Globalization is a phenomenon that has taken over the world. New advances are being made to service the growing population. This has been a major adjustment to economic, political, and cultural areas in the world since the 1960s and 1970s; such issues include the rise of governing bodies to regulate political conflicts, world trade, and dominance in commercial and consumer areas (Dolgon & Baker, 2011). This has called for the demand for low-wage services in manual labor jobs due to the prices of materials increasing in those areas (Dolgon & Baker, 2011). It has created more opportunities for white-collar and blue-collar professionals, but the inexperienced workers from underdeveloped countries are having a hard time finding a decent paying job. This is where the perspective of the world around us comes into play; Durante (2018) states, the world is basically a symbolic system and the goal is to visualize the symbols and images in order to create a framework of what the world looks like through the someone’s eyes. This can create a lot of controversy due to people having their own opinions on specific topics. For instance, globalization can go from a harmless cycle to a dangerous cycle; this can mess with the expectations of the people and it only makes matters worse when the cycle goes from good to bad. An example of that would be, in China, the flourishing middle class and the rising of wages has jeopardized the country’s economy (Levy, 2018). With the cheap labor being a risk, it could only harm other developing countries that are trying to progress in that direction.
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Functionalism theory can relate to this social issue of globalization. The theory is a society that wants to achieve control and to meet standards set within that society (Dolgon & Baker, 2011). It has three different levels: economic/adaptive, political/goal-attained, and social. All three levels would relate to globalization due to having economic, political and cultural aspects. Each level has its effect on society; for instance, the economic/adaptive level makes or distributes needs within a society, so it would influence many issues with an economy (Dolgon & Baker, 2011). This would lead to a lack of resources or quality of items made in certain markets that need better-made materials for their people. The political/goal-attained level organizes and makes policies to regulate everything as a whole (Dolgon & Baker, 2011). The issue with this is that people are not following the rules and being punished for breaking those rules and regulations made in that society. The final level, the social aspect, must socialize in a culture by either a latent or integrative (Dolgon & Baker, 2011). These issues would lead to problems with the core values of certain people with those values or ways that have been taught along the way. Such problems arise in society today, like entering a new phase in globalization. For example, the border trades in services and goods is very steady in the economy, but on the international side, the abundance of capital is much lower than before (Irwin, 2018). Information is much powerful now than ever due to technologies improving every single day. Another issue is the working class in manufacturing and other services in developing countries; it has helped struggling markets, but now the automotive and artificial intelligence (AI) has put those markets in danger (Levy, 2018). They are not as powerful or competitive in developing areas. This can cause problems to shift into different directions and create more issues alongside the already existing concerns.
The origin (globalism) of globalization started after the end of World War II when the United States had a thought about rebuilding; free trade and opening borders were involved but keeping the world safe and secure was all they wanted to do (Irwin, 2018). The Soviet Union put a wrench in all of those plans where reconstructing was no longer a plan, it has to turn into this ideology for this new era in the world today (Irwin, 2018). This concept is more complex than anyone could imagine; for instance, the visual factor is the main focus for some people due to it being the only way to interpret globalization (Durante, 2018). It represents the dimensions of the process that people can relate to such as the material and ideological areas. Those areas include aesthetic (material) and ideational (ideological) that identify and categorize objects within globalization (Durante, 2018). In the Levy (2018) article, he stated that this was the beginning of the end for globalism as an ideology. Some evidence to back up that statement would be all opposition against the United States. For instance, free trade was once a positive agenda, but now, it has led to trade disputes on technology and having one big global free market (Levy, 2018). Another example would be the United States is not promoting the free multilateral trade organizations due to the Chinese building an alternative system that contains no global trade at all (Levy, 2018). Opening borders was also another positive issue until the United States loss support for immigration (Levy, 2018). Like stated above, these issues have shifted into different directions to create more issues as time goes on. This kind of causation will continue if nothing changes within these kinds of issues.
The consequences that globalization has become a great deal in some parts of the world. For instance, connectivity and communication have become a part of this world now and most people are linked to each other in some way. More people are using social media and connecting through the internet rather than relying on companies to do the work for them. Now, companies are hiring freelance workers and small enterprises are collaborating with other companies all around the world (Irwin, 2018). Another example would include factory jobs having a big effect on competition in the workforce. These types of careers are less advanced than those of technology-based careers in American and Western Europe areas (Irwin, 2018). A solution to this problem was the Trans-Pacific Partnership that focused on property rights and security for its people. This has created opportunities for employees in higher education to fulfill their needs in their career. For people who have to work multiple jobs to keep food on the table, they do not have the time or money to try to apply for those high application jobs.
China is another example that displays how technology has affected their economy. China is now more complex in technology products like automobiles and airplanes; the productions of labor is more intense with less technology than those in lower-wage countries like Bangladesh and Ethiopia (Irwin, 2018). Some statistics that have affected the job market, especially the middle class, includes people with an income of at least $10 a person a day in 2005; in 2018, for a family of four, that is only around $19,000 a year (Irwin, 2018). In addition, in 1990, only 23% of the world’s population fit into the category of the middle class, but today, 45% do and this means that more than 2 billion people can afford more luxuries that the world economy provides like food and shopping (Irwin, 2018). With the middle class on the rise, there are more changes to the economy every day. These changes are affecting both the lower and upper classes to the point where globalization will be making more advances as time goes on.
Over the years, society has tried its best to accommodate every single person’s needs whether that be in the lower, middle, or upper class. For example, the middle class has had its ups and downs due to the demand for services or the economy shifting and different directions. It all depends on the changes in certain economies that mess with the social classes. Movies or restaurants are just a few luxuries that people can have in their lives due to the structure of a global economy consuming goods (Irwin, 2018). In the United States, that is how the services are demanded due to how much the goods are requested in the growing economy. Views on globalization are changing whether it be by the people or society. Labor workers are having to work more but get paid less for the same amount of work as someone else in a technological field. Society is having to change its ways for the growing market and economy all over the world. For the whole world, everyone has to be both a competitor and a customer; trade battles are also looming, and costs are always a factor in a developing economy (Irwin, 2018). Another example is the improvement of the school systems especially in the United States; there are sections that are very poor and have very little resources due to the funds allotted to them. This is why the lower end of the school system is terrible, but the U.S has one of the best university systems in the world (Levy, 2018). Some Americans are not capable of making it in this type of system due to their background and history; this causes public schools to become much bigger to accommodate the number of students needing an education. Levy’s (2018) article also states people think that new jobs are on the horizon since technology is flourishing all around the world. Since technology is becoming a phenomenon, but it is taking over jobs that no longer meet criteria needed for such a connected world.
Every society has tried to adapt to the developing of the growing world. It has cost economies jobs for labor workers and education has little resources due to the lack of funding in those markets. The possibilities are endless after going through a period of time where areas in the world were trying to figure out ways to make their society better for their people. These areas will continue to develop new technologies and jobs to be available for people who have lost jobs in an area of labor or development (Levy, 2018). This is a generation where people are losing their jobs due to a failed political and economic model that needs to be modified in order for it to work for people in those fields (Levy, 2018). Even though technology has helped out a majority of the world, the industrial area is suffering due to this impact it is having on the productivity in the world.
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The response to these issues in globalization has been very heavily leaning towards the technological side of the market. This has helped with solving solutions in that area, but it has caused friction in other major areas of the world like the labor and development departments. These areas have held up many economies for years. Societies have been trying their best to mix both industries together but have not quite figured it out yet. The structure of labor industries run much differently than how technology companies operate. There is a possibility that a fourth industrial revolution is not really going to happen due to all the technology being invented for the world population (Levy, 2018). The visual-ideological method that was discussed above should be the way to work both industries together. The theory states that it should identify and develop a technique for globalization and select areas to focus on that would be visual and efficient enough to accomplish the tasks at hand (Durante, 2018). This method would help set up a plan that could visually look at certain areas that needed to be focused on the most such as integrating the industries of labor and technology and put those as a top priority. Then, the list or plan would work its way down towards education and the middle class.
Every society or region of the world would have a different plan, but certain standards would be in place for every single one so each one is very similar but also different as well. For example, the labor and technology component would be the top priority to all countries and have the resources to be able to build up industries in those areas. Other areas, such as education and the middle class, would be high up on the plan, but it would not have specific standards as the labor and technology component. It would be a trial plan for developing countries first and then it would work its way to other areas of the world. Just like China, it is made a social credit system, where if someone does not have high enough social credit, he cannot get on a plane or train (Levy, 2018). This system was made due to the universal basic income that the population wants to go forward with. The universal basic income will help the upper class, but the middle and lower class will be affected just like they already are by industries of labor and technology (Levy, 2018). It will not get better if nobody changes the system. That is why the ideological plan makes sense to put forth something worth trying in developing countries, so they can put it in a trial phase and then release it into other parts of the world. If we change to a universal basic income system, then the upper class will just get richer and if we keep the existing system, the economy will still be messed up for many years to come with technology taking over and labor industries shutting down.
Overall, globalization has been up and down for years whether it be due to the decline of the labor industries or the rise in technology development. Societies have tried to incorporate plans to help with the growing economies, but some have lost momentum because of the growth of technology and losing job security in labor development. People in the lower and middle-class regions have concerns with the economy and other aspects because it affects their quality of living. People in the upper class do not have to worry about their livelihood due to having a great financial safety net. It is very unbalanced and will continue to be this way until some changes are made. There are some changes being made in China and other parts of the world, but they are different all around. The adjustments need to be coherent and consistent throughout the world in order for this process to work sufficiently. If the matters are uneven and unbalanced like they currently are, the changes will not affect any major development being established in the growing world today. Societies need to discuss their own plans or look at an ideological method in order to make some major modifications in the system. The changes need to be thought out and explored before being distributed in the world. Once this occurs, regions can modify areas of the general plan to accommodate their growing population.
- Dolgon, C., & Baker, C. (2011). Social problems. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Pine Forge Press.
- Durante, T. (2018). Visual Ideology and Social Imaginary: A New Approach to the Aesthetics of Globalization. Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and Extraurban Studies, 9(1), 15-34. doi: 10.18848/2154-8676/cgp/v09i01/15-34
- Irwin, N. (2018). Globalization’s Backlash Is Here, at Just the Wrong Time. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/upshot/globalization-pain-and-promise-for-rich-nations.html
- Levy, G. (2018). The Failures of Globalism. https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2018-04-27/how-automation-corruption-and-the-failure-of-globalism-let-to-brexit-trump-and-beyond