GGRA01: Lecture One Thinking Geographically September 20, 2011
Globalization, Global Process and Local effects
Example- Barbados- tourism is main attraction
Eg- KFC (used through advertising ) part of globalization chain. It imposes American fast food
taste and local shops co-exist with global
- What is globalization and what process does it involve?
- What is significant about understanding global processes?
- What is thinking geographically?
- What does a geographical perspective have to offer?
No single definition but some agreement that it involves:
- Global economic integration, global capitalism ) organization of elements of the global economy
into a single system, joining different economic activities in different places into larger systems)
- Global economic and political interdependence and interconnectivity, i.e. elements of the
system are dependent on each other and involve high levels of interconnection on an
increasingly global scale
- Global culture: idea of global community, common global values, global village. Example,
globalization of TV programs. The term ‘global village’ was coined by Marshall McCluhan. In his
book The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) he argued that print culture would be replaced by ‘electronic
interdependence ‘with electronic media replacing visual culture with aural/oral culture. This
would bring humankind together in a “collective identity” analogous to a village community.
Think about the weaknesses in the notion of a global community.
In fact globalization does not involve the full integration of all regions and societies into a global system.
This is well-summarized in a chapter entitled “What Globalization is Not” in John Gray’s book, False
Dawn; The Delusions of Global Capitalism. I have posted a PDF of these pages under the ‘Readings’.
But globalization is boundary-broadening and space-shrinking
Significance of global processes (globalization)
It’s really happening and won’t go away (affects us on counter basis)
It affects us all
It generates big arguments about its impacts (pro/ anti globalization) Ideologies (belief system) and discourses (debate) of globalization
A,) Pro-globalization: good for the economy and therefore good for people. Increases trade and
integration into the global economy, therefore encourages economic growth which will trickle down
even to poorer countries. (wealthy economy)
B)Anti-globalization: increases disparities, environmental degradation, reduces national sovereignty.
Benefits of any global economic growth will trickle up to richer countries, financiers, global corporations.
C)Plus “Alter-globalization” (Murray, p.13) – the idea that globalization can result in positive and
negative outcomes depending on how it’s constructed, this would involve changing rather than
dismantling globalization. (music= exchange of values)
Geographical perspective: thinking geographically
What’s so geographical about globalization? Think about thus question in terms of how the main
concepts of human geography apply to globalization.
What does geography have to offer to the study of globalization?
Read Murray, pp. 19-25. His three reasons for arguing that human geography offers a distinctive
framework for studying globalization:
i) Its concern with space, spatial interaction and different scales of activity
ii) Human geography ‘peoples’ (i.e. adds human beings and societies) to discourses of
iii) Human geography is an eclectic subject – it brings together cultural,
environmental, economic, sociological, political aspects and methods of study.
Human geography concerned with 6 main concepts:
•Place (and region)