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SOC101 NOTES- Globalization.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Christian O.Caron

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, etc.) 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 equality. 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 labour market. 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
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