Reflections on World History

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Ch. 23: Capitalism and Culture, Global Interaction Since 1945

I have two main questions regarding the primary sources we read this week. First, why would global feminism have taken such different forms in different places? Second, what are some of benefits and drawbacks of recent patterns of globalization? And when considering the drawbacks, is there a way imagine forms of global trade that would be less exploitive? Are there things we can do as individuals from one of the world’s richest nations to limit the exploitation of people and of the environment in the Global South?

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22 Comments

  1. Rashundra Martin says:

    During the second half of the 21st century, globalization widely became a reverse pattern of what global migration was known as. Mass migration took place during this time; many cultures intertwining with one another. The pattern of migration disrupted the norms of the inhabitants both old and new. One issue that arose during this process of globalization took place in France, after North Africans had migrated there. As depicted in Visual Source 23.3, a protest was the result of the injustice. The image displays a group of women protesting due to a French law passed that forbade girls wearing headscarves in the school setting. It was passed on the grounds that the headscarves “compromised the secularism of French education and represented the repression of women.” To the Muslim girls who wore the scarves, it seemed as a sort of disrespect to the religion which was the cause of the scarves in the first place. The Muslim women that protested felt that the law undermined their religious freedoms and practices and also violated their culture as a whole. In the image the women are holding a banner which reads “the veil is a choice frace is my right.” Although the term “frace” is not a French word, it is suggested that the phrase could stand for a combination of “face” and “race.” To me, the banner symbolized what the veil represented to the Muslim women. It was not simply to hide their face from humanity but because of their religion, it was a part of their identity. Another banner in the image reads “the ignorance of people is the door that undermines our freedom.” I believe that the phrase suggest that the French didn’t understand the meaning or reasoning for the veil as it pertains to the Islamic religion. The French only saw the veil as repressing women instead of considering the religious meaning it served to these Muslim women. I believe this also suggest that the French and many other nations for that matter were not as open to understanding the new cultures that were transpiring within their nations, ultimately neglecting and disrespecting the values of others’ culture.

  2. Daisha B. says:

    Globalization is a reoccurring topic throughout history. The impact one country has on another can be in many different way and all together it is the reason the world is so very diverse today.
    In Visual Source 23.1 it shows a Chinese owned company producing Western-style blue jeans Lesotho which is small country in southern Africa. The mix of races in that sentence alone just shows how globalized the world is. Even today when you look around or even in the media you can see how many different cultures are in one.
    You can see people wearing western or eastern style clothing though they may live in the opposite directions. Globalization is a wonderful way for the economy and world to grow.

  3. Carina says:

    I believe globalization has allowed each individual nation to become aware of how big and connected the world has become. In one sense, globalization has connected countries through trade, intermingling cultures, and allowing countries to see what is going on in other areas especially if there are arising problems. In visual source 23.2, there is a poster showing Chinese teenagers that are “westernized.” With Mao’s fading communism and China becoming more open to other cultures, the Chinese citizens are able to indulge in items from other countries such as the Suzuki motorcycle from Japan the teenagers are riding on. This poster is particularly interesting because it shows how far China has come from their old traditional ways. Some would say the way the girl is holding the boy while on a bike together is very “western” and unlike the strict old-customed ways of the Chinese.

  4. gjones22 says:

    Globalization allows interchange of goods across the globe. It allows countries to have access to good that their country is incapable of producing. However this intermingling between countries also leaves the world at risk of experience traumatic economic events based on one sole countries economic realm. If one of the major countries involved in globalization experiences a downfall, often all of its counterparts will also receive a blow to its economy. Globalization also puts smaller countries at risk of being exploited as seen in visual source 23.1. The larger and more wealthy countries outsource their production and pay workers of global south nearly nothing while accumulating greater wealth and success. The people in the smaller countries just hope to make ends meet off their nearly slave like labor.
    G jones

  5. Jessica says:

    Visual Source 23.2

    Globalization is a series of social, economical, technological, cultural, and political changes that promote interdependence and growth. Globalization introduces new ideas to developing countries, such as spreading technological knowledge and increasing political liberation. In visual source 23.2, the painting depicts a young Chinese couple enjoying their time on a motorcycle. If you look closely, there is the brand name of the bike, which is Suzuki and that is a company owned by Japan. My interpretation of this image is that globalization and westernization, modernization, and consumerism is benefiting the young couple’s lives because their expressions are clearly not sad. The idea of Japanese products has moved to China which portrays the movement of western ideas. This is an image that can be read as a celebration of Chinese success because it seems to give a message that globalization is doing a good job on promoting economic growth and allowing openness to the world.

  6. Jose F says:

    Globalization has molded and defined the world into what it is today, intertwining and connecting its many peoples, religions, ideas, and cultures. For better or worse, globalization has created a global network of trade that that has erected institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization to control and regulate global prices of goods among other things. Visual Source 23.3 aims to incite thought and investigation into the actions of these international institutions as they are blamed for many of the economic and environmental issues plaguing the world. The individual shown in the image is participating in the same extent that any western individual could if they wanted to limit the exploitation of the victims of globalization. Unfortunately, as we saw with the conclusion of the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, there is very little we as individuals can achieve to limit the injustices of globalization whilst living in a capitalist society.

  7. Sidney Nelson says:

    I noticed a lot of differences between the workers in the assembly factory in Visual Source 23.1 Globalization and Work, and those in the India call center shown on page 1140. The first thing I observed was that the African workers mostly look very serious and focused on what they are doing. The Indian workers look the complete opposite. They seem to be joking around while they are all making a pretend smile. They do not look nearly as stressed as the workers in the other picture. I also noticed how there are a lot more factory workers in the African picture than there are in the Indian one. The African workers look more clustered and closer together, while the Indians seem to have more room and space to work. While looking closer in the pictures, I also saw how the tables in the picture with the Indians have small dividers, separating ones workspace from anther. This most likely allows them to be more organized in everything that they are doing. On the other hand, some similarities I observed in both pictures is that all the workers are formed and aligned the same way. They are all in straight lines, right behind one another. Lastly, another similarity is that there are both males and female workers in the pictures.
    Sidney N.

  8. Samuel says:

    I have two main questions regarding the primary sources we read this week. First, why would global feminism have taken such different forms in different places? Feminism has its roots in the French revolution, although in my opinion actions taken during the women liberation activist there, in France, were unprecedented and extreme, one can empathize. Feminist extremism where it is applicable deserves much attention to further discern the historic impact and the relevance thereof. Just in the past week I recently was fortunate enough to view a reanalysis of the 1980 Hollywood movie Working 9-5, staring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and other prestigious women. This movie is said to have brought the needed attention to the plight of women in the American workforce. Check the movie out for more detail.

  9. Garrett Mitchell says:

    Document 23.5 intrigues me the most as the feminist movement and agenda are more focused on the general welfare in the first portion of the document. The second portion of the document focuses more specifically on expanding the rights of women. This document shows a pattern in feminist movements which is someone congruent with the American feminist movements which had roots in an abolitionist and racial equality movements. Feminist movements are often focused on the general welfare when the conditions of the society the movement is based in is sub par. They then move towards a focus on women’s rights. The document shows both sides of the coin with feminist outcry for both the rights of women and improvement of society as a whole.

  10. Ruby says:

    Visual source 23.5 is a photograph of the world taken at satellite view, showing which parts of the world have advanced the most through the process of globalization. Looking at the photograph, we see some regions more illuminated than others. Africa seems to be the least illuminated while North America is the region most illuminated. In this photograph three aspects of the globalization process are reflected. First the growing consciousness of the earth as a single place, looked at fondly by many. Second, electricity is shown to be the central feature of modern life, and third, sharp variations in modern development across the planet are shown. Particularly, showing what the twenty-first century has brought about. This images allows to you look at the way the earth has advance as far as it’s globalization process as well as the shaping of its inhabitants.

  11. ajones188 says:

    In Visual Source 23.2, two Chinese adolescents are riding on a Japanese motorcycle. Theirs expressions are showing contentment and their composure is relaxed. These two teenagers may or may not be conscious about their ‘western’ behavior. By this time it seems that it has grown to be a first nature. The significance of a Chinese couple riding a Japanese product most likely made in China under a license agreement is a sort of uniting way of life. The countries pass products between each other, thus causing a need to be closer in order to keep business going. The world has gotten much smaller.

  12. Shamira says:

    A reason that global feminism has taken on different forms is related to the areas that these women are in. Different countries and societal norms breed different needs for different women. Feminism is the fight for equality above all and in different places, women have different levels of how they struggle with equality in their societies. For instance, referring to Document 23.3, it highlights the differences between the feminist fight of American black and white women. During the peak of the feminist movement during the 70s, there were many white feminists who were also separatists. This disabled black women from joining the fight with the white women, thus they were forced to fight by themselves with the addition of racial equality to their agendas as well as gender equality.

  13. Kameron H says:

    Visual source 23.1 is an image of a modern-day “sweatshop.” Ironically, this is owned by the nation of China stationed in an area in Africa. This ironic situation only proves that China’s position in the global market is on the rise. Another humorous twist in the picture is that the sweatshop seen contradicts the thought brought to mind about how a sweatshop is. When swaetshop is mentioned a normal reaction is to picture a shop with many fans and people sweating. This picture however, shows workers actually wearing sweaters indicating the opposite notion of a sweatshop. Many of these are accepted in the developing nations due to the reasson that the people are willing to take on any labor possible. While it may be true we are one of the richest nations, we got to that point sadly, by exploiting other countries for cheap labor. To limit the exploitation of other nations would mean to decrease the wealth of our nation itself.

  14. denny says:

    global feminism have taken such different forms in different places because of all the different cultures around the world. even though it might be different in every culture, feminism still play a big role because us as a society apply gender in any aspect of our lives which put women with a very low status. Visual source 23.1 shows a picture of a Chinese owned company producing western style blue jeans and from what i can see all the people working in there are all women. which bring me to the conclusion that there is no way or forms to make global trade less exploitative, because globalization is being done by the most richest countries, and with the better technology, so their ideas is to get most as they can get for a very low cost, and that’s why they build this companies in foreign countries and their main workers are female as it shows in visual source 23.1. because the owner of the companies can offer them lower pay and benefits.

  15. JoslynP says:

    There’s many drawbacks to the current pattern of globalization and Visual Source 23.3 displays the protest caused by this process. The visual source displays a sign from a protester that reads “FREE (to exploit people and nature) TRADE.” Today, globalization has created a huge corporate power struggle. The World Trade Organization aimed to stimulate economic growth, but what it has done is widened the gap between the rich and poor. It is also harming the environment with its heavy industrial pollution from major factories. To exploit means to utilize especially for the use of profit; it’s all part of the Matrix we live in today, but it goes beyond profit and monetary gain. Its now about power. I believe everything that happens in the world today is apart of a larger plan not by the government itself, but by the elites of the leading bank cartels; the ones that have the most control over our international financial institutions.

  16. Levon Austin says:

    Global feminism would take different forms in different places because of how their customs are set up and their standards for what’s considered feminism. Also women in different regions faced different problems. In document 23.2, media was explained to have shown a lot on how women were portrayed mainly in relations dealing with their sexuality. Andrea Dworkin lists many of the unfairness in the treatment of women in the west. She elaborated on what she has seen and experienced in the area around her. The problems she listed may be different than the ones of black women, but one thing is she did not have to deal with the problem being looked down upon because of her skin color as many black women have at one point. Globalization can cause conflicts from selfishness and greed but it also limits the number of conflicts between certain countries from escalating. I say this as in means of one country has a problem with the U.S. they may not want to start a war with the U.S. if they receive a huge amount of goods from it. A the rich nation we are there is probably something we can do to help other regions but I believe we still have many problems that need to be fixed here first to keep the nation from becoming weaker and overtime the nation is not even able to lend help to others.

  17. Jonathan McKenley says:

    Document 23.4 talks about the equality and justices for woman. Benazir Bhutto, a Pakistan politician suggest the Qur’an wants woman to be held to a equal standard, and gives direct quotes to show that it is true. Her plight for women was not the only woman’s movement going on during this time. Around the world there are different struggles for woman’s rights and what they want. In the Middle East for example, woman no longer wanted to be seen as animals compared to men, while in America woman wanted voting rights. In other regions of the world, women wanted different things because they were going through different struggles.

  18. Krys M. says:

    The age of protest takes center stage with visual source 23.3. In this image taken in 1999 a protester, angry over “the abuse of unregulated corporate power,” is shown not only holding a sign but in costume as well. There are two signs in fact, one on the costume and another in the hand of the protester. The one on the costume has a stop symbol, one with a circle and a diagonal line through the letter WTO. The other sign reads “FREE to exploit people & nature TRADE.” Quite harsh and threatening words and symbols. They show the utter anger and frustration of the protester in the picture. The costume, the centerpiece of the entire picture, is of a cloaked skeletal figure with a white garment that appears to have blood on it. This to me is a sign or symbol of death. Perhaps the interpretation of the protester was to show that what the government was doing with the unfair treatment of economics during this time period or lack thereof was spelling death for people. Not only the people of the nation or one country in particular but the death of human civilizations across the world in general.

  19. Grecia C. says:

    In document 23.4 Benazir Bhutto (Prime Minister), expresses her argument on woman’s rights. She tells us tha it is not due to religion that man and woman are not equal, but it is men who have had a major influence on this matter. She uses specific example to prove that the Qur’an implements women being independent, strong, and influential. It seems as though society has changed the real meaning of women and making woman look weak in the eyes of men and religion. Which now opens my eye to the Islam religion because it does seem lie woman are looked down upon, but from reading this I can understand that woman and men are both viewed under the same standards.

  20. Arian Amiri says:

    Globalization allows the interchanging of goods, ideas, and practices across the world. Visual Source 23.1 depicts a sweatshop in a small country in southern Africa called Lesotho. This Chinese-owned company hires cheap laborers such as young children that work for minimal pay. Foreign countries seek labor in other countries because many are willing to work for so little pay which maximizes their profits. In the picture, There are many African American woman making blue jeans for China which will most likely be sold in other countries such as the United States, clearly demonstrating Globalization. It is apparent that these people are being forced to work under long working conditions while constantly being on their feet. The name sweatshop comes from the workers constantly working in this ‘shop’ for longer hours often without air conditioning which causes many workers to sweat during the duration of work. These poor work conditions are often dangerous and may not seem worth it to the consumers, but these poor people take any job they can get to support their families.

  21. ShanakayW says:

    The document that I found interesting was document 23.2. Andrea Dwoking an American feminist gave a speech in 1995 at the University of Toronto. Dwoking’s, “Remember, resist, Do Not Comply speech focuses on cultural issues, media portrayal of women, prostitution, and pornography. Dwoking’s, targets women, and men, making the point that it’s important to shine light on the exploitation of woman. She talks about how degrading women and turning them into commodity is an awful thing that eventually leads to acts of violence. She ends her speech my saying, “I have to ask you to resist, not to comply, to destroy the power men have over women, to refuse to accept it, to abhor it, and to do whatever is necessary, despite its cost to you, to change it,” meaning that woman should have a voice, stand up for themselves, and should feeling like a victim. She is encouraging woman to make a change.

    – ShanakayW

  22. Jamison H says:

    Documents 23.4 and 23.5 are two articles about feminism, one progressive Islamic feminist and one is the Mexican Zapatista feminist. This article can be directly related back to the question “why would global feminism have taken such different forms in different places?” by just assessing what each group of feminist was asking for within their cultures. For instance, the Mexican feminist ordered a petition for better living conditions and social services for their children along with gaining their own equal rights. In their case, they were fighting against their government for more equal rights, however, in the case of Islamic feminism they were fighting against the more traditional forms of their religion while trying to convince other Islamic people that the Quran speaks about equality of women instead of the submissiveness of them. The two types of feminism are so different because of who the feminist had to convince and change within their communities. That goes for why feminism was different everywhere as well. Although most feminist had the same ideas in mind when it came to equality, they all had to go about their mission in a unique way in order to convince their unique cultures.

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