Globalization and Global Inequality


This chapter introduces the topic of globalization and explains some of the historical reasons behind it and it’s impact on the average citizen.

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1. The Global Economy, the Privileged Class… (PDF file below)

2. Reader 31: The End of Work – Rifkin

3. Video: Is Wal-Mart Good for America? (Below)

Is Wal-Mart Good for America?

Wal-Mart is the world’s biggest private employer, and one of the most successful corporations out there. But is that a good thing! The video explains.

4. Complete questions below.


The Global Economy, the Privileged Class…

1. According to the article, what has happened to employment in the postindustrial service economy?

2. According to the article. Is the “end of lifetime employment “a result of “natural economic laws”, as many politicians have claimed for decades?

3. How has globalization impacted the American worker? (Be specific, the article provides detailed explanation)

The End of Work

4. We are told by the media that rising unemployment is only a temporary effect of the economic downturn. Based on the article, what is really happening to work?

5. Why are corporations “re-engineering” when the cost to the workforce can be as much as 75% layoffs.

6. According to the article, what are some of the possible outcomes of widespread unemployment – a world without work?

Is Wal-Mart Good For America?

7. Well, is it?

Gobal Inequality

This topic follows up on our previous chapter when we discussed how globalization impacts people, particularly workers in this country. This topic deals with how globalization impacts people in the poor countries who now manufacture all our consumer products. These people work for extremely low wages in appalling working conditions. The wages range anywhere from 3c/hr in Bangladesh, 14c/hr in China, and around $2 in Thailand and Malaysia, for example. This extreme global wage inequality is responsible for the fact that about ½ of the world’s people live on under $2 a day, and about 1 billion people live on a $1 a day.

The first article describes the state of working conditions in the sneaker industry in Indonesia. Note that the vast majority of the global low-wage workers are women (more than 80%)! The second article describes an extreme effect of globalization: the global sex trade and sex slavery.

1. PDF File: The Globetrotting Sneaker” – Cynthia Enloe (Below)

2. Reader 42: Because She Looks Like a Child – Bales ( Use Google)

3. Complete questions below.


Globetrotting Sneaker

8. Based on what you learned from this article, why do you think the majority of these workers are women?

9. Is there anything wrong with advertising these products (sneakers) in these poor countries?

10. Are foreign corporations benefiting the poor countries of the world by setting up shop there?

Because She Looks Like a Child

11. Explain how local cultural attitudes contribute to the cycle of prostitution.

12. Explain how the global economic boom (which a. introduced Western consumer goods, and b. brought higher wages to factory laborers), feeds into sex slavery.

13. Explain the principles of debt-bondage on which this system operates.

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