asking about whether you think globalization is good or bad. Nor is it asking whether it should or should not happen. It is asking about your pure impression on whether your country has become similar to other countries through development of communication and transportation.

The question uses the present perfect, “has become” and comparative “more similar”, and this means that it requires comparison between the past and the present situations of your country and your objective conclusion on whether any change at any level has taken place in your country and, as a result, whether it shares anything in common at any rate with other countries.

Does your county look the same as other countries compared to what it was 100 years ago, when it took a month for a newspaper to reach another continent and cars were starting to become popular? How about 50 years ago, when taking an airplane cost a fortune and the Internet did not exist? See your grandparents. What do they like to eat, wear, and enjoy? Is their lifestyle the same as yours? Remember the landscapes in the countryside or old movies of your country. Do they look the same as those of the cities and present films?

☆Hints for points
food, clothing, and housing, pop culture, family structure, life style, moral, business practices (near/short sighted, less human)

☆Top-down Development: from general ideas to specific ideas〈一般→具体〉
Let’s compare the present and the past and make conclusions. Note that the examples start with the general and end with the specific.

Homogenization in materialistic aspects through economic globalization:
The development of communication and transportation methods has enabled large corporations to spread the same products all over the world more thoroughly than before and boosted the homogenization of the world, at least materialistically. People in cities everywhere now spend most of their time surrounded by or using something western or American. They live in buildings made of concrete and steel whose interiors are filled with electronic appliances and modern furniture, wear clothes found in western movies, music videos, and fashion magazines, and eat meat-and-bread-based food served in western style dishes every day or at least several times a week. My country Japan is not an exception because it has been in capitalism for a long time. 交通・通信技術の発達は大企業が同一製品を世界市場に流通させることを可能にした。現在世界中の都市で西洋的生活様式が日常化しており、日本も例外ではない。

Westernization of popular music:
Trends in popular music reflect the changes of a society very clearly. Japanese tastes for pop music have become more similar to those of other countries than before. Japanese pop songs were slow and sounded like traditional folk music before, but now most of them are up-tempo and sound like American or British pop. It is clear that musical tastes of Japanese people are becoming similar to those in western countries and, since music affects many aspects of life, it can be said that our society is becoming more similar to those in other or western countries. 流行歌は社会の変化を反映する。日本の流行歌は以前より海外のものに近い。音楽は様々な面に影響を及ぼすので、日本人は西洋化してきていると言える。
This change has been caused by the development of communication and transportation methods. The pervasiveness of western music corresponds to the development of technologies. The change of media from the radio to TV to the Internet and more opportunities for concert tours enabled western music industry to market and familiarize its products to more people in my country. 音楽嗜好の西洋化はメディアの発達によって西洋音楽によりアクセスしやすくなった事と交通機関の発達によってコンサートツアーが容易になった事による。

☆Let’s practice
Choose one aspect of your society and write a paragraph comparing its past and present and decide whether your society has become similar to other countries in respect to the aspect. Make sure you narrow down examples from the general to the specific.

☆Sample conclusion
Westernization through modernization:
Since the Meiji Restoration, Japan has made efforts to modernize itself, and now it is one of the largest economies in the world. It is natural that it has become more similar to other developed countries in fundamental aspects of daily life such as housing and clothing. Therefore, there is no denying the statement that my country has become more similar to other countries than it used to be. 明治維新以来近代化を進めてきたので、全く西洋化していないとは言えない


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