Thursday, April 27, 2017

Readings 9

This weeks readings revolved around the food industry. Food is a global trading market worth billions. These article displayed the good, the bad, and the ugly of what happens in the food industry and is the food we are even eating safe?

When reading the Food Miles article the first statement it makes is how the average amount of miles food travels is 1,500 before it is served to you. Being that it is a major thing that was brought to the light, the idea of local eating came about. To some it is more healthier and they believe they are helping their local farmers. The article also states how not all their statistics are 100% because the The U.S. Commodity Flow Survey ignores import/export data leaving out big corps. like Walmart who started purchasing directly from a supplier. Another argument is how the food  has so many chemicals in it. Chemicals to make it grow faster, chemicals from being transported, chemicals from the air it grows in. Locally grown food also hold these chemicals trying to compete, they add hormones to the food they grow to faster get it to the markets they sell it to. The Born and Purcell article argues that localized food may not be "fresher" due to the amount of resources they don't have compared to larger food distributers. The larger coorpertions can afford to keep the produce fresh as it is being transported because they can afford to keep the food refrigerated and rapid shipping methods.

In my opinion from these article it seems like no matter what you eat there is a downside whether it is large scale or local. Local eating is a good cause for your community in a sense because you are allowing your local farmers to obtain funds for the food they produce. Large scale may be the better choice health wise. Both of these food go through a lot before they are served and these articles are a real eye opener.


readings 9

Everyone has to eat. Thanks to globalization and technology, our choices - what foods we eat and where we get them from - are nearly unlimited. The consequences of these developments, however, can be both positive and negative. For example, the environmental ramifications of transporting food over long distances, mysterious food origins, artificially-grown produce, the disappearance of local cultural food traditions and ways of life - these concerns have led people to develop campaigns such as the local food movement.

The aim of local food is not necessarily to reduce the number of miles the food in one's diet has traveled, as this figure is too multifaceted to calculate and not inherently representative of any global impact. Motivations for participating in "locavore" are diverse, few of them having to do with literally minimizing or quantifying the distance their food has traveled. Some participants want to support local farmers and farming practices; others are most concerned about reducing emissions. Many proponents of local food express a desire simply to know where their food comes from. Because of globalization there is a certain mystery involved with food that comes from the grocery store - was your lettuce grown in the ground with pesticides, near a waste dump, or in the truck on the way to the store? Could your "organic" food have been picked using slave labor in a third-world country, or perhaps slaughtered in a factory farm? People want to know not only what they're eating but what practices they're enabling with their money. Community-supported agriculture is popular in the local food sphere because it allows people to directly participate in the production of their food and support local agriculture, physically as well as financially. Critics of the local food movement often cite the fallacy of the concept of "food miles," ignoring the complexity of the movement's actual goals.

There are, however, merits to food production and distribution on a global scale. The "local trap" refers to the misguided idea that local is always inherently more nutritious or better for the environment - this is not always the case. For example, produce grown in a hothouse locally is not necessarily better and actually produces more emissions than produce grown naturally and shipped from overseas. There are also economic benefits within the global food market. People often equate the globalization of food with the capitalization of food, and assume the appropriate reactionary measure is localization. However, globalization actually makes food more readily available to lower-income consumers, as well as stimulating the economies of third-world nations whose primary income is agriculture. Additionally, the technologies we use to produce and preserve food in a global market can, in fact, result in fresher, more nutritious food than crops grown completely naturally - and in higher quantities, ensuring that a greater percentage of the population is fed. Finally, while local food culture is important, it is not the only one that has to matter. Activists such as those within the slow food movement support the globalization of international foods and food traditions in order to protect overseas farmers' sustenance and way of life from destruction or simply fading into obscurity.

Yet globalization, particularly neoliberal globalization, can be the reason for the destruction of these traditions in the first place. In the case of the Indian neem tree, natives were found to be legally violating copyright law by using their own plants, as global organizations demanded that southern nations adhere to northern nations' patent law. The indigenous people have a long history with the plant and consider it a cure-all for various ailments - denying them access to something so fundamental to their culture is an abuse of the power of the global free market. The globalization of food is not always an issue, but the capitalization of food typically is.

Localization and globalization are not mutually exclusive. Not only do both camps have their place, they are both necessary to increase the well-being of the individual and the environment. The local food movement helps small farmers to stay on their land, and increases public knowledge about where food comes from. The global food movement has the potential to provide more people with better food at lower costs. The potential of both measures is maximized when they are used to the benefit of the greater population rather than the benefit of corporations alone.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Readings 9

In this weeks e-reserve readings we learned a little bit about patents, food production, and just how they both affect us and the world around us. Patents have always been something that have fascinated me, but certainly not in a good way. It never made much sense to me that people, specifically very powerful corporations, have the ability to "patent" something that is naturally produced from the earth. While many people may not be aware of this, most pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants in the rainforest, plants that indigenous communities have been using for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. But using these plants for medicinal purposes isn't enough for these companies, so they try to patent them. To indigenous people, this makes no sense because these communities never try to "own" things that come from nature, they belong to us all. This is where using natural resources from another country becomes a problem, when it becomes more of an exploitation situation rather than one that is trying to benefit people. That is exactly what we see with the Neem tree in India. The indigenous populations of India were the ones to discover all of the medicinal properties of the Neem tree, yet seem to get none of the credit for it. Like the article mentioned, the West ignored the Neem tree and other eastern medicinal practices for a long time, but when people started becoming a little more health conscious, they realized it was worth studying. And yet again, using the Indian cure-all tree to make products for westerners was not enough, they had to patent it. This caused much uproar and rightfully so, no human being or corporation should have the rights to anything that occurs in nature. It's not right and I firmly believe there should never be ownership when it comes to our natural resources.

The next article titled, "Food miles, etc" had me a little bit worried when I first started reading. This being that I have knowledge on just how much the transportation sector affects greenhouse gas emissions, and it's a lot less than most people would think. The entire world's transportation sector, meaning every car, train, plane, etc, on the planet only accounts for 13% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions compared to the whopping 51% that is produced from animal agriculture alone. So I had to call bullsh*t on the whole "eating locally to reduce your emissions" spiel. However, as I started reading more I noticed they actually did mention a vegan diet which I can't lie, made me feel quite warm and fuzzy on the inside. They argued that changing less than one day per week of a diet including animal products like beef and dairy to a vegan diet would bring about the same reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as an entirely local, zero-food-mile diet (2008) (see also McWilliams 2009). This is completely true! If you're truly concerned about the "food miles" then a vegan diet is the perfect fit for you. Not only is it the most environmentally conscious diet, but it's also the healthiest one.

The one reason why I do agree that buying local food is important is for the health aspect of it. Food coming from thousands of miles away, not having enough time to grow and ripen the way nature intended is just all around unhealthy, especially when it's not even in season. I feel as if people in the west or more developed countries in general have just gotten so used to having whatever fruit or vegetable they want right at their disposal that they have forgotten just what makes fruits and vegetables healthy, which is their ability to grow at their natural pace and absorb natural nutrients from their roots.

In my opinion I fully support the decision and movement to eat locally. While it may not reduce your emission as much as people seem to believe, it still does make an impact whether it be on the planet or even people. Supporting small local farmers is so much better than supporting corrupt big scale agri- businesses that only want your money and could care less about your health and the environment. I believe if people made more of an effort to buy local food we could could see a tremendous difference in our health and even our environment considering all of the environmental damage that is done to grow food, but not so much transport it.

Readings 9 (Food)

This weeks readings talk primarily about food and where it comes from. Like everything else in the twenty first century food is a global product traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles just to get to your local grocery store. However there is a new movement with the rise of local grown food that you can pick fresh from the field.

One of the main highlights of these readings is how far food travels just to get into our possession. Some food goes over a thousand miles just to get to us bringing up the freshness question but since it was deemed alright to sell then I think the food is somewhat safe to eat. I tend to think of all the lawsuits and shutting down of companies if they did sell us food that was entirely rotten and bad to eat so that gives me a safety net in picking out my food at the supermarket. Sure it isn't the strongest safety net but I can be positive that a business wants to sell a good product in order to survive.

In my opinion food is food no matter where it comes from and as long as it's edible and doesn't make you feel bad then it has done its job. Sure there is a draw to the new locally grown with being able to see where your food is coming from, helping out the local community, and the extra freshness it has. However on the other side the local grocery store has a diverse collection of food from all around the world and in a way you could help out local businesses in third world countries by shopping at the local grocery store.

I can see where both sides of the argument are coming from because I have experience with both sides. I like most other people in this country get a majority of my from the supermarket due to convenience and I do appreciate that there's the possibility of helping out business in a different part of the world. However I do look forward to every summer to get some locally grown corn since it always taste better than the corn at the grocery store in my opinion and I know there's a benefit to helping out the local farmers.

I think we should strive for a middle ground approach with a return to agriculture on the local level and allow every access to freshly grown food while still having the local grocery store just in case. This would be kinda hard to implement due to the fact that crops die in the fall time leading to the growing of food in indoor facilities.

Readings 9

This weeks readings focused on food and how it is traded throughout the global market. Food is one of the most import commodities in our lives, so it is not a surprise that it is a major player within the global market. Food we have is from all over the world weather we realize it or not. Walk into your local super market and take a look at food on any shelf and you will find that it probably comes from somewhere else. Some types of food are only grown in specific parts of the world and because of this we are required to trade in order to eat and enjoy various types of food.

One of the big takeaways from the readings this week was how far food travels before it arrives in its desired location. It trades so many hands, and goes through various places before arriving on the shelves at stores and supermarkets. During our lecture it was mentioned that in some cases food will travel over 1000 miles before it arrives on the shelf. That's crazy! Think about that for a moment. A banana we eat with our breakfast could have been half way around the globe maybe 2 weeks earlier! However, this brings about the question of the quality of our food. How fresh is "fresh"? Is "organic" really organic? What does "natural" actually mean?

What we begin to see are a rise in local farms and eating locally. This idea is taking off rapidly because it is improving on the quality of the food and taking away the travel time. It is also supporting local farms that in many ways struggle to compete with larger corporate run farms who are constantly trying to buy them out by making it very difficult to compete in the market.

It is difficult to take one side in this situation. Supporting local food is a wonderful cause to support. It gives business to local farmers and allows for fresh food to be put on the market. At the same time, having food from around the world we normally would not have is also important because it allows us to experience new cuisines. I support local foods, and I think there should be a push towards supporting local farms on a national level. However, it does not mean we should abandon a global market that exchanges food because we absolutely rely on it in this day and age. The best option is to find a balance that is beneficial for all so we can still have a wealth of food that is both locally grown and globally provided.

Food

This weeks reading was about food and why local eating is seen as good and the issues critiques make for it.

The readings had a theme of putting down advocates of local eating. To me, food is food. Food, water, air, and shelter contribute to the basis of human life. Whether if it comes from 1500 miles away or 15,000 miles away doesn't matter unless you have high concern for the environment. As people advocate for local eating, they continue to bring up the polluting gas emissions that come from the trucks that deliver us our prized fruit, vegetables, grains, and meats. Some of the advocates avoid the reality of harsh chemicals and gas used on these locally raised crops and animals. Yeah the food is grown locally, but what is actually in it? As animals differ from what they use to look like about 10 years ago, hormones in both animals and plants create fast and large growing crops. It may be local but it's not natural. Yeah going to farmers markets are a great experience and the food does taste better than Giants but they are chemically altered as is the air from the food that is transported.

As people in, other countries that are high in the exporting crops business, try to hold onto their local food traditions with their native ingredients but come across problems like companies placing patents on them. As companies place patents on a countries native crop, there is the issue that the country won't receive the credit of being its home, money that the company makes will not go back to the country, and the resources of the crop itself will diminish as it becomes popular on the market. This is an example of local eating not winning even though there are many advocates who preach of it importance. Articles like the one about the neem tree are important because they show the truth of where "exotic" ingredients come from and their native uses instead of what we or the importing country uses it for.

Local eating is great but so is eating food from different countries. Local eating helps communities grow so they can earn a living and so they can produce more crops but another issue like what does into them should have the spotlight too. Getting food from different countries help harm the environment but there should be a way to get food from those countries, give them credit/give them what they deserve, and grow the food wherever without driving the resources back into the ground that they should rise from.

Globalization and Food

In this weeks readings, we observed the impact of food in the global market. Food is one of the most important things in a humans life as it fulfills a basic necessity. And of course it would become part of the global market almost immediately. Food is traded throughout the world, like our banana's come from Jamaica and our rice from Asia. Since different types of food is grown throughout the world, other places pay money for shipping these specific foods all across the county. However, there is always problems.

One of the big takeaways from this weeks readings was the movement of food. With food constantly moving, people have estimated that most people's food travels around 1500 miles before being served. What does this mean for the food? It means that the food can go anywhere easily, yes, however it is not always fresh. By traveling in the back of trucks and kept refrigerated throughout, the produce becomes less fresh. So places are pushing for something called "local eating", or promoting people to buy locally grown food. Many feel that this would help benefit communities and it has become a trend around the world. By people reducing their food miles, they have effectively made the food that  much fresher and better for the consumer, as well as help out farmers that are nearby. But, since local commodities are usually patented, some of the produce located in developing areas can be taken from the community and sold to the world. An example of this is the Neem tree in India. This tree is used in Indian villages for everything, from medicine to fuel. However, a company came in and took credit for finding this tree, and causing a lot of trees to be used for the global market. India tried fighting back, but since there was a patient on the product,it became hard to fight.

My opinion is that food is better off locally grown, however importing food you cannot get from your area is good as well. Food that is locally grown is better for everyone, it had a shorter travel distance, reducing the pollution from the truck it came in on, it helps out local farmers, and it taste better and it's better for you. Politicians should push for more locally grown food more and more, and not import as much food, making a dependency on imports. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

4/21

This weeks reading were concerned about the environment and organizations that are concerned about it as well.

To begin, the article on the Washington Post discussed the issues of dust from the graphite mines in China. This article showed a couple in distress about how an industry only cares for itself and its product instead of the people around them. The couple would wipe black dust from their windowsill, eat the graphite dust as it resides on their food, and cough up the graphite dust as it has settled in their lungs. The wife in the article told the reporters that when they entire the fields to tend to their crops they come out with their faces blackened from all the dust the pollutes their air, and not only do they have to leave with blackened faces but they leave with blackened corn or other crops that they use to eat. The villagers speak up about their concerns but no one seems to have urgency under their feet to help them. Its also crazy to see how China is leading the graphite industry but its civilians are paying for it with their bodies and their crops. This just really shows how different industries are compared to civilians, they both exist with the help of one another but they don't have the interest when it comes the simple fact of whose wellbeing is important.

Chapter 64 and 65 were chapters discussing the importance of advocacy programs for the environment. Chapter 64 talked about the Greenpeace organization and how it has a global voice for the global environment. Which i think is pretty funny as how the Greenpeace organization can have a voice for the global environment, something that has no voice because it is natural but needs a voice because of pollution that mankind has involved in order to expand at a rapid pace. I think its funny because people have to create more and more programs to fix the effects of our causes in order for us to grow quickly, think of it like someone taking medicine for the side effects of their other medication. Even though they are fixing mistakes they do it in a positive way as they propose programs that fit the customs of the cultures of the regions they placed in. What is also refreshing form chapter 64 is that Greenpeace doesn't focus on changing the policies but focuses on changing the attitudes as those attitudes think of and can change the present policies. In chapter 65, deforestation in Sarawak on the island of Borneo raised eyebrows as its campaign to stop it plays on. There're many issues with this but what stayed with me is how there were agreements for deforestation to have limits but yet again there was no urgency or pressure to make sure that it was followed. They continued to destroy the forest and used the people who stayed in the forest areas as puppets to do their work but they left them behind, unemployed and with little to no forest. They changed the lives of the people who stayed as the forest was their home. Though the chapter talked about the advocacy that came out of deforestation and some of the positive aspects that came from it, it also shows how the world works. The world shines a light on the ugly and beautiful but only the ugly is what stays with people, such as i did know that deforestation was a problem and i knew of the advocacy efforts trying to stop it but I truly didn't know of the amount of lives that were effected directly and the amount of advocacy movements that are trying to implement change.

Reading 8

In this week readings, we focused on the impact of globalization as a means to save and to try to protect the environment.  In the first reading, we have a look at the inner workings of Greenpeace and their involvement in world environmental activities. This was interesting because they were able to be more influential in world politics thanks to the means of globalization. Now they are able to use media to reach as many people and provoke an interest and therefore change. It is a relief that we just don't have the big corporations that have spread around the globe, we also have global organizations to fight them in case they are harming the environment and the people. The second article is also supplemental to this one, where we have a native people protesting against companies that are in charge or lumbering in Malaysia. In this reading, we have the public of a country trying the best to save their land and homes because they are being polluted by unclean air. I believe that globalization is what makes these protest effectively because as they noted on the articles, business just goes about their business after the protest like nothing happened. they are able to communicate to people around the world to create a new view on the company or the practice. 

On the last article, we see how these problems are presented to the public in an effective way to be able to change our behavior to help as much as possible a person or community. In this reading, we have a town that is constantly being covered by graphite from the factory that produces batteries for cell phones that we all use. the use of images and the story actually created an impact on me and how I view batteries now, they pictures of people just passing their hand in a desk and having visible graphite in their hand makes it feel like you have some fault in that. It is easy to see how people get rallied up to make some change and prompt governments to act. For me, this effect of globalization is actually very effective at what it does, and they do see some results from the people that see this, it also creates a view that the world is falling apart and that we are practically doomed in one way or another. while I do believe it helps, I also believes it places in our mind a sense of hopelessness if we don't find a way to fight back or help the cause.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Readings 8

The first reading started talking about environmental activist organizations and started the reading off by saying do all of these environmental policies and activism actually matter in globalization. It made me think for a minute what are we actually accomplishing with protests and activism. I thought that, yes it does matter if you have enough people to care about the problem. I found it interesting that people think that "government decrees are the key to change" but then the reading goes and says no that is not really the case, "government decrees are reflections of change" meaning that the change is already occurring. the decrees are just reflecting it. I thought it was interesting that Greenpeace is structured into four categories "toxic substances, energy and atmosphere, nuclear issues, and ocean and terrestrial ecology" which covers most of the worlds environmental problems. The big complication with these topics is that even if they occur in one country they can have effects in other countries as well. Air moves around the world and is not stationary, so pollution from China can reach the united states, or Europe. It is interesting that Greenpeace is not a government or governing body but they still work on laws that can have an affect globally. We have talked about the effects that media has on policy and how it puts pressure on governments,Wapner states ". Greenpeace actions excite the eye. They portray people taking dangerous risks. These grab attention and thus receive media coverage. By offering spectacular images to the media, Greenpeace invites the public to bear witness; it enables people throughout the world to know about environmental dangers and tries to pique their sense of outrage" Greenpeace is using the media to their advantage like many other people do. Citizens will be mad about something if they can visualize and see it. 

The second reading also talks about environmental advocacy, but instead of talking about a group first it talks about an environmental problem which was deforestation. The article talks about Sarawak and Sabah which are on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. There is a big timber industry but this causes severe deforestation which leads to less forest cover, which means less CO2 is being absorbed which means that there is more being let out to the atmosphere. The deforestation in this area put the natives in danger of losing their resources and caused them to protest with the help of other people and organizations. They blockaded the area and protested the industry because their lives were in danger. It is interesting to think that we in developed countries buy wood like this to build and furnish our homes, but we are forcing people out of theirs to build our own. 

The article about the graphite mining alarms me because the article did an interview in which Chinese person says that the air sparkles because of the particles in the air. First of all that is extremely dangerous to be breathing and since the particles are big enough to see with the human eye they are only small enough to get into the upper respiratory system. That does not seem as bad but that is still extremely dangerous and can cause a wide variety of respiratory problems. The other problem is that if there is particle big enough to see, you know that there is particle small enough that people cannot see (particulate matter 2.5) that is small enough to get into the lower respiratory problems and agitations like asthma (which can kill people in less developed countries). The article talks about a village that reminds me of a desolate waste land, the water is undrinkable, the air is unbreathable, the trees are dead, and there is a dust on everything even the food contaminating it. The graphite dust follows these people through their daily lives in almost every aspect and China is not doing enough to clean it up. The graphite is used in pencils and batteries for big companies that operate in developed countries, so these people get none of the benefits from this. It is deeply disturbing that these people live their lives in a cloud of dust so we can have electronics and pencils. 
 

readings 8

When large corporations can design, obtain resources for, manufacture, and sell a product in four different corners of the globe, protecting the earth becomes more imperative than ever. Local policies are no longer as effective as they may have been once - environmentalism is a global issue that requires a global approach to action.

Greenpeace knows this and uses it to their advantage. Few other environmental NGOs have reached Greenpeace's scope and status, because they know how to use media to reach a worldwide audience. By filming and broadcasting their endeavors - whaling activity, dangerous protests, etc - they sensationalize environmental activism and capture the attention of millions, influencing them to get involved. Even if they don't manage to accomplish their goals in the video, they have brought the issue to the forefront/public eye, which is much more effective than a single protest or local policy change because it spurs masses around the world into action. Ironically, this strategy is reminiscent of the advertising campaigns corporations use to market their brands to a global population - they know well how much more potent ideas can be than an actual product. Greenpeace also chooses to target the general public rather than environmental officials themselves. They cannot possibly speak to every lawmaker individually about changing environmental policy, but if they convince enough citizens that something needs to change, the citizens will influence their local legislators to change policy themselves.

They are not the only organization that has used the power of the media to inspire global action. Sahabat Alam Malaysia is an environmental organization that campaigned to put an end to the destruction of forests in Sarawak. In addition to physical protest of the timber industry, the campaign was supplemented by the release of a documentary about the forest nomads of Penan fighting to preserve their homes. This contributed greatly to efforts around the world to protect the forests of Malaysia. However, though people outside of the nation were deeply affected, in Malaysia structural, economic and governmental stakes were too great to put an end to the industry completely. Individuals and groups only have so much power over environmental policy. Furthermore, these campaigns largely put the onus on officials in Malaysia to end logging despite the fact that importers were creating the demand for which the export of timber existed to meet in the first place. Environmental activism must recognize that environmental decisions are more often than not the result of national motivations and needs, not some maligned desire to kill all the rainforests and destroy the Earth.

It can then be difficult to enact environmental protections when a large economic conflict of interest exists, because the state of the environment and the state of the economy are deeply tied to quality of life. In a village in China near a factory that produces graphite for smartphone and other electronics batteries, both of these states are quite poor, to put it lightly. The residue from the production of graphite coats every surface in the village, pollutes the villagers' water and hangs in the air they breathe. They do not make enough money to leave the village for somewhere safer and cleaner. However, when reporters appeared on the scene to get their input and bring their situation to light, potentially inspiring change, many villagers refused to speak with them as they were afraid of losing their jobs and what little revenue they do earn. The largest conflicts of interest occur not on the local level but on the corporate - factories want to continue bringing in money from battery companies, battery companies want to continue receiving the cheapest supply in order to pull the largest profits and so on up the supply chain. Lack of a sense of responsibility is also a factor - in many places there is little education or awareness that protection of the environment is even an issue, and corporations in places where this is common knowledge rely on the obscurity of their supply chains to avoid taking the hit.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Readings 8

Chapter 64 is about greenpeace which is a globalized NGO that cares about how the environment is handled in multiple ways. It gives example on how industries would come to places and ruin culture and that is something they peacefully fight against. Greenpeace makes majority of their funds from campaigners gaining donations. Their main goal is not to change policies but to change attitudes of the politicians that are behind the cause of what they stand for.

Chapter 65 was on how countries that develop products in a large quantity and it is their main source of income are not properly disposing the waste which is having a negative effect on other countries as well as on the environment. The example they give in the beginning and in the middle of the chapter is deforestation in Malaysia where it ruined the land going from 4.4 million in log output to 12.2 million in a matter of a year. Because of this organizations have been fighting to give right to indigenous people to protect their land because they were the main ones who were harmed by this outcome.

The Washington Post journal emphasizes on the battery and graphite dumping in China. China is a large country but has a lot of poverty due to individuals doing work for cheap. These battery and graphite dumping are harming the crops, homes, and the air people breathe. Most of the batteries come from samsung. Chinese are not the only ones affected there is a city outside of russia that has the sign "City of Graphite" when entering. A lot of this happens because it is low cost disposal, but companies do not see a problem in what they are doing and when they do it takes a while to change it.

All these articles gave insight on how companies handle waste and how it is affecting people and their land. In my opinion there needs to be a safe way to dispose of these products at a low cost and not harming people and their surroundings/ survival settings leaving them with little to nothing.

64, 65, and WSJ Readings

The theme of the readings this week focused on the environmental impact globalization has had on the world. This is something that has become a more important issue in recent years, and has really risen in global importance. The 3 readings showed how different countries have to cope with different environmental issues they experience as a result of globalization.

I found one sentence in the introductions second paragraph very interesting.  The paragraph itself brings up how air pollution being a big topic was not something that has existed for a long time.  The final sentence states, "Not only was pollution not a global problem; for the most part it was not a problem at all." This really had me thinking of how air pollution is only a recent global issue, and that for a long time the air was much worse, and no one really complained.

Chapter 64 follows Greenpeace, an NGO that is situated all around the world. The goal of this group is peaceful, non-violent solutions to problems all around the world. Greenpeace has been successful in many endeavors in order to spread their message, and promote a healthy world. One example used in the chapter was their discovery that Russian whalers were killing whales well below the required size. The group was able to capture film, and also stationed themselves between the whales and ships to spread their message and force action to be made. Another example was their direct action to stop ozone depletion in the late 1980s. Some members climbed a 180 foot water tower owned by DuPoint and hung a ribbon awarding them the world's number one ozone destroyer.

Chapter 65 looks at the negative impact the environment sees as a result from globalization. This, in my opinion, is a two front assault. On one end you have countries where products are developed, and the waste from their factories are improperly or illegal dumped into the wild. The other factor is countries who see their natural resources taken in large quantities and suffer the health and safety issues that result from this mining. One example brought up was the deforestation in the Penan region of Malaysia where deforestation destroyed the land and its natives.  The WSJ article shows the effects graphite mining has had on small villages in two Chinese provinces. Ruined crops, homes, and people as a result of large graphite mines that are not properly regulated and run. These people are suffering at the expense of our smart phones. It is a tragic story to read about, and unfortunately not much may be done.

These readings were rather interesting in my opinion. It was a tough pill to swallow looking at the images in the WSJ article on my phone. Here I was reading about an essential material needed for my smartphone that was slowly killing people half way around the globe. It hurt, but I know that we can slowly try to fix these problems. It is not something that will happen quickly, but having more groups like Greenpeace will allow us to have a larger impact on the globalization issue. There are pros and cons to this phenomena, and to say we must stop globalizing is not going to solve anything. It is important to balance everything involved with globalizing so we are able to continue to grow, but in a safer manner. Our environment and our fellow human beings are just as, if not more important than the graphite needed for our phones. If we cannot realize that, we will see the negative impacts in no time.

Readings 8

Humanity has always been shaping the environment around them whether it be somewhere for them to live or to mine the latest resource. Despite how much we had gone through resources we have never left a major impact on the environment. However in the common era we are starting to leave a negative effect on the environment with over-mining resources and digging deeper in the Earth for materials that have a toxic effect for living matter.

An example of this impact is the deforestation of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. In less than ten years a timber industry had come into the area and had managed to cut down a majority of the forest causing the loss of habitat for many animals and forcing the local people to leave the area.

In result of problems like deforestation and other problems facing the environment, many campaigns have risen up and have given a mouth for the trees. Organizations like Greenpeace stand up for the environment in a peaceful, nonviolent way but still in a forceful way of getting their point across such as positioning themselves between illegal whalers and the whales they are trying to kill for a profit. In this matter they don't start any trouble with the poachers but at the same time don't let them harm the whales for profit.

It is good that we have these organizations to stand up for the environment because if they didn't exist people and corporations would abuse the environment leading to more pollution and destruction and with no one to stand in their way they would keep abusing it. It's good we have these organizations to shine a light on what is important for our long run as a species and one of those things is keeping the environment in which we live in safe and non polluted.

Chapter 64, 65 and In Your Phone, In Their Air

In this week’s readings, we looked at some environmental impacts that has come from the process of globalization. Chapters 64 and 65, as well as the article In Your Phone, In Their Air by the Washington Post, show the different pollutants and environmental hardships countries that produce and collect raw materials deal with.

When companies outsource their work overseas to poorer countries, usually the environment is left behind, with pollutants entering the ecosystem and causing problems for the local wildlife and population. The example in chapter 65 shows the deforestation of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, where natives of the area, the Penan, were losing their way of life. The deforestation happened so rapidly and without much resistance that within 10 years the amount of timber exported has rose around 3x as much as before. With the deforestation of the native area, people were losing their unique way of life, as well as unique wildlife that lived in the area. Another example is the Chinese villages subjected to the graphite mining pollution. Everything is covered by a black dust that cannot be washed off, ironically even if the people attempted to wash their clothes from the dust they would be met with water filled to the brim with graphite. Even farmers are not safe from the factories’ pollution, as the dust settles into their crops, having families eat the food with graphite still in the meals.

However, there have been many campaigns for improving these conditions worldwide. Chapter 64 looks at the environmental protection group Greenpeace. Situated around the world, Greenpeace goes to where the environment is in need of help in a peaceful, non-violent, manner, for example the ocean. Greenpeace will find Russian whaler ships and examine if the whaling operation is being conducted legally. If the operation is deemed illegal, for example catching and killing whales well under the national law’s size, they will position themselves between the whalers and the whales, causing a standoff for the whalers to not attempt harpooning, since it could hit one of the members. And Greenpeace does not stop there, they go out and get the media involved, making sure that images and videos of environmental abuse goes public and influences people to do something to help out.


My opinion is that without any type of organizations defending the environment, companies and corporations would forgo the environmental laws and continue to pollute the earth. With the resistance of the Penan in Malaysia getting other countries involved to enact tariffs on timber, it puts stops to these kinds of actions, albeit not all the time. By doing things in a peaceful way and getting the media involved to shine a light on these conditions to everyday citizens, people will try to lobby for change. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

13, 14, 16, 59

In chapter 13 the globalization of sushi was discussed. It became close to an American norm after deriving from Japan. This chapter talks about how cultures are shared. The marketing aspect of how sushi is sold is also interest. Some may find offense to this because I did after reading this chapter. One of the main points that intrigued me was how in places that are not in Japan have a sushi restaurant it is not profitable if the chef's are not of Japanese descent. America provides around 1000 work visa's a year to Japanese immigrants to be chefs at Japanese restaurants and majority of the time the owner is not Japanese. This article was interesting because food is a highly globalized thing even in households due to immigration having impact on american culture.  Another thing that interested me was the amount of money that can be profited from catching just 200 blue fin tuna fish, over a million dollars, and the time it takes is long as well weeks at a time.

Chapter 14 is the craze in McDonald's had in Hong Kong, China and how it affected their everyday living. The chapter lays out the amount of changes it had to take in order to fit into the culture because a hamburger is considered a snack to the Chinese people whereas in America it is the protein portion of a meal. In China McDonald's brought in a lot of customers compared to American store but did not force the American culture onto the Chinese. However the older generation was not fond of McDonald's they were very traditional people. McDonald's was seen as a place for kids and teenagers. It introduced birthday parties to the Chinese and changed the service with a smile connotation to adapt in the culture. They provided clean bathrooms which they take high pride on and having someone hover over you while you eat is a norm because it is always so busy. McDonald's is still the McDonald's that we see in America but in order to have a successful business overseas they have to adapt to the culture that they are infiltrating. If they did not adapt they probably would not have been of much success the way they are.

In chapter 16 Goldblatt discusses the globalization of sports particularly fĂștbol (soccer). Soccer was seen as a universal sport. It wasn't a company or brand that could be marketed or bought. It was a sport that poor countries played for fun because you did not need much equipment and there were little rules ... just do not touch the ball with your hands. The sport took off and then because a trademark, all countries were playing and became familiar with it and other countries would take this sport and make it their own such at England with rugby and America with American football. Other sports started globalizing as well such as baseball, cricket, hockey and more. People Japanese off the sport creating huge arenas selling out seats for people to watch the sport they all know worldwide.

Chapter 59 the discussion of the Hollywood and movie industry is brought to question. In a sense it globalizes but it doesn't. It is discussed how 200 movies are made a year in Hollywood and bring in a huge profit yet in India they produce 900 movies a year and never reach the same profit that Hollywood does. Hollywood in a sense brought globalization to it instead of them expanding. People from all origins coming to Hollywood to produce films that can be broadcasted worldwide with better production and quality that to film elsewhere. However, to save money people are starting to produce in other countries such as Canada to save money.

In the end I feel like these reading were to give the idea that it is not only corporations that globalize but cultures do as well. You can take the smallest thing such as soccer which is played with just a ball and make it into a multibillion dollar industry.

13,14,16, 51

In chapter 13 the reading first talks about tuna and how the U.S exports it to Japan. I never really thought of how much tuna Japan actually goes through. What was really interesting was that the boom in sushi is what caused the decline in tuna populations. Over fishing in Japan has caused a kind of food insecurity since Japan relies so heavily on fish as it's source of food. It is also interesting that sushi became like a designer food and it is very main stream. The interactions between the native fisherman and all of the resulting factors of the tuna industry like regulations, and competition between them and commercial fleets. Tuna are many peoples food source and income source but globalization is having effects in this. In the article about McDonald's it was interesting that in china food that you would buy at places like McDonald's are considered snacks instead of meals, and that there is not a lot of money to be made from this. They had to conform the menu's to the normal more local ideas of what food is in order to make money. There is also the question of whose culture is McDonald's? It is an American Company that is trying to move all over the world, but in order to succeed it has to Incorporated other people's cultures as well. I believe it started out as an American culture, but it spread to others, if people were worried about their cultures they would not shop there and then force them out.

I really like chapter 16 because I played soccer for 12 years and it was a huge part of my life. I like how the article talks about the spread of the sport with the expansion of the British empire and the expansion of industry. The spread of industry lead to the spread of the sport because of the movement of people and the idea of the sport. There was other sports that were played by the elite like cricket, but soccer was not just for the elite. There was also the idea of rivalry, about teams that you were supposed to be enemies for the sake of being enemies. The idea of rivalries goes across all sports, my high school has a rivalry that we go against in all sports and events, and we dislike them for the sake of disliking them. It is very silly if you think about it.

I never really thought of the geography of cinema and the effects that it has on globalization. People from all over the world go to Hollywood to express their talent and to make money because it is one of the biggest cinema centers in the world. I never really thought about how European movies do not make a lot of money in the united states, usually movies that are produced through the big names like Disney in Hollywood do really well. Hollywood has clustering because it makes most of the money and "it makes sense to cluster" because it has most of what it needs in one location. I feel like movies and cinema could be bad and good for globalization. It is good because it spreads ideas, but it is bad because it often romanticizes or over dramatizes cultures so people have this false preconceived idea of a group. It also kind of steals ideas and concepts from other cultures and can be very invasive.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Globalization and culture

This weeks readings are about the globalization and some of the most important attributes of culture, food and entertainment.

This weeks readings displayed the speed of a culture that circulates around the world, sushi. Sushi originated in Japan but it is equally admired in North America. I thought it was interesting how they showed sushi's path to the plates of hungry customers. People outside of North America enjoy and get involved with spreading the culture too. Some may argue that this is taking away from the culture it originated from as traditional rolls change. The fishermen fish by the Japanese specifications, they have a hold on their globalized culture. In Hong Kong, McDonalds is a little different. Its a huge influence here and in Hong Kong but i don't know if its as serious as they put it to be. They are keeping the fast food culture alive but they adjust it to their own culture. They changed the culture by adding their style but it continues to have the overall McDonalds zest.

My favorite article was about the great game and the informal empire. The great game being football and the informal empire being the British empire. The British empire help spread a global game. Through communism and fascist movements the informal empire gave the world a global affair that is prevalent everywhere. I really liked the point about the fans, for every team there are devoted fans and devoted rivalries. This is a sub-community within the general community of being a football fan, each fan and rivalry has their own ceremonies and superstitions that constitute it to being such a global phenomena. Even though these communities have huge rivalries with each other they are all lovers of the game and the competition of it. Even the owners of the clubs channel this essence of rivalry in their ownership of the clubs. Its pretty cool to see how the differences in each community connects them together making them more similar than different... maybe a special someone can take note of it.

The Hollywood culture is pretty intense for they are to blame for a lot of things that happens in the world. They take away from a cultures traditions and add it to their own media creation. I don't believe it would be such a large problem if they gained permission for using traditions or followed the traditions as if it was a regulation in our own country. The positive about Hollywood culture is it makes the access to other cultures easier as it appears on the big screen the world is able to decipher if its the truth or not, right or wrong, or even entertaining or appropriating. It can bring disaster to a community by inviting tourist and large companies to change their traditional ways. Large companies can take over areas where Hollywood has imprinted its large on hand, getting a grasp on traditions and resources. In the ugly there is beauty.

Readings 7

The readings this week talk about how globalization is affecting particular countries and how the culture and society handle these changes. Starting in Japan in the 1970's there was a big global shift from red meat to a healthier meat source. Japan's solution to the red meat was the fishing of the blue fin tuna and the introduction of sushi to the modern world. The fad caught on resulting in Japan becoming the blue fin tuna fishing capital of the world giving Japan more power and influence in the world helping them recover from the damages World War II left on the country.

The second part of the readings deal with the introduction of McDonalds in Hong Kong. At first McDonalds wasn't too successful over in the Eastern World but due to integration into the culture by allowing people to come to them and allowing the people to customize their meals. Financially they succeeded in the long run still the Chinese don't consider McDonalds a real meal and instead more of a snack. In conclusion McDonalds succeeded on exposing the Chinese people to the Western world while allowing them to preserve their culture at the same time.

The third part talked about the spreading of soccer due to the simplicity of the game plus it allowed the rise of "rags to riches" stories based off the people with extreme talent for the game but living in underwhelming living conditions until their talent is noticed and they become a star. It gives the people something more to cheer for more than a ball getting kicked around. The game easily spread across the globe due to all around entertainment value of soccer whether it be playing the game or watching the game.

The final article talks about Hollywood and how popular the US film industry is around the globe. With this however Hollywood becomes a representation of the Western world from the stories we like to tell down to the morals that those stories teach us and the rest of the world gets their knowledge about the American culture through these two hour films. Also the desire to make it big draws a lot of young people to Hollywood in hopes of becoming the next big star however most of them never achieve this dream and get caught in the gutter known as Los Angeles.

In conclusion it's interesting to see how these markets grows but have a major hub area with tuna in Japan and the movie industry in the USA and how with these major markets these countries influence how we consume these products whether it be tuna in the form of sushi or the next big summer blockbuster representing the stereotype of the typical American to the rest of the world. To step back for a second it is interesting how a market can influence the society and culture around them meanwhile still making a profit off of money.

Readings 7

the articles of this week are very interesting in comparison to previous readings. in past reading, all that we listen and the presentation to us is about how globalization affects culture and people. These articles show how individuals or small sections could be an influence on global markets. In the first article, we have a very interesting interaction between Japan and the Tuna economy, and how today they became the center for the business of tuna worldwide. this started with Japanese people trying to emulate Americans and their red meats so that communication is already a part of globalization. The second interaction is with the amount of bluefin tuna that japan consumes, makes it the largest buyer, and they have a huge say in the prices worldwide.  Japan controls the market in a big way. The spread of sushi is also an influence that Japan had in the world, and how they were able to add more to globalization, instead of just being consumed by American corporations. In the second article, we have the expansion of Mc Donalds to Hong Kong and how that interaction is shaping both entities. In one side people were accepting the culture that revolves around the clown and the burgers, at the same time, Mc Donalds was shaping their culture with cleaner toilets and a happy meal as rewards to achievements. In the article of soccer, we see a similar dynamic as well as the Hollywood article. we have a sport that started in Britain and became the biggest sport in the world, and now Europe controls that section of globalization. In the Hollywood article, we see the spread of American or Western ideas through film and how that is affecting other cultures, and how those cultures are affecting the movies.

What I notice from the articles is that as globalization grows, there are regions that have a specific trait for the global market, something that they control, but is shared by the world. Japan is tuna, Europe is Soccer and the U.S. McDonalds. I feel that different regions, are going to have somethong that they do best in world.














































































































the culture of the place, by adding more traditional menus. people were adding McDonalds in their daily lives a

readings 7

Cultural globalization might appear, at first, to be a destructive force. When new concepts - pastimes, media, cuisine, traditions - are introduced to a pre-existing culture, they have the potential to replace the old ways of doing things. But that doesn't inherently mean those ways are being destroyed. For example, sometimes when concepts travel, they are incorporated into an existing framework as a transformation or even enhancement of what was already there. The globalization of ideas always has the potential to reshape culture, but for various reasons and to varying degrees.

Some ideas travel light. Sushi, for example, was developed as a method of preserving fish in a society with a large, historical fishing industry. Sushi has since spread to all corners of the globe, far removed from its original cultural context and instead transformed into a trendy menu item. The global demand for sushi-grade fish has increased not only trade with but interest in Japan - though this interest is perhaps superficial. Traditional recipes have been refashioned for western tastes - such as the California roll - and restaurant-goers purportedly can't tell the difference between a Japanese chef and one of another Asian or even non-Asian background. Nonetheless, young Japanese people working abroad are commonly advised to become sushi chefs regardless of work experience, suggesting that even the perception of one's belonging to a culture has market value in the global industry.

Oftentimes, foreign culture is adopted when it speaks to underlying or shifting attitudes in a society's climate. Sushi came into popularity in the wake of widespread rejection of red meat-heavy diets. Similarly, the introduction of the McDonald's franchise to Hong Kong served as a modernization of their existing snack culture. A love of socializing at places like cafes and bakeries combined with a rising interest in American culture paved the way for the young people of Hong Kong to readily adopt McDonald's, not as a full meal service but as a snack restaurant. The hamburger became the han bao - ham bun, the name reminiscent of a breadlike dumpling served at dim sum and a prime example of linguistic relativity - and McDonald's became a convenient alternative to traditional teahouses. Though deliberate marketing on the part of the McDonald's corporation is partly to blame for this phasing out of customary restaurants and snacks, the makings of this cultural change were already there - if it had not been McDonald's, it would have been something else.

Certain globalized concepts have the potential to stoke cultural pride rather than diminish it, sports especially. Soccer, for example, is the most widely participated-in sport across the world. It originated as a team sport during the UK industrial revolution as a way to unite workers and channel labor unrest into competition between factories. Soccer works much the same way on the global scale it exists at today - the people of a nation associate strongly with their representative team, and rivalries between international teams can easily be extrapolated to rivalries between nations themselves. It appears that soccer itself isn't even that vital to this equation. Soccer is simply one of the easiest sports to globalize - in addition to its universal appeal, all you really need to start playing is a field, a ball, and a working knowledge of the difference between right and left.

Other cultural properties are not just universal by nature, but specifically designed to target a global audience. Though many people bemoan the spread of Western values through film and cinema to their corner of the globe, this media is created with a broader appeal in mind. Most American films come out of Hollywood, and the American movie industry is the world's largest because Hollywood - economically specialized to accommodate the most talented people in the field - strives to execute ambitious projects and reach the largest market possible. In order to tap into this market they have to meet global demand, which directly involves manufacturing a universal appeal. The qualities that make a film universally appealing - action, romance, drama, etc. - are in turn associated with and considered an invention of American cinema. But rather than an unrelenting force in the media, the globalization of Hollywood movies is the product of a demand and supply exchange.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

13, 14, 16, 51

The readings this week took a look at the implications of cultural globalization and the effect they have had on the world today. We read articles about different businesses in the world and how they have adjusted to different cultures, social viewings, and threats. This ability to adapt has allowed for these different businesses to continue to prosper in the expanding global market today. We also look at two types of culture, Hollywood and Soccer, and how they have spread throughout the world in different ways. 

How Sushi Went Global discusses the bluefin tuna market in the sushi business and how it has changed over the years. Around the 1970s there was a shift in America from the common "red meat" diet to one that was more healthy and beneficial. As this shift grew more and more it became a global phenom, and we now see sushi available all over the world. With this growth, more tuna had to be caught to meet the demand and this is where things began to change. With pressure from different activist groups the Japanese had to limit their fishing strategies and soon had to turn to importing the fish. This shift should have brought about a downfall in their control in the market, but it instead made them more valuable. Despite the various limitations they face, the Japanese are consulted by countries all around the world because of their knowledge in the market. Despite this globalized movement for sushi worldwide, the Japanese still dictate the market. They set the prices, decide the rules, and have full control of everything. Japan is the sushi superpower of the world.

McDonald's in Hong Kong focused on the organizations success in a region that many thought would be impossible to live in. Watson discusses how the McDonalds in Hong Kong went through a slow and deliberate process to properly integrate itself into the culture, and be successful in the market. Watson is quick to point out that this success in Hong Kong has not in anyway taken away from their culture and "Americanized" them. Instead, he points out that they have not been striped of their culture, and it instead has strengthened their culture while also introducing them to a new one. McDonalds did so well by not trying to adapt to the Chinese culture in any way. They kept everything the way it was, and allowed the people to experiment with what they liked. They didn't try to thrust their ideas into a culture. McDonalds in Hong Kong is not seen as a meal, but instead a snack. These small but subtle things have allowed for McDonalds to thrive in a region many thought would not be possible. Offering things such as clean restrooms, friendly service, and adapting to the culture in these ways has helped the business grow at an alarming rate and gain mass amounts of wealth in the process.

In The Great Game and the Informal Empire, Goldblatt uses soccer as a way to perfectly understand globalization. Rather than go with a bland and boring way to explain globalization, he uses soccer to occupy the reader and show its simplicity. Soccer grew so quickly because it is something that any and everyone can do. It is easy to understand, the rules aren't many, and you don't need much to play. This benefits everyone because you can be a wealthy well off kid and be just as talented as the homeless boy with no shoes. This sport allowed people to have their own rags to riches tale, that not only made them successful, but also spread awareness to peoples status world wide. Soccer quickly picked up speed and spread across the world, and this was no accident. Its simplicity and enjoyment bring around a large crowd who crave more constantly. This is how many corporations also draw in massive amounts of a appeal today in order to make a profit in the market.

In the final reading by Tyler Cowen, we take a look at Hollywoods culture and its influence on the world. Film and Hollywood have become so connected that any and everyone who wants to make it big will flock to this location to make it big. In a way Hollywood has complete control on films global market and overpowers other places all around the world. This desire to make it big in Hollywood attracts people of all different backgrounds and stories. We see and hear all different types of life stories of how these people made their way to the top, and in some ways we can relate to their life. These many stories create this individualized version of the "American Dream" that viewers can somehow mold into their own life.

These different articles all offered a different view on how we can see certain things, and how the world sees them. While there are many similarities there are also many differences that open up a vast amount of possibilities. The success of something small, like soccer, depended on its simplicity and ease. For a product like sushi, it depended on its demand and popularity. Finally, for ideas like Hollywood and McDonalds, it depending on their adaptability to the individuals and their cultures. 


Globalization and Culture

                In this weeks assigned readings, we looked at how culture is weaved through the global market, with ideas and different types of entertainment. These articles focused on specific things that we are familiar with in our everyday lives. Sushi, McDonalds, soccer, and Hollywood are all common in the Western world, however what happens when a foreign product, like the sushi, is taken into the global market? What happens when products and idea, like McDonalds, soccer, and Hollywood, is pushed into different parts of the world that are not Westernized?

          
                When something is introduced into the global market, no one ever knows if it will be a hit. Especially with items of different cultures, it could go good or bad, depending on the area. One example of a cultural product that went global and became very popular was sushi, the Japanese food item. The item used to be prepared all in Japan: the fish caught in the Pacific, produced in restaurants in Japan, and sold their local markets. Now a days, Japanese men travel to New York in order to buy different types of fish only found in the Atlantic Ocean. They then put the fish on ice in their trucks, and drive to the nearest airport to ship it back to Japan. The fish then is sliced in Japan, since the author says they are still the best cutters of fish in the world, and then sent out again to the different parts of the world for sushi creation. Even better, there are “Japanese chefs” that are taught to make the sushi type food, however these people hail from Vietnam, Korea, and other Asian countries. A second example is McDonalds in Hong Kong. When McDonalds came into Hong Kong, the restaurant was perceived differently than what we see in the United States. They do not see McDonalds as a meal, they see it as a snack type restaurant. Workers are also urged, and even forced sometimes, to actually clean the toilets, even if the workers toilet at home was dirtier. They do bring a similarity to kids here in the U.S however, with parents using McDonalds as a means of rewarding or bribing for good behavior. A third example of this is the introduction of soccer to the world. When soccer was first really introduced to the world, some of the world rejected it as an Anglo type game, with magazines calling it a game for the rich elite. The game did flourish in some of the British controlled areas as well as intellectual areas. Another important thing to note is that the expansion of soccer was also due to the victory of the Allied troops in WWII, while things like martial arts from Japan died out since the culture was frowned upon from their side of the war. The final example is Hollywood, or the expanse of American cinema into the world. Many actors and actress flock to Hollywood because of the monopoly it has on the entertainment market on the world, to where it overpowers the European movie market. Because of the attractiveness of the Hollywood market to all different types of cultures and walks of life around the world, many people relate to the stories these actors tell. Some feel this is an American cultural imperialism because of the expanse of the American way of life, however the culture becomes blended in movies, since it portrays a wide variety of lives and cultures. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Culture and Globalization

This weeks reading had the theme of culture within and around globalization.

Globalization is a process but it can be the one to blame when traditions start to change within a culture. Cultures change because new ideas are created and heard by society, which opens the a door for agreement and disagreement. Some cultures agree with globalization and others do not, but the ideas that move globalization through the culture, will imprint itself on the individuals, changing them in a small or large way.

Globalization can be great for cultures and it can also be their demise. Globalization can purge the creativity out of an individual, that creativity can praise a culture or it can appropriate one. Take cornrows for example, this is an idea that has been recently debated by social media. Incidents of white females, celebrities too, wearing cornrows and being "praised" or complemented on them. There are people like myself who believe that its okay for other people who aren't black to wear cornrows, as long as they don't bash another culture who wears them. Then there are some people who believe  that anyone who isn't black wearing cornrows is culture appropriation because they are unconsciously taking from a culture and claiming the hairstyle as a representation of their own creativity. Creativity vs culture appropriation is one argument that results from globalization in cultures, this brings some form of change to each culture by introducing new ideas. I don't know if i can illustrate this in wording but its like a cycle. Starting with an idea, then with agreement or disagreement, followed by a change, then more agreement and disagreement on the previous change, then a change follows the recent argument, and so on until people are tired of discussing it, they leave it be, as they did with the cornrows scenario.

Globalization is a mix between ugly and success because it specific to only one thing like, economics.  Globalization can spread a cultures traditions throughout the world leaving it volnurable to being changed by other cultures who don't have a clue where the tradition even comes from. Giving some people the perception of one culture is being more or less creative than another. The movement of ideas is pretty astounding because it's actually hard to see it move but you know it is because you see it on another continent that you aren't on. The internet is like the best friend and child of globalization, as it gets blamed for changing traditions since its so easy to "learn" about them. I put learn in quotes because the internet isn't always so trustworthy when it comes to finding reliable sources. I never thought I would quote a baboon but one once said"the media creates false news" and in this case the baboon is a little right, maybe not in the context it used but, in this one sometimes the media and the internet uses the flashy appealing details leaving other details out that changes the context that it was originally used for.


Readings (6)

This weeks readings are very interesting, they are mostly focused on people individual groups and people, instead of  the world view. The readings also provided a view on future politics and maybe the new future world order.

On chapter 5 we see the discussion between the two possible extremes of a more connected world, and the possibility of a single ruling force in the planet. In one side we have the rise of corporations and conglomerates, that push local politics and world politics in their favor, and how are taking over the world one McDonald store at the time(Mcworld). The second extreme is something that would cause every little group of ethnicity and culture to fight with each other to maintain their identity in the world. The author coins this possibility as the Jihad end. The interesting thing about this essay is that the author does not believe that neither of these lead to democracies, both are in a way going to destroy democracies, globalization by corporations, and jihadist by dictatorship.

As this class has progressed, it is very interesting that this essay came up, I always had a feeling that globalization could undermine democracies, because we are giving people power, in which they can do basically anything, from lobbying laws to destroying or building a country's economy, and citizens do not  have any say on the CEO of those companies. I started thinking that the only way to combat Globalization, in a political sense, would be the socialist ideology. I do not believe in socialist reforms, but I do believe that people might start shifting that way as globalization becomes a bigger problem. Nations still have the power to decide this and they might be a way to move too jihad, by socialist acceptance, I am not really sure if that is a good thing or not yet.

The other readings focused on the way that globalization is spreading cultures and people around the world. Chapter 15's main focused is in the small places of a country that is mostly populated by a single ethnicity and culture, how they manage their globalization there.  In chapter 59 we have two different experience of people working in IT in India and how they feel that the world is getting more connected and how it actually might be narrowing. I do believe in the view of which in the future, where races is not as big as problem, people are going to base their hatred towards professions or sections and discriminated them like that, maybe even on the differences of companies.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Readings 6

The readings of this week touch a upon a theme of how the human concept of culture is currently facing change under the spread of globalization and how either cultures either summit to face of change or fight against it by preserving their culture.

In the past it was much easier for a culture to rise up and be preserved for thousands of years such as the case is for the Ancient Egyptians. This is because man had not developed a fast method for traveling around yet and also due to physical boundaries cultures were able to stand the test of time. Without outside forces trying to force a change on how policies were performed nor anyone trying to change how the culture ran things the cultures became a familiar way of life for everyone. However in the modern world we are more connected than we were once before and we are still in a transition period where some cultures like most of the European continent have unified under a giant global wave to help them succeed with business and other cultures like most African countries fight off this wave of globalization because they have seen what it has done to other countries and they want no part of it since they know they would win nothing from it. Some countries like most Middle Eastern countries still live under a law heavily influenced by religion and think that the modern wave of globalization is an unpure wave of heathenism bent on destroying life as they know it similar to the Crusaders who knocked upon their doors thousands of years ago.

Not everyone is a winner from globalization and one of the major losers is the concept of culture since it helps to bring groups of people together under a system of traditions and beliefs that brings them together in some way. However in the way of the Europeans culture is still present in the cities and towns however it is not a system of life as it use to be in the past. In conclusion our old concept of culture is fading away but in its ashes is a new form of culture that still brings people together such as the counterculture movement of the 60's in the United States and Europe and the emphasis of social media in today's society that has had some cultural effect already such as the boom of the Arab Spring in the Middle East.

Readings 6

Chapter four starts out by saying that with current events that are happening there are two options for the future, one where everyone is fighting each other and another that is pretty much run and brought together by cooperation. The McWorld is broken down into four imperatives which are market, resource, information/ technology, and ecology. The market imperative is about how there is a need for a international market because there is the need for legally upheld contracts and for people to trade with each other. Small economies are struggling because they do not have the means or the power to participate in a world economy. The resource imperative is about the interdependence between nations because of the need for resources. As the reading states, every nation needs something that another one has, while other nations need a lot more because they do not have enough. A good example of this is like how the united states needs oil from other countries and other countries need coal from the united states. The technology imperative is about how advancements in technology are made from "universalizing". The exchange of information or ideas allows others to make advancements in their nation and improve ideas or technologies they already have. The ecological imperative is about how nations have created problems with ecology and have kind of said to other poorer nations you can't modernize because the environment can't handle it because we have already caused enough damage. This is really messed up because there is a stunted growth of poor nations because of the fear of what will become of the environment if we let them grow, but nations who can afford it are still taking advantage. The reading also talks about jihadists which are fighting globalization because it is "threatening their religion and practices". They are fighting the idea that the world will be unionized by big cooperation and their ideas of cultural beliefs that would lead to the McWorld because it puts their beliefs in danger.

Chapter five was very interesting because it put into perspective everything that is currently  going on. The reading states, "that the war of kings was over; the war of peoples began" and this is really relevant because people are fighting all over the world because of their beliefs. One nation does not agree with another's religion so they fight, while in other places with in nations there are separations though these may not always be violent. It is like the world is in a perpetual state of disagreement and there is no way for everyone to get along. The article states that people are fighting because they have such different ideas in a world that is "becoming smaller" because of globalization and technology. It is so much easier for people to spread their ideas on places like Facebook but it is also so much easier for people to get keyboard courage and start fights over it as well. There is also the problem of other nations trying to purge and prevent western ideas. In places like Russia they do not really agree with the same ideas as America so they try to push the ideas away from their people and culture and this is prevalent all over the world.

Chapter 15 is about transnational migrants create their own "villages" in the new places that they live. They hold their cultural beliefs so strongly that they practice the same things they did in their homeland as they do in their new homes. They also tend to group together and it gives them a sense of security and unity, they also keep their ties with their homelands. This creates problems in places like the United States were many citizens believe that immigrants should assimilate to the new culture instead of their old ones. The MiraflorenĂČs are the example that the reading used to explain this. They have their own beliefs, their own practices, and the participate in local and state governments to protect their rights to do this.

Chapter 59 talks about Indian IT companies and they are viewed as a "global work culture". I think this reading is very interesting because many people do not think that India is as much of a player in IT as they actually are. Some of the best computer programming and engineering schools are located in India but most people only see India as this poor country with no progress. But at the same time others have created the idea of that "global work culture" because they known that some of the best schools are in India. Not only that but many IT customer service calls go through places in India which continues to add to this belief.

I thought all of these readings were very interesting and helped me understand how cultures are being affected by globalization. I was really interesting in the reading that talked about immigrants creating a type of village in the new places that they live. You see this across the United States and I have seen this sort of thing happening where I live. I also kind of sounds like this is how places like China towns come to be because of the grouping of people and their beliefs.

Readings 6

Culture is formative. It shapes identity, worldview, beliefs - nearly everything that an individual is, perceives, and considers themselves to be. Because culture is so enmeshed with the definition of the self, some claim that when globalization is introduced to this equation, the threat of persecution of the self is introduced as well. When culture is threatened (or perceived to be) by homogenization, they'd say, the self is forced to either assimilate to the new universal norms or reaffirm its identity in the face of them. Yet others view globalization as an envoy between cultures, opening dialogue and creating channels for the exchange of ideas across boundary lines.

Benjamin Barber characterizes globalization as a relentless force, obliterating all individual and local culture as it reforms the world to a single commercial standard. As he sees it, there are only two possible endgames - "McWorld" and "Jihad," and we're currently experiencing something of a liminal state between the two. The world is united and cultural barriers have been all but dismantled, but by way of commercialization and economic interdependence rather than peace and understanding. Political discord is still bubbling beneath the surface of this apparent global unity - for example, the tensions between nation-states and stateless nations. Despite globalization, nations obviously still exist and are viewed by some as protection against homogenizing forces, an indisputable proclamation of identity. When a stateless nation is denied nation status by other nations, they may feel their identity is compromised and strike out in a crusade to protect their beliefs and values, resulting in what is described as "Jihad." However, according to Barber, McWorld wins out in the end as we passively turn ourselves and our individuality over to the tides of capitalism, in a universal commercial, collectivist civilization, possibly reminiscent of Wall-E.

This dichotomy is not necessarily representative of reality. After all, globalization is not some unstoppable, otherworldly force. It is a product of the actions, reactions and interactions of individuals occurring increasingly across geography.  Internationalist Samuel P. Huntington acknowledges that the coalescence of culture occurs to a degree, but adds that in many cases exposure to foreign culture results in peaceful reaffirmation of one's own. Modern Western culture does attempt to apply itself to the rest of the world, but due to a fundamental difference in priorities (human rights and freedoms, for instance, are more highly valued in the West than anywhere else) much of it does not stick. In Huntington's vision of the future, civilizations coexist in the world while retaining their individual identities.

Other authors provide examples in which cultures not only coincide, but communicate with one another to create a transnational dialogue. Peggy Levitt provides an example of a tertiary culture that has emerged due to transnational migration from Miraflores to Boston. Miraflorenos living in the Dominican Republic have adopted pieces of the culture of their family living abroad in Boston, and Miraflorenos living in Boston have recreated a facsimile of their life back home abroad.  The result is a new, shared cultural experience that does not compromise the values of either original culture. This is made possible by opening channels of communication across borders, and made successful through the work of a development community in which everyone is encouraged to participate. Smitha Radhakrishnan observes in the IT field in India what is described as "global work culture," the adoption of values and beliefs from overseas about work and how it plays into personal life and identity. Indian women who choose to work in the field challenge their social role and the expectations of their families (Indian cultural norms) in favor of their personal freedom, hard work, and value as an individual (Western cultural norms). Through their careers in IT - fittingly, a field which largely serves to further globalization - they explore their identities in a way that is nondestructive to culture.

These are particularly shining examples of the transactional nature of globalization. But although globalization may occur as a dialogue, that doesn't make it an equal one - just as in a person-to-person conversation, the more powerful players tend to domineer the exchange, drowning out the opinions and thoughts of the less influential participants. This occurs on an economic level (corporations vs. individuals) as well as a cultural one (the modern West vs. the rest). Thus we must be mindful of imperialistic attitudes, cultural entitlement, and ethnocentricism when we contribute to discussion on a global scale.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ch. 4, 5, 15 & 59

This weeks readings mostly discussed the affect globalization is having in different parts of the world whether it be on their economy, their natural resources, and even their own cultures as a whole. The first chapter dives into the different imperatives that make up much of the dynamic of the globalizing world (McWorld). The author discusses just how national economies are now becoming more vulnerable than ever before to the progress and success of larger, transnational markets. These markets are destroying national sovereignty and are giving rise to international banks, transnational lobbies, as well as other multinational corporations which continuously lack any type of national identity that global citizens can connect to. To some, this type of globalizing world may seem like it could benefit all, but many don't see it that way. Culturally, we all have different views and ideas of how our economies and societies should be. So, if you've spent almost your entire life in a world where your nation was its own unique place that had its own set of "norms", resources, and even its own distinctive type of economy, then the newly globalizing world could be a very stressful place that causes much anxiety and tension with not only your own personal beliefs, but your entire being.

I enjoyed reading the section on the depletion of natural resources as I wasn't quite aware just how much it affects people and not just the planet itself. It discusses the effects that the depletion of natural resources is now leaving on different types of societies and this even includes the wealthier societies. For wealthy societies it is just making them ever more resource dependent, but for poorer societies, it's a huge issue. It is causing developing countries to be unable to modernize or advance forward because of the fact that already developed nations have wrung them dry of all of their own natural resources. Basically, every nation needs something from one another so at this rate it seems to be who's going to beat who in the race to the complete depletion of all their nations natural resources.

With that being said, there is much more to globalization than meets the eye. It's a very complex problem that has been arising all over the world for many different reasons. Civilizations differ form one another with their history, language, traditions, and most importantly their religions. There is so many different views on the relationship we should have with our parents and children, god, our rights and responsibilities, as well as liberty and authority. These are the exact types of differences that have led our world into some of the most prolonged and most violent conflicts of our time. So we really do need to ask ourselves, do the cons to globalization truly outweigh the pros? As the world continuously becomes a smaller place, the interactions between people of different cultures/civilizations are increasing which only furthermore intensifies the awareness of the differences between them.

In some instances there are people who may become migrants to another part of the world but instead of completely assimilating to the culture and traditions of their new home, they keep their own culture and traditions alive. The people in the village of Minaflores is a perfect example of this. Despite predictions that home-country ties may weaken as immigrants assimilate, many of these migrants stay connected to the communities they leave behind.

Lastly, chapter 59 talks about the different experiences and issues that globalization has brought to Indian IT workers. Because of the amount of workers in the tech industry in India, there has become quite a stereotype of Indians as a whole and especially on their personal identities. However, these interactions in turn have heavily affected many Indians "global" skills, with some being able to connect with and have a better conversation with a customer on the phone rather than the people they spend their lives with. This type of global communication can be good for both parties and help pave the way for a more successful globalized world.

Globalization in and of itself is something that nobody can say is a good or bad thing, it is purely based on how you personally feel about all of the different aspects it entails. It would be unreasonable to believe that all cultures can just so easily assimilate to a globalizing world when their beliefs and generation long traditions are being threatened and changed.

Readings 6

This weeks readings discussed how the world has evolved because of globalization and the many ways it has pushed and deflected its reach. These changes can be both beneficial and controversial, and because of this we see conflicts and issues arise. These readings discussed how this globalization has been analyzed, and the issues it may create.

The main idea of the readings addressed the idea that globalization has no limits. We can see that at this point in time the world is influenced by everything developing. What we need to be aware of is that while some places may enjoy this change, development, and creation while other places wish to not join in. There is a divide between those who will welcome this change and those who will push it away. McWorld vs Jihad addressed how the world has developed intending to create a global system, and how jihadists (strugglers) will try to not conform to changes and go about in extreme manners. This creates a divide amongst the global population and creates fearful ideologies about one another. The Clash of Civilizations, addresses the changing times affected global relations. No longer of issues between people based upon conflicts of monarchs, economies and the like, but instead was because of cultural differences. An example would be the conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims. The divide between them is one based heavily on cultural differences and distastes for the other. Huntington believes that at this point it is impossible for no conflict to develop. The Transnational Viallagers, address the impact these people can make by assimilating within a culture.  The Miraflores Development Committee (MDC) has made great strides in receiving aid from their home countries to better help them abroad. While this is good for some, in other nations there can be long-standing inequalities between people. Global/Indian discusses the affect globalization has had on the Indian culture. With a rise in technology many high tech workers have come from the country. Because of this great number, there is now a social norm that is associated with those who are Indian. It has created this singular view for understanding what it means to be Indian, when in reality every person is not a tech wizard. This culture is something we see as different from us, but one we can easily identify and relate to because of our lifestyle. Globalizations impact is essentially deep and has influences on multiple levels of each individual.

Understanding globalization and its impact is a difficult matter. There are multiple outcomes to it and it is dominant and unique to each group of people. We cannot expect all cultures to welcome this change with open arms and accept it fully, however, it is not ignored by all.  This "Westernization" of the globe is something that will take time to be welcomed. Some will dislike how it eliminate barriers that once kept them separated, while others will see this as beneficial and necessary for the whole world. It is all about accepting this difference of opinion and finding ways to work with our cultural divides, rather than trying to unify us under one process that is not welcome by all.  

Chapters 4, 5, 15 and 59

In the readings assigned to us this week, we looked at the encroachment of globalization to the rest of the world, and how people area actually handling these changes to everything they know, from their markets to their culture. With globalization, we have to account that every culture affected by this trend is going to react differently, and most of the time no one can predict how cultures react.


Taking the four chapters and combining them, many different cultures are affected and see globalization in a different way. To the people that see the assimilation of everything into a McWorld, the world becomes one with one another, where imperatives like resources, economies, and information become universalized. However, many people, like the Quebecois, Kurds, and Puerto Ricans, do not want assimilation into this market, instead they want to be seen as separate and unique from the rest of the world. And, with globalization bringing all these different cultures and places together, there is no doubt that conflict will arise. When cultures are thrust together, disagreements on how things are done will arise to the point where relationships are destroyed and bad things follow. Just because something works for one culture never means that another one will adopt the new idea and roll just fine with it. With globalization and the spread of Western culture around the globe, many nation states are returning to their roots and priding on their differences from the rest of the world. For some, this is great, while others see this as a step in the wrong direction for complete assimilation. An example of an area that is proud of its roots is Jamaica Plain in Boston, with the visitors from the Dominican Republic, in a village called Miraflores. These villagers, now called transactional villagers, visit the area of Jamaica plain a lot, since many people have either visited or have family up in Jamaica Plain. When they visit, they buy different things that are in Boston, and bring them back to show their other Dominican Republic friends on what the United States has to offer to the world. This makes people want to visit the U.S., so much so that a billboard is put up in the village advertising travel to Boston. And it’s with this mindset business have to forget culture and distinctiveness that helps the bottom line. With that said, the IT workers in India have to deal with globalization every day. They sit on the phone and answer questions from customers all around the world about different technological devices. Some say that they cannot have a normal conversation with someone in their own house, while can talk on the phone with an American for hours on end. Others embrace this new Westernization, giving them the power to leave their homes and go to America to pursue their dreams, and even get away from overbearing parents.