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Chapter 16: Globalization in a Changing World

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1 Chapter 16: Globalization in a Changing World
Throughout this course we’ve examined a host of social institutions. Among other perspectives, we’ve asked each time: How is this related to globalization? Now it is time for me to focus directly on globalization itself. Chapter 16: Globalization in a Changing World

2 Let’s start with one of the more vibrant examples of globalization: 2011’s Arab Spring. Here you see images from six different countries that experienced mass uprisings: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain. Three of these succeeded in unseating unpopular, authoritarian regimes (Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya), while the others resulted in sending a clear message that things had to change. As of July 2012, Syria continues its violent internal battle, which has world leaders in frequent discussions about how to respond to ongoing, deadly conflict. But what do these revolutions have to do with globalization? Well, for one thing ,they appear almost contagious. Just look at the proximity of these nations to each other and how unrest was spreading across borders. But also consider how much the rest of the world knew as these countries sought to free themselves. With the exception of a few countries that restricted internet access (namely China), people the world over were keeping up with and getting involved in these democratic movements. Another way of thinking about this is that we must acknowledge the role of changing technologies—especially communication and information technologies—in the spread of social movements—globalization at work.

3 The big issues Defining globalization
Connecting globalization to modernity and major social change Examining social movements: what they are and how they are global Exploring which social forces lead to increased globalization So now I’ll begin by defining and describing globalization: what it is, who and what are part of it, and so on. Then I will spend some time unpacking the relationship between modernity and globalization, as well as social change more broadly. To understand one of the ways in which social change occurs, I’ll also talk about social movements. I will then turn to some of the other factors that have—in many different ways and to differing degrees—influenced globalization.

4 Globalization and social change
Globalization is the process through which the world is increasingly connected and interdependent. At level of individuals, groups, organizations, states, and so on This process is largely associated with economic and political change. In the modern period, globalization has accelerated rapidly. Globalization is a process through which the world is increasingly connected and interdependent. This interdependence happens at all levels: individual, national, corporate, and everything in between. Although globalization surely touches all aspects of social life—at least to some degree—it has long been most closely associated with changes in markets and in politics and political relationships. Increasingly it is also associated with changes in communication and information technologies, à la the kinds of global input into the Arab Spring, as we just discussed. What we know for sure is that globalization sped up dramatically along with the various changes associated with modernity. 4

5 Linking globalization and social change
Responding to environmental factors Emergence of the political state New communication technologies Religious pluralism and the need for tolerance Expansion of industrial capitalism What kinds of social change are related to globalization? To name but a few, increased rationality in the public sphere, the emergence of the nation-state as the dominant political form, tolerance of those who live and believe differently, and the dominance of the so-called free market. Perhaps as important as global markets have been the new communication technologies, which seemingly move ahead continuously. All of these modern factors, along with others not listed, contribute to the process of globalization. 5

6 What follows modern society?
Postindustrial society: Knowledge and service become the primary products. Postmodernity: A rupture with core understandings of history and belief—no central narratives, only diversity One of the questions that has come with the continued expansion of globalization and regular social change in other, more particular spheres of life, is: Are we now moving out of the modern period? The obvious corollary to that is to ask: If we are, what follows modernity? There appear to be two strong competitors in the marketplace of ideas regarding what follows modern society. The first is the notion of the postindustrial society. Those arguing this position, alternatively called the knowledge society or information society, claim that in place of manufactured goods, service, and knowledge are now the primary products coming out of developed societies. The second is the idea of postmodernity, which argues that there is no more central narrative (even the idea of postmodernity is wrong in this sense). Rather, there are multiple stories and histories and beliefs; there is only plurality without truth.

7 The “Geek Squad,” a company founded by Robert Stephens
in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and later purchased by the Best Buy retail chain, provides consumer computer support and technical repairs. © 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc.

8 Social movements and social change
Collective action is a factor in social change. Many movements today—including the anti-globalization movement—are global in scope. We now have new social movements, which are less goal-oriented and more identity-oriented. There are, of course, many kinds of social change and many paths to social change. One that sociologists have developed into a subfield is that of social movements. What are social movements? Social movements are collective efforts to make change happen (or conversely, to prevent change from happening). While many such movements are local, many today are global in scope. Examples of local (or regional or national) social movements we can consider could be things like protests against redistricting schools or voting districts. An example of a current global social movement is the fair-trade movement, which emphasizes attention to human rights and ecological preservation over—or at least in parity with—economic gain in global markets. Today, we also have what are being called new social movements. These are movements that are less associated with discrete goals and more with the construction of identities and the improvement of private life for stakeholders. Examples include the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement. It is not that goals are not involved, but rather that the change being sought is broader than that. 8

9 Approaches to social movements
Economic deprivation Resource mobilization Structural strain Fields of action In studying social movements, sociologists have identified at least three avenues for analysis: 1. Economic deprivation is an approach to social movements based on classic Marxian logic: poverty and class conflict lead to social change. The problem is that this hasn’t always happened, as the theory would anticipate. James Davies offered a correction that it is not absolute deprivation that leads to revolutionary behavior, but relative deprivation. People see what those around them have and frustration grows. 2. Resource mobilization theory breaks down the likelihood of social change by saying that change depends on four factors: organization, mobilization, goals, and opportunity. This approach comes from the historical sociology of Charles Tilly. Structural strain sees social movements as responses to particular social situations, rather than general unhappiness. Social movements in this approach—popularized by Neil Smelser—are more targeted. 9

10 Modern technology and social movements
Use of the Internet for organization and fundraising Speeds up the process with instant information and response Allows for fast coordination of events like rallies, protests, and so on Could indicate a shift in power One major change that has been taking place with the advent of the Internet is a major shift in how social movements actually work. , cell phones, Twitter, and Facebook have all facilitated the near-instant ability to organize and mobilize those with shared interests in collective action. Some thinkers are wondering (perhaps hoping?) that this is indicative of a shift in power away from the traditional authority figures and bureaucracies to something more democratic. Think again about the results of the Arab Spring in at least three nations, Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, which have since all held democratic elections. What easy access to the Internet has done is open up the flow of not only support, but of money and of planning. Protests were often organized in no small part via social networking technologies, though the actual running of new democracies cannot be managed in the same way. 10

11 What makes globalization?
Economic factors Transnational corporations Integrated financial markets Global flow of information and communication Over 2 billion Internet users worldwide in spring 2011 Aside from social movements, what else has contributed to globalization? The three big contributors are economic factors, the increasing flows of information, and the political changes of the late 1980s onward. In the economic realm, the growth and highly bureaucratic nature of transnational corporations and integrated financial markets have gone a long, long way in influencing the process of globalization. As countries share businesses and business models, interdependence (not necessarily equality) is virtually assured. At the same time, as I suggested when talking about social movements, the ease with which information and communication flow makes those kinds of economic relationships that much simpler and smoother. This is not to suggest that global business is a breeze, only that we now have the tools to make it possible in real time. What we also know is that there are now over 2 billion people using the Internet, which is almost twice the number of just five years ago. With such high usage, it is hard to deny the massive levels of global information flows.

12 What makes globalization?
Political changes Fall of communist regimes Rise of IGOs and INGOs Rising importance of international coalitions (the European Union, United Nations, etc.) The political changes of the past twenty years have also played a major role in facilitating global connectivity. The fall of communist regimes meant an end to a world with two political and economic poles. Capitalist markets have won out, as have global coalitions of governmental and nongovernmental organizations and international coalitions. This means that by and large there is more diplomacy than before, though there remain forces that wish to muddy the waters between Western societies and the Muslim world. These forces exist on both sides, and where they will lead remains a mystery.

13 Globalization in everyday life
1. IKEA furniture ______________ 2. Wii games ______________ 3. H&M fashions ______________ 4. L’Oréal shampoos or beauty products ______________ 5. Samsung cell phone or PDA ______________ 6. Molson beer ______________ 7. Birkenstock sandals ______________ 8. Diesel jeans ______________ 9. Apple iPhone ______________ 10. American Express credit card ______________ [Ask: How many of you use the following items regularly? Do you know where they are from?]

14 Globalization in everyday life
IKEA: founded in Sweden, now owned by a Dutch foundation Wii: MNC in Kyoto, Japan H&M: Swedish company L’Oréal: Paris suburb Samsung cell or PDA: Seoul, South Korea Molson beer: Montreal, Canada [Read these.]

15 Globalization in everyday life
7. Birkenstock sandals: Germany 8. Diesel jeans: Molvena, Italy 9. Apple iPhone: established in California, parts from China 10. American Express: New York City [Read these and ask if students can think of other examples of “global products.”] 15

16 The globalization debate
There are three main positions: Skeptics Hyperglobalizers Transformationalists In public discourse dealing with globalization, there are three basic positions. There are the skeptics, who would diminish the significance and historical uniqueness of globalization. They see the differences as a matter of degree, not substance, and in fact some skeptics claim that if anything, the world is less integrated than at some times in the past. There are the hyperglobalizers, who take what is sometimes called a strong position on globalization. The hyperglobalizers see globalization as a radical break that will produce a totally new world order. Finally, there are the transformationalists, who take a middle position. These thinkers argue that while globalization does represent something new, links to the past remain in place. 16

17 Table 16.2 Conceptualizing Globalization: Three Tendencies
© 2013 W. W. Norton Co., Inc.

18 How we feel about globalization
Increasing need to construct our identities Significant shifts in work and family life Ubiquity of Western—especially American—popular culture When we talk about globalization, it can feel very far away. Because of this it is important to consider how it actually affects us; otherwise, it is easy to dismiss its importance in our own lives. Part of what happens as a result of globalization affects us all as individuals. Globalization, at least to a significant degree, represents a shift away from traditionalism. What this means is that the guideposts that once helped direct us in terms of our identities and beliefs are no longer as present or powerful. Today we are left to construct our own identities to a much greater degree than has long been the case. Globalization has also led to major changes in the work life, and as a result in family life. The global labor force is less certain, less permanent, and as a result, one change has been the full-blown entry of women into the labor force. Not surprisingly, this has all kinds of effects on how family life is conducted, with dual-earners now representing the majority of families. A third way we can envision globalization is in thinking about the ubiquity of Western popular culture. Our pop culture icons are also icons in the far reaches of sub-Saharan Africa, in Asia, and in Europe. Perhaps as globalization expands, there will be more reciprocity, but that would involve shifts in power structures. 18

19 Risk in a global world Manufactured risk versus external risk
Potentially devastating consequences Urbanization and industrialization Pollution Global warming Nuclear power Bioengineered food Others ways that globalization touches our lives can be seen by looking at risk. In today’s world, risk is at least as likely to be manufactured as it is to be external. Manufactured risk is that which is the result of human action and technology, while external risk is that which is the result of nonhuman, natural threats—storms, famine, drought, and so on. Manufactured risks have potentially—thought not definitely—devastating consequences. As I discussed earlier in the term, urbanization and industrialization bring with them a host of concerns: pollution, global warming, nuclear power, and bioengineered foods. Some of these have known negative consequences, while others, in our uncertainty about them, bring about fear (here we can think about bioengineered foods and global warming, in particular). Needless to say, when we think explicitly about the risks associated with globalization, it does bring a distant process closer to home.

20 Global inequality Wealth increasingly concentrated in the developed world Poorest 40 percent of global population = 5 percent of global income Richest 10 percent = 54 percent of global income Global markets have exacerbated this problem: the gap between rich and poor is growing. A quite different way of thinking about globalization is to look at global inequality. Given sociology’s concern with inequality more broadly, this seems an important way to wrap up. What we know is that wealth is dramatically concentrated in the developed world. The richest 10 percent of the global population earns 54 percent of global income, while the bottom 40 percent earns just 5 percent of global income. This is a huge disparity, and the problem is that the gap is actually growing as globalization expands. An equally startling figure is that in 2010, the richest country in the world had a GDP 1,234 times larger than the poorest (see p. 540 in text). On its own, that may be difficult to think about, but less than 10 years ago (2001), the difference was 173 to 1. In nine years that gap has grown by a factor of nearly 10. The problem is that worsening poverty in the developing world will not only be devastating to the poorest countries and their populations, in a global world it will affect us all.

21 The Widening Gap Between Richer and Poor Countries, 1800 to 2008
Infographic exercises: Which country had the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 1800? In 2010? What is the difference in GDP per capita in the United States from 1800 to 2010? Which country has experienced a decrease in their GDP per capita from 1800 to 2010? What conclusion can you draw from looking at the different colored rings representing the years from 1800 through 2010? Note: GDP for South Africa from 1911; data not available SOURCE: 2009 World Bank 2011C. 21

22 The Widening Gap Between Richer and Poorer Countries, 1800 to 2010 22
1980 1950 1900 1800 GDP PER CAPITA * 1800 2010 USA $1,343 $47,184 Japan $896 $43,137 Germany $1,643 $40,509 Republic of Korea $740 $20,767 Brazil $509 $10,710 South Africa $759 $7,275 Low income countries China $992 $4,393 Medium income countries Egypt $748 $2,699 Pakistan $665 $1,007 High income countries Dem. Rep. of Congo $394 $199 MEDIAN GDP PER CAPITA * 2010 U.S. $ $40K Note: GDP for South Africa from 1911; 1900 data not available $20K $0K 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 SOURCE: World Bank 2011C. 22

23 Does free trade help? Many INGOs believe free trade will reduce global inequality. Critics argue that a global justice movement that pushes for trade organized around protecting rights and resources is needed. So what can we do to attempt to minimize this massive global inequality? Many large international nongovernmental organizations continue to push for free trade, arguing that open markets will eventually help the poor. Scholars and activists largely reject this model, claiming that free markets are not totally free and in fact are currently structured in ways that favor wealthy, developed nations. Some critics of free trade argue that without debt relief, many of the poorest countries have no real way to get out of an ongoing cycle of borrowing while attempting to attract investors with low-tax, low-labor protection deals. Other critics argue that we need an entirely different approach, focused not on economics but on global justice. This perspective seeks world trade organized on the principles of human rights, while protecting natural resources, labor, and local economies. Thinkers who reject a purely market-based approach to trade have made the observation that we seem to be living our lives within economies, not societies. To them, this is a problem to be addressed. 23

24 Chapter 16: Globalization in a Changing World
Globalization, then, is both a far-away and a close-to-home phenomenon. It seems to further complicate life for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, while simultaneously presenting the possibility of a different, brighter future. Clearly, it is a topic that we will all be addressing over the decades to come.

25 Clicker Questions 1. Social change is the transformation over time of a. revolution. b. the institutions and culture of society. c. social movements. d. collective behavior. Answer: b Feedback: How Does Globalization Affect Social Change? p Social change can be defined as the transformation over time of the institutions and culture of a society. Globalization has accelerated the pace of social change. 25

26 Clicker Questions 2. Which of the following is considered a cultural factor in social change? a. political organization b. religion c. environmental conditions d. industrial capitalism Answer: b Feedback: How Does Globalization Affect Social Change? pp. 513–514. Religion has acted as both a brake and a driving force on social change.

27 Clicker Questions 3. What factor helps to explain the rise of new social movements over the past few decades? a. Traditional political institutions are increasingly ignoring a whole set of new threats, ranging from environmental crises to genetically modified organisms, because they are unable to cope with the challenges of trying to find solutions to them. b. People today feel less isolated than in the past and are more willing to join movements. c. Because these new movements are so focused on the economics and politics of globalization, people from around the world are drawn to them. d. People today feel more entitled and bold when it comes to challenging the government. Answer: a Feedback: What Are Social Movements? pp. 521–522. The rise of new social movements in recent years is a reflection of the changing risks facing human societies, such as the inability of political institutions to cope with the challenges before them.

28 Clicker Questions 4. When it comes to debates on globalization, Joaquin believes that present levels of economic interdependence are not unprecedented and that the growth of regionalization is evidence that the world economy has become less rather than more integrated. To which school of thought does Joaquin belong? a. skeptics b. transformationalists c. hyperglobalizers d. individualists Answer: a Feedback: What Factors Contribute to Globalization? pp. 530–531. Skeptics argue that the dominant feature of globalization is that present levels of economic interdependence are not unprecedented; the growth of regionalization is evidence that the world economy has become less rather than more integrated.

29 Clicker Questions 5. Globalization has many consequences. Next to mounting ___________ problems, the expansion of inequalities within and between societies is one of the most serious challenges facing the world at the start of the twenty-first century. a. ecological b. communication c. political d. individual Answer: a Feedback: How Does Globalization Affect Your Life? p The expansion of inequalities within and between societies and growing ecological problems are the most serious challenges facing the world at the start of the twenty-first century.

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