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Social Problems Within the Rise of Globalization, Term Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1619

Term Paper

With the onslaught of the technology revolution, the problems arising from the spread of globalization are now being played out on a global stage for the world to see. A clash between the need to accommodate the increase in population with the need to sustain local culture creates a rise in social issues and problems within developing communities. Amongst these emergent issues, there is an urgent need for acquiescence between the powering ideologies of economic development and cultural preservation.  A conflict that is no stranger to other countries who rode the tide of industrialization and economic expansion, the world is able to see the impact of this revolution upon its underdeveloped countries. Several questions continuously arise for countries that are privy to these types of situations and conflicts. Are these social troubles stemming from globalization limited specifically to the countries in which they occur, or are they subsequently problems that belong to the global community as a whole? The definition of globalization itself is a term that has become completely subjective to its interpreter. Is globalization a positive or negative force? Does it have a mission, and if so, is it successful in its implementation?

The argument of whether or not globalization can be considered a positive or negative influence is actually contingent on how the country chooses to respond to globalization’s reach within the country’s national borders. An honest awareness of the impact it is having or could have upon a nation is what should be taken into consideration before embracing or challenging its potential influence. According to chapter 9 of the text “Globalization – The Transformation of Social Worlds” by Eitzen and Zinn, several examples are given to prove the theory that globalization is, in fact, a detriment to the world’s society as a whole. The three focal arguments dictate that globalization has allowed for the capitalization and expansion of transnational crime, worker exploitation and environmental degradation.

Beginning with the argument that through globalization, transnational crime has been expounded upon and subsequently increased, there are several avenues which can be observed for both the defense and negation of this statement. The type of transnational crime that was listed: multinational bank fraud and deception, drug peddling, terrorism, and child pornography which are very real problems that exist throughout many countries. Because of the access that the internet has granted to more people than previously were reachable through ordinary means such as land or sea travel, these problems have unquestionably increased exponentially. However, these issues were already in existence as a result of the corruption of a group of individuals in possession of mental sickness or turpitude. These problems would have abounded amongst cultures regardless of the accessibility to certain information and resources.

This same argument can also be used in regards to the allegations that globalization had a serious effect with the exploitation of workers through manufacturing workshops (sweatshops), the sex trade industry, and indentured servitude. While slavery in the sense of permanent service and labor without the possibility for freedom has become virtually nonexistent, arguments from the text allege that slavery in other forms have subsequently erupted and spread. As with the assertion regarding the increased ability to commit transnational crime, so it stands to say that globalization has only exacerbated the crisis. While globalization provided an avenue with which these issues could readily expand, they are byproducts of a previous type of industrialization and capitalism mindset that had already pervaded the areas.

However, a significant and serious side effect of globalization allowing for the capitalization of the sex trade and drug trafficking industries is the rapid spread of infectious diseases throughout the countries which exploit these businesses. With the increased demand for dangerous drugs on top of gateway drugs spreading significantly through underdeveloped countries, diseases such as Hepatitis and AIDS are on the rise. With no known cure for either, the epidemic is spiraling out of control and as the demand increases, so does the list of infected persons. Both diseases are also prevalent amongst purveyors of the sex trade industry, both for the girls involved as well as for those partaking in these traded favors. Even the most common sexually transmitted diseases that do possess cures or treatments are only available in limited quantities. While globalization has brought about the discovery of treatment medications, it has also exacerbated the cause of the health problems themselves.

Also in the Eitzen and Zinn text, specifically within Chapter 7, it discusses the impact of globalization and its impact on gender roles within global societies. Eitzen and Zinn make the correct determination that historically, throughout all of the world’s cultures, women have been predisposed to a role subservient to males. As a result of this, the gender struggle is something that is frequently displaced with the revolution of technology and new ideologies. True to precedent, women were specifically impacted in the increase and accessibility of the sex trade across transnational boarders. Because of the traditional role that women take in many underdeveloped societies, women bear the brunt of responsibility of assuming the role of becoming the mode of gratification and sexual servitude. Consequentially, they are the group that is most affected by the subsequent health problems that result from the increasing demand and trade of children and women.

Additionally, the displaced and submissive role that women have typically been placed into, women bought and sold within the slave trade are not always relegated there by force. Because of extreme poverty, many young girls and even children as well as women offer themselves into this market in an effort to make money to provide a more solid foundation for themselves and their families. For the price of financial security, women who willingly enter into this illicit type of industry find themselves in dire situations, essentially entering into positions of indentured servitude as well as sex slavery. The conundrum in which they subsequently find themselves as a result of the accessibility of people looking to engage in this underground activity perpetuates their economic state and makes escape almost inconceivable.

Possibly the most serious, significant and immediate threat to not only local areas but the global community is the assertion that globalization has had a significant role in degradation of the environment. The irrefutable truth of this is seen in virtually every country on earth. The lessons of the overcrowding and air pollution of India and China do not go unnoticed; in the United States weather forecasts include smog advisories and potential acid levels in the rain. The deterioration of the ozone as a result of globalization and industrialization is still a hotly debated argument, but the existence of the ozone hole itself has already been scientifically proven.

With all of these problems that have been aggravated by the rapid span of globalization by virtue of the revolution of the internet and various methods of international travel, the real determinant as to the potential of cause of globalization can be seen through several theories. In particular relevance, the Dependency Theory explains globalization in the context of the exploitation of underdeveloped countries by the developed world. This theory would verify the allegations mentioned in Eitzen and Zinn’s text mentioned above, underlining the argument that dominant nations only create environments in which they can exploit and subsequently flourish. The most difficult feat of arguing this is actually proving it. There is little in the way of direct evidence that gives credence to the fact that global organizations intentionally select countries whose laws governing environmental maximization and colonization are virtually nonexistent. While this is not easy to provide, it does not mean it is not the case. Any type of methodology outside of an actual directive or regulation is hard to corroborate regarding international land marketing and strategy.

Regardless of whether or not globalization has actually been the direct instigator of a problem specific to a country or region, it is inarguable that to date globalization has definitely had an extremely large impact on the global community. Both positive and negative matters abound from the shared spread of ideas, cultures, industrialization and economic development. Because globalization is not specifically confined to an economic or social movement, the problems or benefits that have arisen as a result of its influence area innumerable. Especially when globalization is analyzed in the light of a type of social movement, whether or not it has effects that are conceived in an affirmative or critical light are specific to the country or culture which it has affected. The defining part that globalization plays in this light is the rate at which it encourages the change to happen. With negative effects also come positive effects. As a result of the ongoing technologic and scientific revolution, actions are already being taken to repair concrete damage that has been visibly done as a result of this global movement. In America, car manufacturers are slowly working towards replacing petrol based engine systems to electric power. Regarding the social effects it has on cultures will depend upon the importance the community puts on globalization’s role within society. Conversely, the potential changes can also depend on how the country decides to reject it. Despite the pace of growth, sociopolitical and economic change is inevitable. The best the world’s community can do is to learn from how it spread in the past to capitalize on globalization’s successes and prevent its mistakes.

References

Chanda, N. (2007, July 2). The double edge of globalization. Global Envision: the Confluence of Global Markets and Poverty Alleviation. http://www.globalenvision.org/library/8/1672

Grace, D. (2008). Stella, solidarity and sex workers: “communities” and social mobilization under globalization. Globalization. http://globalization.icaap.org/content/special/Grace.html

Ignatow, C. (2007, November 9). Globalization and environmental politics. The Encyclopedia of the Earth.  http://www.eoearth.org/article/Globalization_and_environmental_politics

Lechner, F. (2001-2002). Globalization debates. The Globalization Website. http://www.sociology.emory.edu/globalization/debates.html#meaning

Globalization101: a student’s guide to globalization. The Levin Institute. http://www.globalization101.org/

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