SOC101 NOTES- Globalization
Globalization: social, economic and political process that makes it easier for people, goods,
ideas, and capital to go around the world at an unprecedented pace. It makes the world look
and feel smaller and involves a process of peripheralization that marginalizes certain groups.
Globalization as a process means it is neither inherently good nor bad, and has real impact on
environment and every single person in different ways.
Virtual communities: people share interests and meet primarily on the internet.
Digital divide: inequality of access to globalization/means of communication (phone, internet,
Top-down globalization: actions of groups promoting globalized capitalism and free trade.
Neoliberalism: retreat from state spending and regulation; focus on individual responsibility for
one’s own welfare; less protection for labour and environment; privatization of state resources;
faith in the power of the market and profit motive to create wealth.
Globalization from below: actions of groups that criticize the injustices that result from
globalization processes (neoliberalism), the expansion of global markets and the powerful
influence of transnational corporations and US government, but not opposed to globalization;
not a cohesive movement and more broad framework that has multiple perspectives (moderate
critiques of neoliberalism, radical anti-capitalist positions, various forms of anarchism, armed
peasant uprisings and fair-trade coffee projects); advocate more democracy, sustainability and
Outsourcing: occurs when firms contract production and services to smaller, independent
firms. When it occurs on a global level, multinational corporations contract production to firms in
less developed countries. Corporations usually moving jobs from one labour market to cheaper
Sub-employment/working poor: workers work but are poorly paid, unstable, nonunionized and
fails to lift workers about the poverty line.
“Financial capital”: money used for investment and currency trading.
Overcapacity: global corporations (TNCs) are producing more things than what consumers can
afford to purchase.
Centralization: corporations have merged to stay competitive.
Corporations have become more powerful than many national governments because of their
larger economic entities in the world and annual revenue (109 corporations are of the largest
175 economies of the world). They play nation-states off one another, pressuring governments
to lower tax rates by threatening to move production to a more favourable location.
Critics of corporate power (No Logo, Adbusters): reacted to the global corporations’ labour
practices, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and relationships with military-industrial
complex operating in Iraq. In turn, corporations have changed their names and grow their
movement for social responsibility. Democratic deficit: ordinary citizens are disenfranchised from process of governance.
Supra-national organizations: put pressure on nations to deregulate capital markets, remove
price subsidies, decrease social spending, orient economy toward exports, and privatize state-
run industries (adopt neoliberal policies)
The Three Sisters: International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization.
Power gap between and within states: “first world” comprised the wealth capitalist countries,
“second world” comprised communist bloc countries, and “third world” comprised the rest. Now,
the “third world” comprises disparate assortment of nations that don’t necessarily share
common traits, “second world” has collapsed, and widespread poverty exists even in the “first
world”. Another distinction is made by “majority world” for poor countries that lack basic social
goods and “minority world” for countries that are well educated and has access to good jobs and
public goods. The “fourth world” are the marginalized populations and regions where the global
economy operates independently and are not competitive in the global economy; only a portion
of the world’s states a