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Eitzen - Ch 8 Notes.docx

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Chuck O' Connell

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Ch 8 - Structural Sources of Social Change Globalization and the structural transformation of economy Two fundamental turning points in human history Neolithic agricultural revolution - tools created and used; language more sophisticated, etc Industrial revolution - new energy sources for industry, changes to work, family rural → urban life U.S. in midst of new transformation - new technologies and applications Globalization - process by which everyone on Earth becomes increasingly interconnected economically, politically, culturally and environmentally Global trade → post WWII. NorthAmerican Free TradeAgreement (NAFTA), General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) increased flow of goods and jobs across borders Decisions based on what maximizes profits. Capital flight - movement of corporate money from one investment to another ex: Plants in other nations, relocation, mergers Offshoring - company moves its production to another country, producing same products with cheaper labour, lower taxes, lower benefits to workers Outsourcing - taking some specific task a company was doing in-house and transferring it to overseas company to save money Negative effects of outsourcing and offshoring U.S. Jobs exported Wages of production workers who have not lost their jobs remain low; employers threaten to move jobs elsewhere Workers’unions weakened Three roots of outsourcing Worldwide communications revolution spawned by the Internet Supply of workers in English speaking countries These workers willing to work for far less than the salary of U.S. workers Structural Transformation of Economy ex: agrarian → manufacturing From Manufacturing to Services Rate of change is unprecedented; manufacturing jobs on the decline Changing nature of jobs Schumpeter - “creative destruction” as capitalism mutates. Some sectors lose and others gain Ex: U.S. Steel on decline; Microsoft, Intel, Merck at apex of the nation Sunset industries - sectors of economy that will fade in importance or die outright Sunrise industries - characterized by increased output and employment Many blue collar jobs lost to automation Employer-employee relationship also changed - increase in temporary jobs Contingent employment - employees who work part-time, temp or contractors. Lower cost of employment Lack explicit contract for ongoing employment; sporadic wages Homeshoring / homesourcing - Independent contractors working from home Company saves money; convenient for employee Temporary jobs - temp workers not tied to an employer 60% of these jobs are low quality; pay less than reg. full-time jobs Job insecurity - Corporate America downsizing. Increased unemployment rate Benefits insecurity - corporations reducing benefits to workers Some declared bankruptcy to renege on their promises Two tiered benefits systems - those already working maintain benefits, but new workers get lower wages and fewer benefits Shift retirement plans from defined benefit to one based on employee invstmt Worker Compensation Wages declining; productivity increasing. ManyAmericans not making it financially. Working Poor - individuals in labour force at least 27 weeks in the year but w/ income below poverty level. Disproportionately women, single parents, minorities. New Poor - workers displaced by new tech, or jobs moved elsewhere More trapped in poverty; hard physical labour rarely needed Many lose jobs from plant closings or layoffs; cannot find other work Problems associated with economy and work are structural in origin; societal forces Transnationals minimize cost of labour but hurt U.S. labour. New Immigration and Changing Racial Landscape Immigration - movement of people across political boundaries Demographics - scientific study of the size composition and changes in human pop. New immigration - the current immigration; volume is relatively large. Racial landscape and rate of population growth greatly affected; primarily Latino or Asian. Immigration patterns. Four major waves historically 1790-1820 - English-speaking Britons 1840-1850s Irish and Germans (backlash against Catholics) 1880-1914 Southern and Eastern Europeans who found factory jobs 1965-now ImmigrationAct abandoned the quota system. arrivals from Third World 90% from non-European countries now; alteration in ethnic composition Recent immigrants tend to settle on the coasts and Southwest California is a harbinger of the demographic future of U.S. whites now a minority Immigration and Increasing Diversity Immigration accounts for large share of nation’s population growth White → multiracial society Consequences of the New Migration Do Immigrants Take Jobs from U.S. Citizens? They do have negative effects on the low-wage/low-skill/low-education workers primary losers are those without HS diplomas; Blacks and native born Hispanics Federal / state governments no longer provide welfare benefits to legal immigrants; non- immigrants have to find work, adding more competition Immigrants more likely to be self-employed than rest of population to be selfemployed Cheap, low-skilled labour holds down prices → economic growth Are Immigrants a Drain on Society’s Resources? Immigrants consume more in public services and benefits than they pay in taxes Rel. large families with children going to public school Low wages → little discretionary income They’re a good investment because over a lifetime an immigrant pays more than they receive in government benefits (federal level) However, state and local taxes paid by immigrants lw compared to services consumed Legal and illegal immigration adds to GDP because wages for jobs goes down, thus prices, increasing efficiency of economy Will Increasing Proportion of Non-Whites Lead to Blurring of Racial Lines or Racial Tension? New immigrants seen as a threat to those already in place Clustering of ethnic groups in certain areas tends to increase nonimmigrants’fears New immigrants seek che
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