Sociology - Second Half Notes.docx

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Christian O.Caron

Sociology ― Globalization Globalization is a social, economic, and political process that makes it easier for people, goods, ideas, and capital to travel around the world at an extraordinary pace. Essentially making the world look and feel smaller. Globalization as a process means it is neither naturally good or bad. It has an impact on the environment and every single human being in a different way. (e.g. digital divide, inequality of access to means of communication) Top-down globalization involves the actions of groups promoting globalized capitalism and free trade Neoliberal (supports privatization and free trade etc.) economic policies: 1. Move away from state spending and regulation 2. Responsibility for one's own welfare 3. Less protection for labour and the environment 4. Privatization of state resources 5. Faith in the power of the market Globalization from below: the actions of groups that criticize the injustices that result from globalization processes. It encompasses multiple perspectives: 1. Moderate critiques of neoliberalism 2. Radical anti-capitalist positions 3. Various forms of anarchism (lawlessness) 4. Armed peasant uprisings 5. Fair-trade coffee projects Capitalists Financial Capital (in economic terms): money used for investment, currency trading (98% of money exchanged on any given day is not tied to goods and services) Overcapacity: Global corporations (TNCs―Transitional Corporations, approach from a global perspective rather than a centralized headquarter by spreading out their operations in multiple countries sustaining high levels of local responsiveness e.g. Nestle) are producing more things that the world's consumers can afford Centralization: Corporations have merged to stay competitive, blending different industries together. Companies play nation-states off one another, pressuring governments to lower tax rates by threatening to move production to more favourable locations ( worldwide corporate tax rate is 25.9 % in 2008 and significant drop from 31.4 % in 1999) Critics of corporate power demand more accountability on the part of corporations. While the global economy has made a portion of the world's population wealthy, at least 50 % is still considered poor. StateAutonomy ( a self-governing community) is being threatened because of.. Supra-national organizations. The SNO puts pressure on nations to do things such as decrease social spending, privatize state-run industries etc. (basically adopt Neoliberal policies) Supra-national: organizations that put pressures on nations to deregulate capital markets, remove price subsidies, decrease social spending etc. Democratic Deficit: ordinary citizens are disenfranchised (deprive someone of the right to vote) from the process of governance due to The Three Sisters: International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO) Global Consumer Global Commodity Chain: is a worldwide network of labor and production processes, end result is a finished product. Power is distributed unevenly along the chain. Consumerism: a way of life, one's identity and purpose is orientated primarily to purchase and consume of material goods. The biggest U.S export is mass-produced products of pop-culture. While many countries would like to protect their cultural products (e.g. films, magazines etc.) the World Trade Org. has prohibited states from using grants and quotas (shares) to protect domestic and cultural products. Culture as a product (commodity) Cultural Imperialism: domination of one culture over another (e.g. al-jareeza and Bollywood as two counter examples) ConsumerAlternatives Bottom-up (anti-globalization): environmentally sustainable products produced by well-paid workers Fair-trade movement: 1. arguing that producers should be paid a fair price rather than the free market price (pre- determined default price) 2. must convince consumers to pay more (for coffee for example) Sustainable Consumption 20 % of the world's population consumes 66 % of the world's resources and creates 75 % of the waste and pollution Sustainable Consumption: lies somewhere between the over consumers and under consumers 1. eat moderate amount of food (Especially meat) 2. rely primarily on sustainable forms of transportation (Public transportation, walking) 3. consume minimal amounts of raw materials in daily life Global Workers While capital moves across borders, unions and workers are primarily organized within states Outsourcing: moving jobs from one labor market to a cheaper labor market (e.g.America to India) Sub-employment: working poor, workers have work but it is poorly underpaid, nonunionized Export Processing Zones (EPZs): governments create special financial incentives for corporations 1. tax holidays 2. preferential rates for electricity and telecommunication 3. special exemptions from national labor laws Wage competitions pits workers against one another in a "race to the bottom" . Anti-sweatshop movement has rises in responses to this phenomenon. Think Globally, Eat Locally: 1. encouraging local food consumption 2. defend local agricultural ecosystems 3. use global networks (communication that spans the Earth) to fight these battles United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (series of 8 to be achieved by 2015): 1. Achieve universal primary education 2. reduce child mortality 3. improve maternal health 4. Promote gender equality and empower women Pros and Cons of Globalization Pro (advocates): breakdown of all trade and investment barriers, pushing rapidly towards global integration Con (critics): should be allowed only if labor and environment standards are protected Sociology ― Global Inequality Development (progress): a process that generated economic growth, industrialization and modernization in regions and countries perceived to be poor, traditional and undeveloped. More recently it has had a broader meaning, progress for women, empowerment of the underprivileged and environmental sustainability The study and analysis of development has served to support world capitalism an economic system based on competitive enterprises seeking to maximise profits by wage labour Why should you care about development? ― two perspectives, mortality and social justice or self-interest and security The majority of people see it as morally repugnant that some people earn less than a dollar a day. They consider it a matter of social justice that the world's desperately poor be lifted out of a life of illiteracy, disease and hopelessness. e.g. find it absurd that the average Canadian student spends more at Starbucks than a person makes in a day Other people consider practical reasons, more people in the world than we can sustain.. Development in Stages The contemporaryAmerican market is considered the ultimate stage. Just like humans and plants pass stages of development, so do societies therefore susceptible to pathologies (science of cause and effect of disease) and disease. W.W Rostov argued that society develops in stages, in the beginning we might be traditional, undeveloped. When coming into contact with a developed society, science and technology spreads and the traditional society enters a stage of possible "takeoff." (takeoff occurs if and when increase in market transactions, manufacturing takes place) The faster the society moves all the path of development, the easier barriers are removed to spread the market relations and the more efficiently scientific and technological diffusion (distribution) occurs. Modernization Theory: emphasizes importance of values and norms (e.g. David McClelland argued that importance of entrepreneur "need for achievement" is the desire for feelings of accomplishment and personal satisfaction. People with a high need for accomplishment become successful entrepreneurs. According to modernization, development happens when poor countries adopts virtues of the "developed North" Dependency Theory: lack of development is due to deficiencies of less developed countries , established that the nature of the relationship between metropolitan powers and satellite regions that blocked economic progress in the global south. Core: major sources of capital and technology (e.g. USA, Japan, Germany) Periphery: major sources of raw materials and cheap labour Semi-periphery: former colonies that are making major headway in their attempts to become prosperous (e.g. South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore etc.) The Slave Trade Undermined traditional state structures and created deep-seated animosities. Slavery enabled capital to accumulate, capital that industrialists would later use to encourage European development. Development in Canada Canada achieved independence in 1867. Before that it was a number of British colonies, controlled by the Hudson's Bay Company which was incorporated by the British Charter in 1670. How did Canada become prosperous despites it's past? Much of the wealth the Europeans settlers produced was reinvested locally. Canada's geopolitical (study of effects of geography) position helped by serving as a major supplier of raw materials and manufactured goods. (e.g. airplanes for WW2) Finally, Canadian state policy protected and stimulated industrial growth. E.g. the 1879 National Policy established a duty on imported goods by making foreign goods more expensive. Jared Diamond "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments." He distinguished between proximate (immediate) and ultimate (fundamental) causes of development. Development of weapons by Europeans were the proximate causes of the defeat of the established. Why did the Europeans alone enjoy such early advantages of weapons? In other words what were the ultimate causes of European development? Diamond argues the geological features of continents and biological resources available were fundamentally important. Therefore for Diamond, the early domestication of plants and animals made agriculture possible and was a prerequisite for development of guns, germs and steel that ensured the dominance of Europeans colonizers in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Criticisms of Diamonds Theory: Ignores the mountain ranges and deserts that surely obstructed the domestication of animals and plants.Also ignores crucial political factors, e.g. Europe's trade withAsia was cut off in the 15th century so European merchants were encouraged to create marine transportation technology, cartographic knowledge (study and practice of making maps) and navigation. The Neoliberal Era ― The Rise of Neoliberalism In recent years the Neoliberal theory of economic development has become influential.Acentral idea, only in societies where markets are free of government interference can competitive entrepreneurs maximize economic growth for the benefit of themselves and the rest of society. This idea was not always popular, e.g. The Great Depression in the 1930s when NorthAmerican unemployment rate reached 30 %. John Keynes, government should intervene in the market. Its polices favoured massive government spending to stimulate the economy and establish public enterprises where the market had failed to provide alternatives. The "Keynesian" approach to economic development worked well for 4 decades, by 1970 difficulties arose e.g. high inflation etc. Absolute Poverty and Global Inequality, State Violence, War and Production of Poverty The richest 5 percent earn in 48 hours what the poorest 5 percent earn in a year. Neoliberalism helped widen the gap between rich and poor. Military war and aggression have helped undermine development in much of the post-WW2 era. The government in the U.S had pro-American regi
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