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Impacts of globalisation on children’s lives and experiences

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1 Impacts of globalisation on children’s lives and experiences
IE 2B4 Children and Family in National and International Context Clotilde Giner 03/12/09

2 Overall introduction Two-week examination of the relationships between globalisation and childhood: 1st week: Confronting ideals of global childhood with reality 2nd week: Considering the effects of globalisation on children’s lives nationally and internationally Objective: Gain an awareness of how childhoods are changing from a global perspective 03/12/09

3 Outline A few definitions of globalisation
The different forms of globalisation and some of their impacts on children’s lives Two main questions considered during the lecture: Is globalisation (and its consequences) bringing children’s experiences and cultures closer to each other? Does it lead to the homogenisation of children’s lives? 03/12/09

4 Globalisation: some definitions
‘the removal of barriers to free trade and the closer integration of national economies’ (Stiglitz 2003: ix) ‘reductions in barriers to transworld contacts. People become more able – physically, legally, culturally, and psychologically – to engage with each other in ‘one world’. (Scholte 2002: 14) “a process that opens nation states to many influences that originate beyond their borders. These changes are likely to decrease the primacy of national economic, political, and social institutions, thereby affecting the everyday context in which children grow up and interact with the rest of society. (Kaufman and Rizzini 2002: 4) 03/12/09

5 Modern globalisation On-going debate on its historical origins
Existence of economic, political and cultural exchanges between national countries for centuries However, intensification of these processes due to new technologies, including ICTs  Countries have become more intertwined post WWII 03/12/09

6 Different types of globalisation:
Political globalisation = Increasing number of organisations which influence the world as a whole, e.g. the United Nations; The World Bank, etc Economic globalisation =  increasing occurrence, speed and intensity of production, trading and financial exchange Key role of trans-national corporations Cultural globalisation = growth in the exchange of cultural practices between nations and peoples 03/12/09

7 Economic globalisation
Increase in scale of international trade and investment from 1980s Growth in intensity in 1990s: Removal of barriers to international trade Opening up of economies to foreign investment Liberalisation of financial flows = Adoption of neo-liberal policies worlwide Key role of international governmental organisations and NGOs Generated unprecedented levels of wealth 03/12/09

8 Children and economic globalisation (Cornia 2001)
Uneven manifestation of globalisation and its impact on children’s lives Improvement in child well-being in countries with: Robust human and physical infrastructure Adequate social policies Prudent macroeconomic policies Free access to foreign markets 03/12/09

9 Indirect impacts on children (Katz 2004; Hart 2008)
Shift to a market economy leading to: Increase in wage-based employment Increased workload for women Children and young people having additional burden of responsibilities Key role of the income-earning woman in improving children’s health: allocating resources towards food 03/12/09

10 Economic globalisation: Mixed impacts on children’s lives in China (Aiguo and Zhong 2001)
Integration in the world economy from the late 1970s through deregulation and external liberalisation Decrease in child poverty rates in the 1990s and overall improvement of child well-being But important regional disparities in child well- being Comparative decline of government spending for social purposes from mid-1980s to late 1990s 03/12/09

11 Children left out of the global economy (Cornia 2001)
Unequal distribution of the gains in child well- being, mainly affecting: Children in large parts of the Global South Children in remote areas and in urban poor families in relatively successful countries Orphans/other children in AIDS-affected economies Refugee children and children affected by war Widening gaps in child well-being between the advantaged and the disadvantaged 03/12/09

12 “Global interaction, rather than insulated isolation, has been the basis of economic progress in the world. Trade, along with migration, communication, and dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge, has helped to break the dominance of rampant poverty and the pervasiveness of ‘nasty, brutish and short’ lives that characterized the world. And yet, despite all the progress, life is still severely nasty, brutish and short for a large part of the world population. The great rewards of globalized trade have come to some, but not to others.” Amartya Sen, Foreword, Make Trade Fair, Oxfam 2002, 03/12/09

13 Children and political globalisation
High number of governmental and non- governmental organisations involved with children, e.g. UNICEF, Save the Children, Committee on the Rights of the Child UNCRC = expression of the political globalisation Millenium Development Goals: new objectives to harness globalisation 03/12/09

14 Millenium Development Goals
Millenium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations to ensure that "globalization becomes a positive force“ (UNESCO 2006) Global partnership for development in developing countries aiming to alleviate the adverse impact of globalisation 03/12/09

15 MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education
Major accomplishments made in education Enrolment in primary education increased from 83% in to 88% in 2007 Most of the progress in regions lagging the furthest behind: Increase by 15% in sub-Saharan Africa Increase by 11% in Southern Asia Still important inequalities in education based on gender, ethnicity and geographical location 03/12/09

16 MDG 4: Reduce child mortality
Steady decline of deaths of children under five worldwide — from 12.6 in 1990 to around 9 million in 2007, despite population growth. Recent improvements in Sub-Saharan countries: -Distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to fight against malaria -Second chance’ immunizations to fight against measles. 03/12/09

17 Cultural globalisation
Growth of cross-cultural contacts and exchanges of practices between nations Facilitated by political and economic globalisation Key role of new technologies, e.g. Television, mass telecommunications, the internet Travel, immigration and cultural diversity as both resulting from and enhancing cultural globalisation 03/12/09

18 Children and cultural globalisation
New socio-technical systems of communication Information, values and images that most children routinely engage with, esp. through television Childhood culture is becoming more homogenised as the same products, for example toys, games and clothes, become available everywhere However, many children in the world still do not have television in their homes, and books are rarities. 03/12/09

19 Children and global commercial culture
Children as participants in a commercial market, involved in a culture of consumption (Lindstrom) An average child in the United States, Australia and the UK sees between 20-40,000 commercials a year Strong personal power and influence over parental purchasing choices Global ‘Brands’ (a few examples) Accessories, Toys and media content Food and drinks Celebrities LEGO / Barbie Coca-Cola / Pepsi Britney Spears Disney Starbucks Hannah Montana Wii/Game Boy/Playstation McDonalds Rihanna 03/12/09

20 Children’s global consumer culture: myth or reality?
Great levels of inequality and uneven distribution of globalisation Creation of global children’s desires But no standardised access to global consumer culture: Children’s global consumer culture still only a ‘project’: not available to all children, esp. in large parts of the Global South (Langer 2003) But increasing penetration – see Mcintyre (Langer 2003) 03/12/09

21 Cultural globalisation: media
The proliferation and globalisation of media are among the key factors that have shaped and defined the current generation of young people. (Unicef survey 2004) Presenting opportunities and risks according to Unicef survey 2004: Opportunities: broadens children's outlooks and provide more equal access to information Risks: cultural identification and values. 03/12/09

22 Cultural globalisation: media
Debates on the impact of media globalisation (Buckingham 2007) 1. Global media as agents of cultural homogenisation? (Morley and Robins 1995) 2. A process of accelerated exclusion and marginalisation of large parts of the South? (Nyamnjoh 2002) 3. A new form of ‘hybridity’ based on the merging of global media forms with local traditions and idioms – greater diversity? (de Block and Buckingham 2007) 03/12/09

23 1. Cultural homogenisation?
A synchronisation of tastes and habits Globalisation of children’s programme production and animation (Westcott 2002) = Three American TV companies producing half of the world’s children’s programmes In Britain, Ofcom called in 2007 for a national debate on the future of children’s TV in Britain Global domination of American culture at the expense of traditional diversity?  Views on Disney (Buckingham 2001) 03/12/09

24 2. Accelerated exclusion (Nyamnjoh 2002)
Media as a great luxury for most children in Africa No access to media content for most children in rural areas or poor urban families In the case of elite African children: consumption of media targeted at children in affluent countries – second hand consumption 03/12/09

25 3. A hybrid children’s culture
Global and local components: “glocalisation” While the objects of children’s desires are global, they are consumed locally (Langer 2003) Pokémon (Tobin 2002): Dominating children’s consumption worldwide from 1996 to 2000 Success based on adaptation to local traditions and idioms = localising process But differences in access to (localised) Pokémon Teletubbies (Buckingham 2007) 03/12/09

26 3. A hybrid children’s culture
Children’s media reception taking place in a particular context Endowing contents with local meanings Children able to use and interpret media content selectively (Buckingham 2007) Possible for children to assume multiple identifications that draw from different cultural repertoires, depending on the context 03/12/09

27 Cultural globalisation: conclusion
Global engagement does not mean homogenisation Mitigated by local contexts and children’s agency, i.e. the extent to which children can participate in determining the frameworks within which they live Child as a competent social being who has the capacity to think critically about advertisement and media contents 03/12/09

28 Harnessing economic globalisation for children (Cornia 2001)
A child-friendly economic policy A new pattern of globalization that is socially just and fair Permanent observatory monitoring the impact of mainstream economic policies on child rights Regulation of privatised utilities (water, sanitation, electricity, telecommunications) to ensure universal access to these goods 03/12/09

29 Taking advantage of cultural globalisation
Child advocacy: Need for more effective use of the vast positive potential of mass media and new technologies to advocate for, and enrich the lives of, children and young people worldwide. 03/12/09

30 Seminar Impact of globalisation on your life as a child (as compared to your parents’ life as children), your children’s life/any child you know or have met (as compared to your life as children) ! Think in terms of: Means of communication (incl. with family and friends abroad) Life patterns (migration, studies abroad, travel..) Work /Economic situation Consumption patterns (food/drinks, accessories, toys, clothes, TV content) 03/12/09

31 Assignment Has globalisation led to the standardisation of children's lives across the world? Different steps: Approach of the question (definition of the words, etc) Development of an argumentation informed by readings, lecture notes, discussion and your own opinion! Provision of examples to support your arguments Writing of a structured assignment, with introduction and conclusion 03/12/09

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