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Lecture 1 - Economic Geogrpahy and Globalization.docx

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GEO 108
Peter Kedron

Chapter 1: Economic Geography and Globalization – Introductions Geographic Perspectives - Geography o The study of space, of how the earth’s surface is used, of how societies produce places, and how human activities are stretched among different locations - Economic Geography o A sub-discipline concerned with the spatial organization and distribution of economic activity o The geographic origins, structure, and dynamics of the world economy Five Analytical Themes 1. The study of space is inseparable from the study of time a. Accumulation of decisions of actors in the past that created the present 2. Every place is part of a system of places a. All regions are interconnected and never exist in isolation from one another 3. Human action occurs in a biophysical environment a. Includes climate, topography, soils, vegetation, and mineral and water resources 4. Culture – the shape of consciousness – is fundamental to economic geography a. Human beings are sentient beings – manifested in perceptions, cognition, symbolic form and language 5. Social relations are a necessary starting point to understanding societies and geographies a. Studied through the lens of political economy, focus on the role of power distribution in society Capitalism - Economic, social, political, an geographic system characterized by private ownership of economic means of production - Fundamental institution is the market o Interactions of buyers and sellers o Supply and demand on the basis of price - Guiding imperative is PROFIT - Two major groups of decision makers o Private households o Businesses - Mechanisms operating in Capitalism o Resource market and product market (see. Figure 1.1)  Circular flows in the capitalist economy.  Involves a resource market where households supply resources to businesses and where businesses provide money income to households o Resource markets organize capital, land, and labour – produce goods and services o Product markets consist of buyers and sellers of the outputs o Markets tied together through flows of capital, labor and wages, consumption of goods and services, and sales revenues and profits - GDP (gross domestic product) o Value of all the goods and services produced in a given country in one year o Dividing by population = GDP per capita - GDP per capita is often used as a measurement of quality of life Economic Geography of the World Economy - World economy o Networks, processes, and institutions that shape the planetary system of resource distribution, create wealth and poverty, and continue to the rise and fall of different national powers o It’s constantly transformed by a combination of technological and geopolitical forces o Changes in the world are simultaneously  Culture  Technological  Political  Environmental - International economic system includes, institutions and relations of global capitalism - Capitalist world economy is a multistate economic system which began in Western Europe, and as it expanded, it developed a core of dominant developed countries and a periphery of other countries Understanding Globalization - Globalization o Worldwide processes that make the world economy and the various societies that comprise it more integrated and more interdependent o Should not be seen as inherently beneficial or inherently negative – but rather a mixture of both sets of qualities Globalization of Culture and Consumption - Culture o Body of beliefs, customs, traditions, social forms, material traits constituting a distinct social tradition of a group of people  Leading to increased cultural homogeneity  Improved communications and transportation promote global consumer culture  All people do not have equal access to globalization o Distinctive local cultural traits threatened by global diffusion of consumer culture (synonymous with Americanization) o Push back of local cultural values - Globalization of telecommunications o Growth of global digital telecommunications  Television, cell phones, internet o Not ubiquitous  Gaps in access to technology - Globalization of transportation - Increased speed and interconnectivity - Not ubiquitous in connection Time-space Convergence or Compression - Distance decay o Attenuation or reduction in the flow or movement among places with increasing distance between them o Underlying principle of distance decay is the friction of distance-costs of overpricing space - Transportation improvements result in time-space convergence or compression - Reduction in costs leads to cost-space convergence o Alters the geographies of centrality and peripherality o Cheaper, more efficient modes of transport widened the range of distance over which goods could be shipped o Developments in transportation have also cut travel times extensively o Air transportation provides spectacular examples of ti
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