Globalization, Inequality, and Development
The Creation of a Global Village
Most European cities and towns today have many North American-style
supermarkets. Speakers of English are also numerous, so social interactions with
Europeans is easier. It is also easy to receive news and entertainment from back
home though the Internet.
The Triumphs and Tragedies of Globalization
People throughout the world are now linked together as never before.
oInternational communication has become easy and inexpensive.
oBetween 1982 and 2006, when the world’s population increased by 41 percent,
the number of international tourists increased by 205 percent.
oInternational trade and investment have increased rapidly.
oMany more international organizations and agreements now span the globe.
oThe internet did not exist in 1982, but in 2006 it comprised 439 million
servers connecting more than one billion people from around the world
through e-mail, file transfers, websites, and video conferencing.
Globalization has transformed and improved the way we live.
Not everyone is happy with globalization.
oInequality between rich and poor countries remains staggering.
oIt may also be hurting local cultures and the natural environment.
oGlobalization, according to anti-globalization activists, is a form of
imperialism, the economic domination of one country by another.
oGlobalization puts the entire world under the control of powerful commercial
oContributes to the homogenization of the world, the cultural domination of
less powerful by more powerful countries.
Globalization in Everyday Life
Globalization implies that everything influences everything else in a globalized
Global commodity chain is a worldwide network of labour and production processes,
whose end result is a finished commodity.
Manufacturing plants moved because those governments eliminated many of the
laws, regulations, and taxes that acted as barriers to foreign investment and trade.
Manufacturers started setting up overseas plants where they could take advantage
of low labour costs.
oThe result was a new international division of labour.
High-wage management, finance, design, and marketing services were concentrated
in the United States and other advanced industrial countries, low-wage
manufacturing in the less developed, industrializing countries.
Sociology makes us aware of the complex web of social relations and interactions
with which we are embedded.
The Sources of Globalization
Social scientists disagree on globalization’s exact causes; most of them stress the
importance of technology, politics, and economics.
Technological progress has made it possible to move things and information over
long distances quickly and inexpensively.
Whether we think of international trade or international travel, technological
progress is an important part of the story of globalization.
Politics is important in determining the level of globalization.
Capitalist competition has been a major spur to international integration.
Transnational corporation–also called multinational or international corporations–
are the most important agents of globalization in the world today.
Transnational corporation are different from traditional corporations in five ways:
oDepend increasingly on foreign labour and foreign production.
oEmphasize skills and advances in design, technology, and management.
oDepend increasingly on world market.
oDepend increasingly on massive advertising campaigns.
oIncreasingly autonomous from national governments.
Economics and politics typically work hand in hand to globalize the world.
A World Like the United States?
Globalization is homogenizing the world and in particular, making the whole world
look like the United States.
Many economic and financial institutions around the world now operate in roughly
the same way.
In the realm of politics, the UN engages in global governance, whereas Western
ideas of democracy, representative government, and human rights have become
In the domain of culture, American icons circle the planet.
McDonaldization is the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant