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Chapter 9

SOCA02 Chapter 9.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sheldon Ungar

SOCA Chapter 9  The Creation of a Global Village o Travelling 30 years ago: see travel agent, need passport, visa, withdraw money, travellers cheques o Now it is much easier – don’t need visas in most places, have credit cards, people speak English in more places, there are McDonalds everywhere  The Triumphs and Tragedies of Globalization  Back then, phone international calls were very expensive – now have Skype  World’s population and number of tourists has increased o Globalization may be increasing inequality between rich and poor countries – also may be hurting local cultures and the natural environment o Globalization is a form of imperialism  the economic domination of one country by another o Globalization puts the world under control of powerful commercial interests, contributes to homogenization of the world, domination of powerful countries  The sources and contours of globalization o Global commodity chain: worldwide network of labour and production whose end result is a finished commodity  Sources of globalization:  Technology o In terms of international trade or travel, technological progress is an important part of globalization – we can move things and information over long distances quickly and inexpensively  Politics o Advanced technology could not bring globalization by itself o E.g. South Korea vs. North Korea – are both the same distance away from North America, but we know nothing about North Korea. The reason Canadians know about South Korea and have ties with them is political; South Korean government has been an ally of Canada since the Korean War  Economics o Transnational corporations (multinational or international corporations) differ from traditional corporations: Traditional Transnational Rely on domestic labour and production Rely on foreign labour and production Extract natural resources or manufacture Emphasize skills and advances in design, industrial goods technology, and management Sell to domestic markets Depend on world markets Rely on established marketing and sales Depend on massive advertising campaigns outlets Work with or under national governments Autonomous from national governments o Technological, political, and economic factors do not work independently in leading to globalization o E.g. Marlboro cigarettes by Philip Morris company were doing very well in the U.S. until 1970s. After this, got a U.S. trade representative to dismantle trade barriers in Asian countries. He threatened legal action for breaking international trade law and said the U.S. would stop Asian exports until they could sell American cigarettes there, showing economics and politics work together to globalize the world.  A world like the U.S.? o Globalization homogenizes societies o McDonaldization: the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world  Because of this, values of efficiency, calculability and predictability have spread from North America to the entire planet o Globalization is making the world a homogeneous place based on North American values o Glocalization: simultaneous homogenization of some aspects of life and the strengthening of some local differences under the impact of globalization  E.g. McDonald’s serves different foods in different countries o Regionalization: the division of the world into different and often competing economic, political, and cultural areas o World trade is unevenly distributed o 3 main trade blocs contain over 1/5 of the world’s countries and account for more than ¾ of world economic activity measured by gross domestic product:  Asian bloc – dominated by Japan and China  North American bloc – U.S.  European bloc – Germany  Globalization and its discontents: anti-globalization and anti-Americanism o Jihad vs. McWorld  Jihad = striving or struggle o Islamic fundamentalism = most far-reaching and violent of many reactions against globalization throughout the world o World Trade Organization (WTO) was set up to encourage and referee global commerce  The history of globalization o Martin Albrow: “global age” is only a few decades old o Globalization is the result of industrialization and modernization o Anthony Giddens: World War I and the Great Depression undermined the globalization of the late 19 and early 20 centuries  Incited racism, protectionism and military build-up leading to Nazi and communist dictatorships leading to WWII o Roland Robertson: globalization is as old as civilization itself and is the cause of modernization o Colonialism: the control of developing societies by more developed, powerful societies  Development and Underdevelopment – Levels and Trends in Global Inequity o Shifting from national to global level – bigger gap between rich and poor o Citizens of the 20 richest countries spend more on cosmetics, alcohol, ice cream or pet food than it would take to provide basic education, water and sanitation, or basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world o Emergence of large, new middle classes in populous countries caused the level of income inequality among countries weighted for population size to fall o Problem: comparing country averages ignores the fact that poor people live in rich countries and rich people live in poor countries  Country averages do not capture the extent of inequality between the richest of the rich and poorest of the poor  Modernization theory: a functionalist approach o 2 main sociological theories:  Modernization theory: a functional approach  Global inequality results from various dysfunctional characteristics of poor societies
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