GEOGRAPHY 122 Reading Summaries

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GEOG 122
Trevor Barnes

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Week 7 1) Allen Scott (2005) „Cinema, culture, globalization‟ pp. 159-175 in Hollywood: The Place, The Industry. Princeton: Princeton University Press. CHAPTER 6 in course reader. Lauren Ellis & Zoe Lawer Topic: this article discusses the flow of culture, specifically through Hollywood Main Idea/abstraction: the flow of culture in a globalizing world Low level details: - do we have a hegemonic culture with film? Is Hollywood a hegemonic culture? Yes, but there is competition - because of the penetration of American cultural norms into other social environments • theoretically, we should be watching movies in other languages if different language-speaking countries watch English movies (subtitles eliminate the language barrier), however this is not the case • some cultures/nations are countering hegemonic Hollywood with tariffs, restrictions of TV broadcasting, and subsidies supporting local film production. This raises the issue of ethics and free market • national interest over free choice - free choice is not really free choice! "Consumption does not equal private choice" - tariffs and restrictions dictate what we "choose" to watch • large metropolitan regions: new areas where the cultural economy of global capitalism • a place for cultural production • able to incorporate local characteristics that can be decoded and understood by non-local consumers Topic (what is the passage about?) In this passage, Allen Scott examines the global production of motion pictures. Specifically he looks at how Hollywood dominates the global market in monetarily. It is this domination by Hollywood that has influences the cultural imperialism theory, which states, “The laws of globalization are called homogenization, standardization of tastes, behaviors and cultures”. This influence has resulted in countries striving to protect their own traditions and authentic identity. However, there has also been a hybridity and cross-fertilization of ideas between metropolitan regions such as, Tokyo, London, Berlin, etc. which has sustained a dynamism of cultural production. It is further explored the cultural dichotomy (between high and low culture) is rising. However, despite Hollywood‟s appeal to the masses, the quality of the movies is not inferior to those aimed at a high culture. Finally, he concludes with recognizing the extent the internet will play on influencing the global production of motion pictures, the degree of decentralization of functions from primary agglomerations and how Hollywood is likely to face increasing competition for dominance in the international markets. Detail (supporting detail and relevant and important facts) Allen Scott doesn‟t use too many specific details but does include a few tables and a map to demonstrate the distribution of production, money made from films and the number of films produced by countries. Overall, the United States far exceeds any country in regards to the monetary gains, however in regards to number of films produced India, China and other Asian countries exceed US production. 2) J. Bale (2003) „The growth and globalisation of sports‟ pp. 36-58 in Sports Geography. New York: Routledge. CHAPTER 7 in course reader. Allison Brown & Emilee Northwood - Bale says that he is trying to focus on the transition of folk games into global forms of sports - Claims sports has emerged as a global system - Structural properties of folk games and modern sports  Examples: Folk: Simple and unwritten customary rules, legitimated by tradition. Modern: Formal and elaborate written rules legitimated by tradition worked out pragmatically and legitimated by rational-bureaucratic means. (There is an entire table of these comparisons on page 61). - Taylor noted that while some simple games such as wrestling or throwing a ball had grown independently in a number of separate geographical locations, others seemed so distinct and artificial that it was unlikely that their distinctiveness could be hit upon more than once. This is an example of diffusionism, a term in which in recent years has assumed somewhat negative connotations. - Sports are both traditional (such as riding, skating, archery etc) but can also grow out of war like activities such as fencing. - Transition from folk game to sport was 5 stages: 1) the folk game stage 2) the formation of clubs 3) the establishment of a rule making national bureaucracy 4) the diffusion and adoption of the sport in other countries and 5) the formation of an international bureaucracy  sports drastically changed with the processes of imperialism and colonization through this kind of manor, however, it could be rejected. In Africa, some groups rejected modern body cultures and continued to practice their own corporeal activities. - Sports were developed before working hours were reduced  however sports and industrialization seemed to share a link - The transition from folk game to national sports mostly happened when Europeans adopted and adapted a game that was played by a native minority. - National regions were convinced to participate when private entrepreneurs convinced regional or national champions to play for high financial rewards. - Technosports exist, which are sports that don‘t go through the folk game stage and were invented from stratch. Examples: Basketball, Volleyball. - Before bureaucracies, the sports world couldn‘t really compete nationally as there was different interpretations of rules and of amateur status. The need for bureaucracies to come in and regulate the rules and regulate sports was how it began to be able to spread nationally. - National organizations existed, and it was the need to improve regulations of these events that turned it into needing more of a bureaucratic form  like the economic system, sports had become a global system. Standardization of rules permitted movement internationally, and could allow for better competition. - Sports were introduced as a way of forcing colonies to accept their colonization. Example: Africans were taught how to play soccer during the inter war years to win over the natives by defusing their native passions and challenging their superfluous energies upon proper lines  Sports acted as a way of social control. - Sports is a paradigm of global culture. Intro: *Focus of article is on the transformation of sport from folk-games to its modern global form -With the decline of folk-game has come the expansion of globalized and modern forms of sport (use of national and international organizations -> to control and administer them) -Expansion of sport associated with industrialization and colonialism Folk-games -Informal organization, unwritten rules, regional variation of rules (ex. Ball size), low division of labor among players, emphasis on force as opposed to skill Modern sports - Highly specific and formal organization, elaborate and written rules, played in spatially limited areas, fixed time limits, norms of equality and “fairness”, high differentiation among labor distribution, social control by officials, emphasis on skill 2 Good Example to use in essay: -Europeans adopted and adapted a first-nations game that had been played by a native minority -Lacrosse -> until 1930 was solely a first nations folk-game -First white lacrosse club established in Montreal in 1839/1840 -Rules were formulated in 1867 -> same year National Lacrosse Association of Canada was formed - Mohawk Club of New York was formed in 1879 - Game became internationalized with the establishment of the International Lacrosse Association in 1928 - An indigenous folk-lore game had become internationalized in less than 90 years *Stresses the significance of international sport bureaucracies -> have become a global system - > standardization of rules allows for movement internationally -> transfer of sport across national boarders results in meaningful international competition -Sport as a modern phenomenon originated from Britain and tended to diffuse to advancing nations -Sport innovations continue to grow -> the numbers of clubs; federations and sports are all growing - Given the increasing treatment of sport as a commodity -> follows the integration of sport into the global economic system Week 8 3) Gregg (2006) Identity crisis: Multiculturalism, a 20C dream becomes a 21C nightmare‟ The Walrus, March issue, UBCLIB Zoe Lawer Topic: Gregg discusses different instances of unsuccessful attempts of multiculturalism within a nation, and the likelihood that Canada will digress into the same patterns of violences between visible minorities Main Idea: that Canada may have simply avoided this violent fate so far because our immigration is a generation behind other countries (Germany, France, Britain, Australia, etc) that are experiencing racial violence and protest among immigrants. Low Level Details: - Britain, France, and Australia are all experiencing racial violence (such as London Bombings, French Riots, or 5000 white Australians attacking Middle Easterners to return the Australian immigration policy to being ―whites only‖) - Canada is unique because of it‘s full embrace of multiculturalism into the structural system (in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) • ―has built these practices into it‘s symbols and narratives of nationhood‖ • however, in a survey, Canadians expressed that they thought Canada excepted ―just enough‖ or ―too many‖ immigrants, and claimed that Europeans are of most help to Canada over other nations and ethnicities - Canada‘s ―mosaic of culture is fracturing, and ethnic groups are self-segregating‖ creating ―ethnic enclaves,‖ communities that consist of more than 30% of a single visible minority group • some are well-off, however majority of enclaves have below Canadian average incomes 3 • national identity/unity of Canada is threatened by the growing atomization of our society along ethnic lines • Case Study: Britain - shift toward Canadian-style multicultural structure, encouraging immigrants to retain their own culture - all was well until London Bombings, which were not explainable by poverty, inequality, etc... which means it must have been caused by the policies designed to celebrate diversity • Case Study: France - did the opposite of Britain, became extremely assimilationist - pushed French language and did not allow for construction of ethnic shrines or wearing foreign cultural iconography - still resulted in violence • violence is rooted in second generation visible minority groups - this group has not grown up in Canada fully • having all public services (health care, education, etc) managed by the province and a lack of a national project (instigation of CBC or the railway) makes it difficult for Canada to create national vision - which would allow Canadians to focus on their common future rather than uncommon/un-shared past - potentially decreasing the risk of violence • Gregg recommends a national project to bring everyone together to a common goal 4) P. Gruffudd (2005) „Nationalism‟ pp. 378-388 in P. Cloke et al (eds.) IHG. CHAPTER 8 in course reader. Madelyn Dekerf & Noor Hewadi 5) J. Rath (2011) 'Debating multiculturalism', Harvard International Review, 6 Jan 2011, 4pp UBCLIB. Kennedy Watson & Sara Nussle The debate on multiculturalism and immigration. German team that was full of different nationalities, later became hesitant about the issue of immigration and the consequent ethnic and religious diversity became questioned, not only Germany but other European countries. The team, interestingly enough, represented the new, multicultural Germany. Five players were born outside of Germany, one had dual German-Ghanaian nationality, and several others were second- generation immigrants of Nigerian, Spanish, Tunisian, and Turkish origin. Christian Seifert, CEO of the German Football League, was jubilant: „[Germany] is a multi-cultural society where people come to, where people live, where people love to be, and the national team as you see it is very different compared to former days.” the German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a public statement saying that the attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany had „utterly failed‟. Her comments came amid an intense debate about immigration and multiculturalism However, these nations recently shifted gears to embark on restrictive immigration policies and tougher integration policies, placing increasing emphasis on native norms, values and behavior and on disciplining the “other people”. This “new realism”, moreover,fiercely criticized the leadership of ethnic and religious immigrant minorities and the native advocates of multiculturalism What is happening in Europe nowadays, then? Is Europe taken hostage by a bunch of twisted political entrepreneurs who have lost their minds, forgotten the lessons of 1933-1945 and the Holocaust, and who are trying to gain political influence by trampling on immigrant ethnic and religious minorities? Or is it that Europeans have been too naive with regard to accepting individuals and groups from countries that are, or are seen as, culturally distant from the 4 imagined national centers? Or should the current political mood be seen as a reaction to the politics of obstinate, left-wing lunatics and prophets of boundless multiculturalism?  European situation.  still witnessing a rise of concerns about immigration and cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity  discussions about immigrant ethnic and religious minorities and their relations with the mainstream are often dogged by explicit or implicit references to Europe‟s Judeo-Christian tradition and the incompatibility of this tradition with those of Non-Western immigrants. Especially immigrants from Muslim traditions are supposedly incapable of embracing modern norms, values and behavior, such as understanding democracy, gender equality, homosexuality, and so forth.  discussions about the ethnic or religious „other” always pertain to fixed imaginary categories. Muslims are invariably portrayed as men with long beards in white dresses, silenced women with head scarves or burqas, and agitated young men who make anti-Semitic statements about Jews and Israel and abuse homosexuals.  there is something that always seems to be overlooked in these kinds of discussions. There is a more fundamental but rather general discontent in Europe about the role of the state, the welfare state in particular, and about the elite rulers.  while there is a lot of fuss about a “cultural backlash” in Europe, a miracle is slowly and surely taking shape: ethnic and cultural diversity is becoming commonplace in Europe……….Despite complaints about immigration and diversity, and despite integrationist or assimilationist discourses, “multiculturalism” by stealth is de rigueur. This almost seems a midsummer fairy tale. TOPIC: This articles topic relates to the idea of multiculturalism Main Idea:  It debates the reasons why countries support and prevent multiculturalism ( Example used in the text: Germany during the world cup had a multicultural team and embraced their multiculturalism. Three months later they were hesitant about immigration and religious diversity)  Jan Rath uses the term “midsummer fairy tale” to represent enthusiasm for multiculturalism (meaning its what we want to wish happens)  Germany along with all of Scandinavia as well as Norway, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the UK and the Netherlands have welcomed immigrants and invited them to establish their own institutions. However these nations later shifted gears on restrictive immigration policies and tougher integration polices, increasing emphasis on native norms, values and behaviours and disciplining on the “other people”  This “new realism” criticized the leadership of ethnic and religious immigrant minorities and the native advocate of multiculturalism  Concludes that Multiculturalism is becoming de rigueur ( custom, etiquette) Supporting Detail:  Immigrants such as Muslim‟s are being stereotyped that they do not conform to mainstream norms  There is a lot of fuss about a “ Cultural Backlash” in Europe 5 Week 9 6) Doreen Massey (2007) „Capital delight‟ chapter 1 in her World City. Cambridge: Polity, 29-53. CHAPTER 10 in course reader. Therise Lee & Emilee Northwood - London as a world city: it‘s got a diverse culture, worlds leading international financial and business centre- it is a global powerhouse, many banks and stocks exist in London as well as a large percentage of global foreign exchange. - The formulation that London is a global city is worth pausing over. The world city is mostly defined based on business and finance, which is a very Eurocentric way of understanding the possibilities for the definition of what is a world city. - Robinson believes that we cannot simply call cities global cities because then we have to define what every city in the world is – what defines as a ―global city‖ what defines as a ―normal‖ city? These are hard questions to ask and show that this concept of the world city should be abandoned. We need to build on the value of diversity within cities. - Why do we assume that capital is power (Smith)? What is the ―criteria‖ for cities to become global? The world city is usually applied to financial and services centres and is a sign of the material and discursive dominance of what is called the ―current phase of the world economy‖ - ―Global‖ refers to the significance of transnational command, control, financing and service-providing roles which it undertakes within an increasingly integrated world economy. However, this characterization needs investigating  It is certainly arguable that these are London‘s most distinctive features, distinguishing it from other global cities. - London is not floating free from the rest of the UK economy in an international arena of its own. None of these arguments mean that London is not a global centre of command, playing a crucial role in framing the world economy in a neoliberal form. What is important is that the constant repetition of the importance of London‘s global export role is also a performance for internal, national consumption. It is a claim, and a legitimation. It is mobilised to justify the untouchability of London‘s financial and business sectors and it is mobilised through the constant battles for resources. It is the project of neoliberalism, both internally and nationally. - Politics and economics come together strong in a city such as London. The reason London is the way it is today is due to a struggle for power on a dominant political stance, which became the socio-economic doctrine known as Neoliberalism. - 1980s – emergence of neoliberalism of Margaret Thatcher - During the 1970s-1190s, London has strengthened its role as one of the major control centres for global economic and financial systems - London reinvented itself with a change in balance between sectors of the economy: shift from dockwork and blue-collar manufacturing  finance/business services - From 1978 to 2000 finance and business services grew by 81% in Greater London (582,000 new jobs) - Manufacturing jobs declined by 63% (432,000 jobs) - Economic sectors dispersed geographically, with an intensification of service industries in the cities centre that focused on financial activities - This intensification resulted from the boom in financial capital in the world economy  the birth of new financial markets - Neoliberalism: a shift in the world economy  led to the emergence of world cities (global cities) - Distinctive features of world cities: advanced producer services e.g. banking,, accounting, law, advertising - Examples of world cities: London, Paris, New York and Tokyo 6 - London as a world city: world‟s leading international financial and business centre, global powerhouse at the heart of UK‟s financial services o contains over 30% of global foreign-exchange turnover each day o over 40% of foreign equity market o 70% of all Eurobond trading o contains over 250 foreign banks o ¾ of Fortune 500 companies have offices o Majority of its population and workforce = cosmopolitan - “Global” city = significance of increasingly integrated world economy - London has been reinvented as it has been colonised by private capital of industries/services formerly provided by the government  people are encouraged to take greater financial responsibility for their own housing, pensions, health care and education - Thatcherism: lifted restrictions on foreign currency exchange  deregulation and commercialisation policies for housing/health care/education  increase market for City activities o Thatcherite policies (deregulation, privatisation, interest rates, higher income tax cuts) benefited private sector, financial services, middle class o Threatened the public sector, manufacturing, old industrial regions and working class - 1960s – switch from gold standard to development of Eurodollar  promotion of a deregulated international economy  world‟s biggest international financial centre - 1986 – rise of electronic trading systems  new form of global financial dominance - Increasing land/property interests concentrated in central cities, that are invested in commercial buildings  expansion of London‟s old financial centre into dense mixed-used areas - The rise of the Super Class – elites who gain power from the shift in balance between sectors in the economy, resulting in the increase in economic inequalities - London has attracted the rich, and people who want to be rich from all over the world o Tax haven for the ultra rich o Lucrative opportunities in the city (more than 1 in 10 professional staff come from outside EU and US) 7 o E.g. French people working in UK = 69% in London, half of them in financial service industry 7) Mike Davis (2004) „Planets of slums: urban involution and the informal proletariat‟ New Left Review 26 (March/April): 5-34. UBCLIB Ryo Kawanishi & Jane Chen 1. Topic: - The rise of informal proletariat within the slums of the Third World urbanising cities 2. Main Idea - There are growing amount of people in the urban land (Population of urban land outnumber the population of rural areas) - Most of megacities are not growing its population. Rather, ―citised‖ small towns are forming to spread some of the concentrated population outwards. - Third-world cities lacked industrialisation causing slums to form. - People of the slums are marginalised in the urban bias by a reduction in subsidies. This caused inequality of class in urban areas, affecting women in depth. - Rise in ―semo-proletarianisation‖ (the rise of informal sectors) came about among low-class people to attempt and survive the third world cities. The informal proletariats dramatically increased in places such as Latin America (57% of Latin American workforce). - Marx and Engels was accurate by the fact that most of the informal proletariats were secularising, due to the better awareness of class difference.  ‗Slum‘ was initially defined as ‗racket‘ or ‗criminal trade‘, however by the 1830s and 1840s it was used to describe the habitation of the poor.  Slums were characterized by overcrowding, poverty and the gathering of mass waste materials which were used for housing.  Slums population is now 78.2 percent of the urban population of the least developed countries and is a third of the global urban population.  At least half of the slum population is under the age of 20  Slum populations are often deliberately undercounted. E.g. in late 1980s, Bangkok‘s official poverty rate was of 5 percent, however there were actually almost 25 percent (1.16million) living in slums and squatter camps. This also occurred in many countries such as Africa.  There may be more than quarter of a million slums on earth. The five great metropolises of South Asia (Karachi, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Dhaka) contains around 15000 slum communities which is a total of more than 20million people.  Winter King claims that 85 per cent of the urban residents of the developing world ‗occupy property illegally‘, even when the urban periphery is formally owned by the government.  Peri-urban slum areas often have no formal utilities or sanitation provision because the provision of lifeline infrastructures could not catch up with urbanization. 57 percent of urban Africans lack access to basic sanitation.  The urban poor are often forced to settle in areas which are unbuildable or even hazardous.  Over-urbanization: urban population growth in spite of stagnant or negative urban economic growth 8  Informal petty bourgeoisie: ‗the sum of owners of microenterprises, employing less than five workers, plus own-account professionals and technicians‘  Informal proletariat: ‗the sum of own-account workers minus professionals and technicians, domestic servants, and paid and unpaid workers in microenterprises‘ Classical social theory from Marx to Weber, of course, believed that the great cities of the future would be shaped by industrialization. However, in recent years there have been many cities emerged which experienced urbanization without industrialization. Simultaneously, third world urbanization continued its dangerous high speed. th Most of cities of the south were unique amongst all the slums produced in the western world in the 19 century, because its slums were a product of de-industrialization rather than industrialization. Formal proletariat have declined in many countries, but the informal sector of the economy, along with general social inequality, has dramatically expanded. Davis argued that urbanization-without-growth is caused by the imbalances brought by multilateral organizations such as the IMF and World Bank and their effects on economies, policies, and practices in countries ―Part of the secret, of course, was that IMF enforced policies of agricultural deregulation and ‗de- peasantization‘ were accelerating the exodus of surplus rural labour to urban slums even as cities ceased to be job machines.‖ The Challenge of the Slums is the first truly global reports of urban poverty. It adroitly integrates diverse urban case- studies. Slums is also unusual in its intellectual honesty. It provides an excellent framework for reconnoitering contemporary debates on urbanization, the informal economy, human solidarity and historical agency. The 1980s, when the IMF and World Bank used the leverage of debt to restructure the economies of most of the Third World, are the years when slums became an implacable future, not just for poor rural migrants, but also for millions of traditional urbanites, displaced or immiserated by the violence of ‗adjustment‘. Neoliberal globalization since 1978 played an important role in shaping a ―third world‖. Liberalization did not lead to growth and prosperity. Its direct result was that people in cities started to work in unskilled, unprotected and low- wage informal service industries. And these people are called ―informal working class‖—the fastest growing, and most unprecedented social class on earth. According to Slums, informal workers are about two-fifths of the economically active population of the developing countries. Hernando de Soto considered the informal workers as the ‗active‘ unemployed, who have no choice but to subsist by some means or starve. ILO and World Bank argued that ‗the informal sector can efficiently replace the formal sector and promote an accumulation process sufficient for a city with more than 2.5 million inhabitants‘ Alain Dubresson and other scholars disagreed with it and believed that the dynamism of crafts and small-scale trade depends largely on demand from the wage sector With even formal-sector urban wages extremely low, the informal tertiary sector has become an arena of Darwinian competition amongst the poor. The real macroeconomic trend of informal labour, in other words, is the reproduction of absolute poverty. The global growth of a vast informal proletariat is unforeseen by either classical Marxism or modernization pundits Different from the urban involution in the 19 century, today surplus labour faces unprecedented barriers—a literal ‗great wall‘ of high-tech border enforcement—blocking large-scale migration to the rich countries. Likewise, controversial population resettlement programmes in ‗frontier‘ regions like Amazonia, Tibet, Kalimantan and Irian Jaya produce environmental devastation and ethnic conflict without substantially reducing urban poverty in Brazil, China and Indonesia. Struggles of informal workers have tended to be episodic and discontinuous Davis argues that ‗eighteenth-century‘ sociologies of protest cannot persist into the middle twenty-first century, because history is not uniformitarian. The new urban world is evolving with extraordinary speed and often in unpredictable directions. Everywhere the continuous accumulation of poverty undermines existential security and poses even more extraordinary challenges to the economic ingenuity of the poor. 9 Week 10 8) P. McDonald (2000) „Low fertility in Australia: Evidence, causes and policy responses‟ People and Place 8(2): 6-21. UBCLIB Josephine Genevieve What: Falling fertility rates in countries, focusing on Australia Where: Australia When: looking at birth rate data from women from the 1930s (?) and onwards (by every decade) Who: Women ages 15-45 Why: A drop in birth rates could have significant damage on the economic foundations of countries, as more people grow old not enough young people are there to support them. This article also looks at the reasoning of how many children a family chooses to have (4 categories outlined below). Notes: Fertility rates have been dropping in many countries, but it is believed that recuperation is possible Why have fertility rates dropped? This is put into 4 categories: rational choice theory, risk aversion theory, post-materialist values theory, and gender equity theory. Rational choice theory: when people decide to have a child, they calculate the benefits of having a child against the costs of having a child. This can be measured in dollar amounts or psychological amounts. This theory implies that in order to positively impact fertility decision-making, raises in psychological benefits thresholds should be raised and reductions in economic costs should be made. There is direct and indirect cost of a child: direct  the actual dollar expenditure of a child minus any financial benefits received (through the government most likely). Indirect  the earnings that are lost due to having to take care of the child (Ex. maternity leave from work for the mother). Risk aversion theory: this adds another dimension to the rational choice theory, since it looks at the potential future costs and benefits that a child could have in the future, these benefits and costs are not known. By having a child people choose to change their future life course, this can include job opportunities (including economic boom and busts and also the possibility of having to change geographical location for a job). This theory can also be applied to social, intimate, or personal spheres of life. Ex. Disrupting the relationships of the parents, giving the parents worry for things the child does. Many if these risks could be mitigated by the number of children people have. Post-material values theory: ―changes in social and demographic behavior have been driven by the growth of the values of individual self-realization, satisfaction of personal preferences, liberalism and freedom from traditional forces of authority, particularly religion.‖ These have been associated with increases in divorce rates, cohabitation, and ex-nuptial births. In many countries around the world, women are called to do their national-duty to have children and contribute towards their countries population. Gender equity theory: this theory indicates that very low levels of fertility in more advanced countries can be attributed towards incoherence between levels of gender equity applying in different social institutions. Put simply, ―if women are provided with opportunities near to the equivalent to those of men in education and market employment, but these opportunities are severely curtailed by having children, the, on average, women will restrict the number of children that they have to an extent which leaves fertility at a precariously low long-term level.‖ Key Terms: Recuperation: levels of fertility rising again Total Fertility-rate: the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime Replacement rate: total fertility rate at which girls are born to replace the mothers (women) who bore them (to keep the population going) 9) Karen Bakker (2005) „Katrina: the public transcript of “disaster”‟ Environment & Planning D: Society and Space 23: 795-802. PLEASE READ ONLY UP TO PAGE 802. UBCLIB. Sara Nussle & Jane Chen 10 The city New Orleans is wedged in river and lake, and largely below sea level. The city‘s dangerous geography makes it in the fear of hurricane. On August 29 2005, the arrival of hurricane Katrina destroyed the levees and killed more than 1000 people. Other than the natural disaster itself, public debates focused on the social and artificial factors behind it.  Reasons enforcing New Orleans‘s vulnerability · Urban expansion; draining of wetlands expanded the city but accelerated the subsidence on New Orleans‘ alluvial soils · Subsidence of the city led to the shrinking of wetlands which can absorb floods and storm surges · Construction of canals for commercial transport and oil industry further eroded the coastal wetlands  Reasons leading to the vulnerability of the black and the poor · Geographical gradient= race&class gradient. Black people and working-class were living in the places that were more vulnerable to flooding. City‘s evacuation planning: largely depended on individual initiative (wealthier and largely white people can drive out of the city by car), and did not provide transport options for poor, largely black residents (stay at home or move to shelters) · Some media images depicted the black as ―looters‖ and ―refugees‖ while the white as ―residents‖ and ―evacuees‖ · Rebuilding New Orleans would intensify the gulf between races and classes in the city, because the wealthy and white people returned to their undamaged homes while the working class and the black lost their homes and had no means of rebuilding or buying elsewhere.  The failure of emergency response, glib responses of the White House and President Bush‘s nonchalant response were harshly criticized by media.  Right-wing and left-wing analyses of the government response were completely opposite. Right-wing: · Bureaucratic inertia and inflexibility · State-led bureaucratic control of complex technical systems · Cultures of dependency fostered by welfare reliance Left-wing: · The Bush neoliberal agenda, state disinvestment, and the perverted mandate of lead state agencies is at fault · Underfunded social services and underinvestment n coastal restoration and flood protection · Deregulation of wetlands protection  What were ignored in the American public discussions… · There have been a large number of public predictions and scenario exercises proved New Orleans‘ vulnerability and unpreparedness. · Disaster preparedness and adequate funding for coastal reconstruction was neglected by the authorities · Disconnection between federal and state governance structures · Inappropriateness of engineering-intensive solutions · The imperial ―habit of thought‖—assumes people in the United States have the ability of recovering from the adversity while ignoring those impoverished people. However these issues were focused by other countries. Many commentators explained the response to Katrina as a symbol of American society.  Hurricane Katrina may have the effects of… · Making the USA rethink their political and ecological commitments, imperial mindset and individualism · Scrutiny of government proposals for rebuilding · A new focus on inequality and racism 11 · A more serious approach to climate change and an unsustainable energy policy · A rethink of growing American military commitments and expenditures abroad · Inspiration of more thoughtful media reports of ―natural disasters‖ aboard, give more attention to racialized and classist social structures in weakening disaster preparedness, to the military opportunism of the government response TOPIC: Hurricane Katrina and the public debate between class, race, capitalism, the state and environment in America MAIN IDEA:  There is more to hurricane Katrina than just being a Natural Disaster.  The rebuilding of New Orleans will intensify the gulf between races and classes in the city  Hurricane Katrina could be read as a wakeup call for the USA to rethink its political and ecological commitments, its imperial mindset, and some of its most deep-rooted myths of nature, expertise and individualism Supporting Details:  The uneven geography of New Orleans is to blame for the devastation of Hurricane Katrina‟s devastation  Katrina revealed the topographical gradients were proxies for race and class in New Orleans ( With High income people living in higher drier ground and Low income families in low sinking ground)  racial composition = white  in high ground (mostly untouched by the hurricane) black = communities most vulnerable to flooding  Poor residents didn‟t have the resources for transportation during the hurricane and were forced to ride out the storm at home  Blame game (who‟s fault was it) They point to the long-term effects of a weakened government capacity, underfunded social service, underinvestment in coastal restoration and flood protection and deregulation of wetland protection under the Bush administration.  there needed to be more research into the anthropogenic issues in climate change and how that affected Katrina‟s ferocity Week 11 No Readings Week 12 10) Tony Judt (2005) Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. London: Penguin, 1-10. CHAPTER 11 in course reader. Missy Martin & Ryo Kawanishi 1. Topic - The history of Western/Eastern Europe after 1945 up to 1989. 2. Main Idea - Europe was split into half—the east and the west—where the east was in favour towards to communist Soviet Union, and the west was towards the free-market system, involving US. - In 1989, many communist countries, in favour of the Soviet Union, declared independence and started to make a shift from the east to the west, essentially leading the fall of Soviet Union in later years. 3. Detail - Post World War made all European nations (apart from Soviet Union and Great Britain) lose imperialism, but even for Soviet Union and Great Britain, their colonies were hugely lost. - There were no ―master narratives‖ of European History, which is a model of history where people brought social movements and protests to make political separation within Europe. But during the 1980s, a movement just like the master narratives broke out to the minimalist state, but after 1989, the model was
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