Globalization Reader by Frank Lechner and John Reaction Paper

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Globalization Reader by Frank Lechner and John Boli, addresses what has become one of the most important buzz words of the 21st century. Globalization refers to a process that is complex and involves many different theories and facets. Lechner and Boli present some of the most recent research on globalization in a format that is easy to understand. The book highlights the work of some of the top scholars on the topic of globalization. The book focused on the forces that affect the globalization process, as well as the effects of globalization on both industrialized and developing countries.

The purpose of the book was to give the reader a rounded view of globalization, its many components and the effects of globalization on various segments of the population. Upon reading the table of contents, it appears that the authors have accomplished their goals. However, as one begins to read the articles themselves, it becomes apparent that a certain amount of bias is present in the articles that the authors have chosen to represent the topic of globalization. This research will explore the book as a whole and in relation to its intended purpose of giving the reader a balanced perspective on the topic of globalization. It will support the hypothesis that even though the authors had noble intentions, they introduced a high degree of bias into the work through the selection of their articles.

Purpose of the Work

Before we begin to examine book in detail, it is important to take into consideration a few of the characteristics of the book that make it different from other works of this nature. The first thing to remember about this work is that it represents a compilation of the works of other authors. Therefore, it does not stand alone in and of itself as a piece of research. It more resembles and anthology of selected works than the research of a single author.

It was the intention of the authors to give the readers an understanding of what globalization is and of the many issues that are contained within this topic. From the beginning of the work, it is clear that it is not the intention of the authors to sway the audience towards one viewpoint or another, but rather to give them a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. The authors wished to allow the audience to make up their own mind regarding how they felt about globalization and the many effects that it has and will have on the world in which we live. A further examination of the individual chapters will give us a better perspective on whether they accomplished their goal or not.

Opposing Forces

One of the most important points that is emphasized throughout the book is that globalization is a process that involves opposing forces. While the movement gravitates towards a sense of global interconnectivity, it also gravitates towards greater homogeneity. This homogeneity is necessary in order to carry out the functions of interconnectivity. Many obstacles must be overcome on the road to globalization. One of the most apparent is language and culture differences. Homogeneity is necessary in order to accomplish a truly global marketplace. These ideas are most emphasized by Lechner and Boli in the article included by Hans King, "A Global Ethic as a Foundation for Global Society" and in EJ Hobsbawm's, "The World Unified."

While globalization requires a movement towards increasing homogeneity, an opposing force resists the loss of national identity and loss of culture that are a result. As cultures blend, it is more often the case than not, that a dominant culture emerges, to the detriment of the weaker culture. In recent times, this often means that developing nations succumb to the forces of corporations that force a Eurocentric view. This was emphasized by the article, "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Economy" by Arjun Appadurai.

Globalization is filled with opposing forces that seek to keep their autonomy and culture. Some completely reject the ideal of globalization altogether, while others attempt to find a happy medium where globalization can coexist with local culture and a sense of cultural identity. The ability to strike this balance is one of the greatest challenges facing globalization today. Lechner and Boli present both sides of the argument, but they place an emphasis on cultures who are attempting to resist globalization and retain their own cultural identity.

Globalization is a social force that will bring social change on some level in every country in the world, whether they willingly choose to participate or not. This is bound to bring tension among many competing factions. Globalization has a different effect on everyone and every culture in the world. This is one of the key points that were brought out in the Globalization Reader. Lechner and Boli support the ideal that the stronger forces to unify and unite become, the greater the resistance to these changes will be. Tribal wars have been a part of human history since its early beginnings. Now these forces are being strained and as they become more strained, the more likely they are to resort to their tribality as a means to find comfort. However, as Lechner and Boli point out as forces within the tribe and between tribes causes conflict, the more likely forces from the outside are to place pressure on them to conform to the norms of the rest of the world.

Although, they did not state it. Kitchner and Boli stress the importance of three key forces on rogue countries to conform. These three forces are economic, technological and ecological forces. These three forces demand integration, and as a result homogeneous the culture and integrate it into the whole of the global community. Technology and the need to participate in the global economy are perhaps the greatest driving forces that are helping to shape the future of the world. Kitchner and Boli provide one key example of the resistance to of the extent to which indigenous peoples are making an effort to resist globalization, even if it means greater prosperity for the country. The Papuans have resisted installation of the world's largest coal mine, placing environmental concerns over those of corporation and profits for the Papuans. The authors used this example to illustrate their point about how some cultures are making a concerted and public effort to resist globalization and the loss of cultural identity that comes with it.

Once of the key questions that Kichner and Boli ask is where religion stands in light of globalization. As the world continues to morph and commute into one economy with a single set of ethics driving it, the obvious question is what to do about religion. Often religion is a point of contention that has divided humans since early times. Cultures have been forced, in many cases, to give up many of their beliefs and traditions in order to participate in the global economy and to provide all of the advantages of doing so to their people.

Kitchner and Boli address the issue of fundamentalism and women's rights, bringing up the point that Islam in the country of Iran represents a central area of dispute on the topic. This section could have been much stronger if the authors had included more examples to illustrate their point rather than just those that address the issues concerning women and the suppression of their rights according to Islamic Law and custom. The issue of where religion fits into globalization is an issue that needs to be addressed in the future, but it is likely, as the examples from the authors point out, that it will be unlikely to be resolved any time in the near future, but it is an issue of concern in the globalization process. At this point, it is not clear where religion stands in the globalization process, which was the main point that the authors managed to convey.

A Case for Author Bias

The authors begin the first three chapters of the book with a relatively explanatory approach to globalization. However, in Chapter IV, "Economic Globalization," the idea that globalization is not good for everyone and that in some cases it could hurt some by increased class inequality begins to emerge. However, at this point, the authors still try to present a balanced representation of the topics. They make the case that opinions differ as to the effects of globalization and that it has different effects on different people. The key point that is being made, at this point, is that not everyone has the same opinion of globalization.

In Chapter V, the authors include an article that asks the question, "Has Globalization Gone Too Far?" Although the article is credited to Dani Rodrik, the opinion expressed in the article is influential in shaping the reader's opinion. Therefore,. this article should be considered to be representative of the opinions of Lechner and Boli. Rodrik feels that this is the one issue that unites those on the extreme left and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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