Globalization: The Human Consequences

Columbia University Press, 1998 - 136 páginas
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The word "globalization" is used to convey the hope and determination of order-making on a worldwide scale. It is trumpeted as providing more mobility -- of people, capital, and information -- and as being equally beneficial for everyone. With recent technological developments -- most notably the Internet -- globalization seems to be the fate of the world. But no one seems to be in control. As noted sociologist Zygmunt Bauman shows in this detailed history of globalization, while human affairs now take place on a global scale, we are not able to direct events; we can only watch as boundaries, institutions, and loyalties shift in rapid and unpredictable ways. Who benefits from the new globalization? Are people in need assisted more quickly and efficiently? Or are the poor worse off than ever before? Will a globalized economy shift jobs away from traditional areas, destroying time-honored national industries? Who will enjoy access to jobs in the new hierarchy of mobility?

From the way the global economy creates a class of absentee landlords to current prison designs for the criminalized underclass, Bauman dissects globalization in all its manifestations: its effects on the economy, politics, social structures, and even our perceptions of time and space. In a chilling analysis, Bauman argues that globalization divides as much as it unites, creating an ever-widening gulf between the haves and the have-nots. Rather than the hybrid culture we had hoped for, globalization is creating a more homogenous world.

Drawing on the works of philosophers, social historians, architects, and theoreticians such as Michel Foucault, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Alfred J. Dunlap, and Le Corbusier, Globalization presents a historical overview of the methods employed to create and define human spaces and institutions, from rural villages to sprawling urban centers. Bauman shows how the advent of the computer translates into the decline of truly public space. And he explores the dimensions of a world in which -- through new technologies -- time is accelerated and space is compressed, revealing how we have arrived at our current state of global thinking. Bauman's incisive methods of inquiry make Globalization an excellent antidote to the exuberance expressed by those who stand to benefit from the new pace and mobility of the modern life.


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Página 1 - globalized' means much the same to all who 'globalized' are. All vogue words tend to share a similar fate: the more experiences they pretend to make transparent, the more they themselves become opaque. The more numerous are the orthodox truths they elbow out and supplant, the faster they turn into no-questions-asked canons.
Página 2 - unequal. Some of us become fully and truly 'global'; some are fixed in their 'locality' - a predicament neither pleasurable nor endurable in the world in which the 'globals' set the tone and compose the rules of the life-game. Being local in a globalized world is a sign of social deprivation and degradation.
Página 2 - for others; signalling a new freedom for some, upon many others it descends as an uninvited and cruel fate. Mobility climbs to the rank of the uppermost among the coveted values - and the freedom to move, perpetually a scarce and unequally distributed commodity, fast becomes the main stratifying factor of our late-modern or postmodern times.
Página 3 - An integral part of the globalizing processes is progressive spatial segregation, separation and exclusion. Neo-tribal and fundamentalist tendencies, which reflect and articulate the experience of people on the receiving end of globalization, are as much legitimate offspring of globalization as the widely acclaimed 'hybridization' of top culture - the culture at the globalized top.

Referências a este livro

Globalization: A Critical Introduction
Jan Aart Scholte
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Sobre o autor (1998)

Zygmunt Bauman is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Leeds and the University of Warsaw. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty, Consuming Life, Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? and The Art of Life.

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