Unformatted text preview: 5/25/10 ANT2 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Prof. Sawyer May 25, 2010 Globalization and Social Justice
Economic Globalization is controversial
– Proponents= unfettered international free market
allows poor countries and citizens to develop
economically and raise standards of living.
– Opponents= unfettered international free market
benefits multinational corporations at expense of
local enterprises and common people. Consider contrasts….
(UNDP Human Development Report 2005)
– In midst of increasingly prosperous
global economy in 2003,
10.7 million children/year do not live to 5th
more than 1 billion people survive on less than
18 countries (460 million people) registered
lower scores on human development index
(HDI) than in 1990--an unprecedented reversal. • Global integration is forging deeper
interconnections between countries.
economic terms= space between people and
countries is shrinking rapidly, as trade,
technology and investment link all countries in
a web of interdependence.
human development terms= space between
countries is marked by deep and (in some
cases) widening inequalities in income and life
chance. 1 5/25/10 (UNDP Human Development Report 2007/2008)
One fifth of humanity
– live in countries where many don’t think twice of
spending $3/day on latte/cappuccino. One fifth of humanity
– survive on less than $1 a day and live in countries
where children die for want of anti-mosquito bed-nets. 40% of the world’s population (2.5 billion pp)
– living on less than $2 a day
– account for 5% of global income. The richest 10% (almost all living in high-income
– accounts for 54%. UNDP Human Development Report 1998 & 1999
• assets of three top billionaires in world = more than
combined GNP of all least developed countries and their
600 million people.
• 225 of world's richest billionaires have a combined wealth
equal to the poorest 47 percent of humankind.
[1/3 planet’s population = living on less than $1/day.
50% planet’s population = living on less than $2/day] What is Globalization?
David Held, et al (1999)
– “a widening, deepening, and speeding up of worldwide interconnections in all aspects of life.” Ferguson (1999)
– “not simply process that links together world, but
also one that differentiates it.
– creates new inequalities even as it brings into
being new commonalities and lines of
– creates new, up-to-date ways not only of
connecting places but of bypassing and ignoring
– Implies DISCONNECTION 2 5/25/10 Condition of Zambia:
• Disconnection and Abjection
– Being thrown aside, expelled, discarded, debased,
humiliated • Both imply an active relation
• The state of being disconnected or abject is
the product of specific structures and
processes. Zambian CopperBelt
– Industrialization, modernization,
development, economic prosperity
– Copper wires = connection
• (electricity, telephones, communication) – Techno change with fiber optics & satellites
• Communication revolution thought to be
connecting the globe is actually disconnecting
Zambia Imploding of “industrial revolution” in
Zambia reveals more than down side of
• Points to how our contemporary system of
spatialized global inequality depends on
the configurations of membership,
exclusion, and abjection. 3 5/25/10 Global economy
• “flexibility of investment and market
options is matched by a wholly new
flexibility in disinvestment and
abandonment” (Neil Smith 1987).
• Makes global “redlining” possible and
makes implosion of Zambian copper
industry as integral a part of
globalization as McDonalds in Delhi. Question Ferguson poses:
• “How can we acknowledge the historical
and ethical obligations of
connectedness, responsibility, and,
indeed, guilt that link Western wealth
and security with African poverty and
insecurity in an era when the modernist
grid of universal copper connectivity has
begun to disintegrate?” 4 ...
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