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Chapter 13

SOC101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Capital Accumulation, Cultural Homogenization, World-Systems Theory

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Barry Mc Clinchey

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CHAPTER 13 Globalization
- globalization worldwide exchange of money, goods, services as well as socio-cultural changes that
occur w/ increasing trade/human contact
entanglement of diverse cultures and economies
responsible for severing social arrangements based on geographic location as a result of
accelerating transnational flows of ppl. images, info
not a new development a continuation of an int’l economic integration that began w/
European colonial expansion more than 500 yrs ago
Origin of Globalization
- hundreds of years b4 capitalism in West, Arabs and Indians traded goods/spices across great distances
- int’l trading company existed b/w Western Europe and China more than 700 years ago
- several examples of ppl from diff geographic areas coming together and forming large, integrated
empires that shared common political/economical systems
- since they spent most of their resources on the military, they could not afford to become global empires
- true economic integration became possible only w/ the emergence of capitalism
- in 16th century, Western Europe developed economic systems that were based on market principles,
whereby goods/services were produced and exchanged for profit
- England: feudal system of agricultural production was replaced by commercial enterprises
- access to property changed as common lands were enclosed and privatized displaced many farmers
shift in land ownership during this time was one of the primary inspirations behind the
emergence of capitalism
- expansion of merchant class led to demand for exotic goods colonizing
- colonizing political/economic/cultural domination of countries in Asia, Africa, Americas by European
countries starting in the 16th century
- increasing trade and investment along with technological innovations in transportation/navigation led to
acceleration of globalization through to the 2nd half of the 20th century
- Giddens points out that globalization since 1970s is diff from previous globalizations
- before 1970s: national economies defined by the exchange of goods
- now: economic activity is mostly in service sector and knowledge economy
- believes that “we live in a world of transformation, affecting almost every aspect of what we do”
Globalization Today
- today’s economies are more interdependent/integrated than ever b4
- result of this integration is as decline in power of individual nation-states to determine their own
economic/political/cultural destinies
- decisions made in one part of the world can have drastic ramifications in others
- technological advances have made world an increasingly smaller place
infectious disease spread through international travel/trade
- created gaps b/w rich and poor
- stratification when society organizes ppl into a hierarchical system according to social class
- countries are position w/in a global ranking system defined by wealth poverty
- “First/Second/Third World” – formerly used to describe nation’s relative economic/political/social
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contain Western bias so not used as standard anymore; suggests other countries are lagging
- command economy state (NOT market forces) manages production/distribution of goods Second
World countries of former Soviet Union
~30 countries; most in Eastern Europe; cut off from rest of world until fall of Berlin Wall (1989)
term used rarely since
some believe it should be revived since it allows greater flexibility that dichotomy of First and
Third World
- most former socialist countries are poorer and less industrialized
- Khanna suggests the role of these countries will become increasingly important in the coming years
- Global North often stymies the other countries to serve their own interests
- globalization is becoming battlefield of geopolitics; US may descend into Second World status unless it
can renew its leadership role in int’l politics
- the term “development” is also criticized Western bias
developed countries wealthy, industrialized
undeveloped poor economies; lack of economic talent/exposure
underdeveloped yet to industrialize, or intentionally restricted in development by developed
developing on the road to industrialization
- prefer “Global North” and “Global South”
overriding principle is the recognition that most economic prosperity has occurred in Northern
Hemisphere, while most hardship has occurred in the Southern Hemisphere
Global North wealthy industrialized countries in northern hemisphere (W. EUR, CAN, US, AUS, JAP)
- states are democratic, technologically advanced, high standard of living, low pop. growth
no Global South country has all these characteristics, but some have 1 or 2
- citizens well-educated, access to health care/clean water, exist in stable political structures
enjoy long, happy, productive lives
- colonization allowed countries in the Global North to dominate and alter existing structures in their
colonies for personal gain
Global South poor countries in the southern hemisphere (Asia, South America, Africa)
- many emerged after end of colonial rule and decided not to follow capitalism/socialism
- attempted to achieve development/prosperity through a 3rd method b/w capitalism and socialism
but inequalities left as a result of colonization made a realistic alternative impossible
lacked financial, industrial, technological infrastructure necessary to develop competitive
- colonialism/globalization CONSTRUCTED dependence as way of achieving GN’s own ends
- today, most GS countries try to improve their standards of living via int’l trade and foreign investment
from GN’s govts/corps
- some believe only possible outcome of unrestricted economic globalization is a group of winners and a
group of losers
- while all GS countries are less powerful than GN countries, not all GS countries are the same
new industrialized countries (NICs) poor countries beginning to industrialize
Brazil, Mexico, Four Little Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan)
- only way for countries to flourish today is to embrace Western capitalist economic structures/values
Technological Change
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