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Chapter 15

SOC101Y1 Chapter 15: Globalization and Global Inequality
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6 Pages
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Christian O.Caron

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Globalization of fast food / McDonald's / obesity
Good / bad because spreads liberal approach to business
Globalization or "Globaloney"?
Makes the world look and feel smaller
Social, economic, and political process that makes it easier for people, goods,
ideas, and capital to travel around the world at an unprecedented pace
People have access to any place, yet typically communicate within their communities
Not everyone has access to technology - digital divide
Globalization has been occurring since 16th century
Defining Globalization
Inherently neither good nor bad
Protests in Egypt
Occupy Wall Street
Ethical debates around globalization
The Global and the Ethical
Financial / businesses advocating for a world where capital can flow freely
uninhibited by regulations / taxes
Associated with United States - promotes neoliberalism
Neoliberal economic policies : a retreat from state spending and regulation,
focus on individual responsibility for one's own welfare, less protection for
labours, and environment, privatization of state resources, faith in the
power of the market and profit motive to create wealth
Top-down : actions of groups promoting globalized capitalism and free trade
Many of these groups support particular types of globalization, using
technology to organize
Typically advocate democracy, environmental protection, and social justice
Against neoliberal forms of globalization that put capital mobility,
markets, and profits before people
Differences in how to solve --> not a cohesive movement, but a broad
framework with multiple positions
From below : actions of groups that critique the injustices that result from
globalization / expansion of global markets
Top-Down v. Bottom-Up Globalization
"casino capitalism" financial speculators stand to make / lose millions of
dollars in short periods of time
Facilitated by financial deregulation under neoliberalism
Investor speculation makes financial systems unstable
$ floods, creating 'bubble' that drives markets up which bursts when
investors realize the market is overpriced relative to actual assets --> panic
/ recessions
U.S. crisis --> international implications, everyone is affected
Rise of Financial Capital
Declining profits and overcapacity in the economy of goods and services -->
Overcapacity and centralization
Capitalists Go Global
“Globalization,” in Commit Sociology, vol 2 p4-32
Reading 2.4: Globalization & Global Inequality
February 1, 2017
12:00 PM
READINGS Page 142
Declining profits and overcapacity in the economy of goods and services -->
can produce more than can purchase
Transnational companies can't survive without diversifying into multiple
goods in multiple countries, hence more mergers / consolidation
Corporations are bigger and more powerful than many governments
Paying less taxes than ever
Pressure government to lower tax rates by threatening to move
Causes more wealth inequality
Growth of corporate giants
Movements against sweatshops / child labour
Some companies simply change names
Voluntary good labour / environment practices
Governments can't control corporations
Critics of corporate power
Democratic deficit : ordinary citizens are disenfranchised from the process of
governance
Deregulate capital markets
Remove price subsidies
Decrease social spending
Orient the economy towards exports
Privatize state-run industries
IMF established to maintain stability of international monetary system,
requires
World Bank to make loans to help postwar reconstruction, required
structural adjustment criteria to be met in order to grant loans -->
undemocratic and severe
WTO to lower trade barriers, increasing international trade --> protests,
WTO only benefits the rich
3 sisters
IMF / World Bank / WTO do not affect states equally
More power for states at top of hierarchy
Power of U.S. failing due to debt / financial crisis?
A U.S. Empire?
Widening power gap between and within states
1st world : wealthy capitalist countries --> poverty inequality
2nd : countries of communist bloc --> mostly collapsed
3rd : everyone else? --> these countries don't share common traits
4th : population / regions with poverty, result of new economic and
technological paradigm where only a portion of the world are competitive -->
marginalized countries
Developed / developing or majority (poor) / minority (privileged)
Global Inequality and the "4th World"
Are States Relevant in the Global World
Global commodity chain : worldwide network of labour and production processes
whose end result is a finished commodity - not transparent to consumer
High consumer spending increases economic growth while lack of confidence =
recession
Consumerism : person's identity / purpose is oriented primarily to the
purchase / consumption of material goods
Global Glut
WTO prohibit states from using subsidies / quotas to protect domestic
cultural products
Culture or Commodity?
The Global Consumer
READINGS Page 143

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Description
Reading 2.4: Globalization & Global Inequality February1, 2017 12:00 PM Globalization, in Commit Sociology, vol 2 p4-32 Globalization of fast food / McDonald's / obesity Globalization or "Globaloney"? Good / bad because spreads liberal approach to business Defining Globalization Social, economic, and political process that makes it easier for people, goods, ideas, and capital to travel around the world at an unprecedented pace Makes the world look and feel smaller Time-space compression : we are no longer slowed down by long distances and time differences People have access to any place, yet typically communicate within their communities Not everyone has access to technology - digital divide Globalization has been occurring since 16th century The Global and the Ethical Inherently neither good nor bad Ethical debates around globalization Protests in Egypt Occupy Wall Street Top-Down v. Bottom-Up Globalization Top-down : actions of groups promoting globalized capitalism and free trade Financial / businesses advocating for a world where capital can flow freely uninhibited by regulations / taxes Neoliberal economic policies : a retreat from state spending and regulation, focus on individual responsibility for one's own welfare, less protection for labours, and environment, privatization of state resources, faith in the power of the market and profit motive to create wealth Associated with United States - promotes neoliberalism From below : actions of groups that critique the injustices that result from globalization / expansion of global markets Many of these groups support particular types of globalization, using technology to organize Typically advocate democracy, environmental protection, and social justice Against neoliberal forms of globalization that put capital mobility, markets, and profits before people Differences in how to solve --> not a cohesive movement, but a broad framework with multiple positions Capitalists Go Global Rise of Financial Capital "casino capitalism" financial speculators stand to make / lose millions of dollars in short periods of time Facilitated by financial deregulation under neoliberalism Investor speculation makes financial systems unstable $ floods, creating 'bubble' that drives markets up which bursts when investors realize the market is overpriced relative to actual assets --> panic / recessions U.S. crisis --> international implications, everyone is affected Overcapacity and centralization Declining profits and overcapacity in the economy of goods and services --> Declining profits and overcapacity in the economy of goods and services --> can produce more than can purchase Transnational companies can't survive without diversifying into multiple goods in multiple countries, hence more mergers / consolidation Growth of corporate giants Corporations are bigger and more powerful than many governments Paying less taxes than ever Pressure government to lower tax rates by threatening to move Causes more wealth inequality Critics of corporate power Movements against sweatshops / child labour Some companies simply change names Voluntary good labour / environment practices Governments can't control corporations Are States Relevant in the Global World Democratic deficit : ordinary citizens are disenfranchised from the process of governance 3 sisters IMF established to maintain stability of international monetary system, requires Deregulate capital markets Remove price subsidies Decrease social spending Orient the economy towards exports Privatize state-run industries World Bank to make loans to help postwar reconstruction, required structural adjustment criteria to be met in order to grant loans --> undemocratic and severe WTO
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