Monday, August 14, 2006

Economic Social Dislocation Globalization

Social Effects of Globalization

The present problem with Globalization is that it's only halfway implemented. Lets define Globalization inadequately as the free and frequent movement of stuff across national borders. Globalization with respect to Money is going very well. Capital flows move happily across the world, supported by an impressive international framework. Trade is pretty reasonably free. We've got some stupid restrictions on stuff like agriculture and textiles that amount to a big subsidy to agribusiness and a few politically connected industrial barons.

We don't have free movement of people. Not even close to it. And that's the third big piece of the triforce.

Diligent Economic scientists everywhere have chronicled the economic problems this causes. Essentially, you get dislocations of people that benefit some people (lower-class blue collar Americans) and hurt some people (everyone in Mexico).

I'm wondering more if this creates some problematic social issues. Lets say for a moment that social harmony and understanding of other cultures requires some level of actually mixing and hanging out with them. So while the Middle East is getting, say, a big influx of American culture, goods, and money, it's not spending time with any real Americans, excepting some charged interactions in Iraq. Similarly, while the American Northeast is getting a lot of imported goods, Mexican restaurants, and Japanimation, it's not spending time with any of the cultures associated with it. And, anecdotally, it seems like places in America without a large influx of immigrants are more prone to Xenophobia. Whereas the San Franciscos of the world just open more Thai/Ethopian fusion restaurants.

So I'm wondering this: if you get an infusion of foreign ideas, money, and goods without that socializing level of human cultural contact, you'll get rising indignation and hatred of the interlopers.

A good counterexample would be the American Southwest, where there's been a Latino backlash somewhat. But even there, people seem pretty accepting of Latinos, considering how dramatic the immigration has been and how limited the backlash has been. (Largely to the Economic losers from immigration)


Paul said...

Certainly, the areas with the most immigrants also have the least opposition to immigration, as a rule.

It seems to me that the big difference between the Southwest and, say, the Northeast is that the non-white population in the Southwest is almost entirely Hispanic. The breakdown in Phoenix is something like 70:30 white-to-Hispanic. NYC, on the other hand, is less than half white, has about as many blacks as Hispanics, and has a significant Asian population. Similarly, in San Francisco the white population is only a plurality, almost 1/3 of the population is Asian, more than 1-in-10 people is Hispanic, and there's a significant black population.

I'd guess it's easier to have an us-against-them mentality when there's only one "them" to feel diametrically opposed to.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I know what u r saying. But the thing is, it actually might not work that way. I'm actually an Asian high school kid so I'll speak from my experiences.

When you go to more rural areas and every single one of the students in the class are white except you, they only see you as some one who's.........special. They usually don't despise u just for the heck of it, and they actually try to be friendly with you. Also, of course, when you are the only asian kid in the class,you have no choice but to make friends from different cultural backgrounds than to yours and try your best to learn their language.

But when there are a lot of foreign kids in the school the situation is different. Those kids tend to hang around in their own ethnic groups, because they feel that they share the same identity such as cultural background and of course most importantly, language.

That's when the white kids(i'm not being racist here, most of the white kids i've met are quite friendly)feel threatened by this existence of the formation of the group.

From their point of view, there are people coming in the THEIR school from same cultural backgrounds who do not speak your language not that fluently.

Then they see those foreign kids hanging around by themselves, speaking in their own language and of course acting in a manner that would go in accord with their cultural background that is not yours. Then of course the kids who were originally there try to find some identity within their own group; which is when the friction between the ethnic groups start.

Think about it this way. If we put a black guy and a white guy on a desert island, they would immediately be friends. If we put a black guy and 4 white guys, they would still be friends. If we put 5 black guys that know each other and 5 white guys that know each other on the island, assuming those two groups do not have aquaintance, there are going to be groups formed, and there will be friction for the purpose of gaining the identity of those groups.