Book Review: Globalization and Its Discontents

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[. . .] This leaves American individuals that want to start out at the bottom and work their way up struggling to find a place to start. Americans also seem to expect more today and those that do start out in low-paying jobs want higher wages and fast promotion which is something that many companies are not offering because the economy is so poor.

This was not as much the case when Sassen published this particular book in 1999 so it is certainly forgivable that she does not go into any specific discussion of the economic troubles in this country in the essays that are included. Most of the troubles with the economy did not start becoming obvious until after the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001 and therefore Sassen's essays would not have knowledge of this type of problem. She does voice some economic concerns, however, mostly dealing with immigration and how much it is changing the economies in various areas.

Sassen makes other arguments throughout her book and it is important to discuss some of them briefly here or at least point them out, as they could be important for discussion in the future as globalization continues to move forward. One of the things that Sassen does when it comes to be internationalization of economics is to compare the United States and Japan. It does not seem accurate for Sassen to compare these two because the social structures and the economic structures of both countries are so different. It is true that they are both experiencing globalization, just as all countries throughout the world are experiencing it. However, the experiences had by those in Japan and by those in the United States will be very different both socially and economically and therefore there does not seem to be any direct comparison that is able to be made.

Sassen also argues that the immigration that is increasing so rapidly in Japan is due to the economic ties that it has, especially those with the other Asian countries. However, it seems that the immigration is actually not related to these things but actually related to the fact that the economic status in Japan is rising quite rapidly. Sassen may be correct about this point but it is another one of the arguments that she makes that is not actually backed up by verifiable facts and figures.

Sassen spends some time on Japan as she talks about the immigration policy that it has and how strict that policy is. Part of this has to do with the fact that much of Japan is already overcrowded at this point. Immigrants still continue to arrive illegally in Japan, however, just as they do in the United States. It appears that these people arrive for the same reason that all illegal immigrants do: they wish to have a better life somewhere where they can start over, but Japan with its strict social structure and strong sets of rules may not be the best place for this new start. That issue, however, is not strictly relevant. What is relevant is all of the information that Sassen gives and all of the opinions that she presents that do not have actual basis in verifiable facts.

Despite the fact that Sassen's book is difficult to read in many areas and despite the fact that it is full of a lot of jargon and opinions that cannot be easily proven, the book is still interesting. Anyone who has read Sassen's essays in the past will realize that they are not really reading anything new when they choose to pick up this book. However, re-reading information that one has already read is not such a bad choice from time to time because one may see it in a new way or issues in the world may have changed enough that an individual realizes that something that he or she did not feel applied to them may now apply based on different economic or social conditions that have been noted.

If one can get through all of the difficult and confusing language one will find that there is a lot of information in this particular book, or at least a lot of suggestions and opinions that can be thought about. The book does not provide a great deal of conclusive information about the subject that Sassen discusses, but many of the things that she thinks about come through very strongly and they are issues that all individuals in this new global society should probably be thinking about. They deal not only with politics but also with immigration, gender, social issues, and countless other concerns that all work together to make up globalization. A great number of people do not understand what globalization actually means and they assume that it only means businesses that are working internationally instead of only in one particular country. Instead, globalization is something that encompasses and affects everyone and all individuals should be aware of what it could… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Globalization and Its Discontents.  (2004, October 9).  Retrieved April 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/globalization-discontents/5006396

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"Globalization and Its Discontents."  9 October 2004.  Web.  19 April 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/globalization-discontents/5006396>.

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"Globalization and Its Discontents."  Essaytown.com.  October 9, 2004.  Accessed April 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/globalization-discontents/5006396.