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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Pros and Cons of Globalisation

Please take the time to read this fantastic essay on the pros and cons of Globalisation as perceived by Robert Salvesen in Year 9 :

Globalisation refers to the growing relationships between people and culture, and the growing economic independence of countries worldwide. This economic growth could be through trade, technology, communications and media.
When our teacher stood before us and proudly stated that he was the fashion icon that we all should look to everybody was laughing. However minutes later when he showed us the negative aspects to globalisation in the fashion industry no-one was laughing. Behind every logo in the world there are positives and negatives. Through this document I will be assessing the pros and cons of globalisation.
If you take a pair of jeans and trace the manufacturing pathway it really enforces how globalisation has affected most of the products we buy today. The cotton for the jeans will have been made in Africa, the polyester thread; Japan and the metal components; Europe. So when you buy a pair of jeans from a high street stores the components will have been brought from all over the globe and the product itself is an example of globalisation.
If you think back to the last time you bought something special. The happiness felt when your new pair of tennis shoes arrives and the excitement as you hold them in your hands. However what most people don’t realise is that your hands are not the first to touch them. We do not think of the little hands that have worked day and night to achieve the end product. By little I do not mean minor parts I mean children. Child labour is in my opinion the most severe negative that has been brought about by globalisation. Many worldwide companies are fixated with profit. They do not consider the wellbeing of their workers in other countries.  Companies employ children for many reasons. Children do not know the rights and wrongs of the working world so can be exploited easily. With an adult who might have had previous jobs it would be harder to exploit them with long hours and minor pay. If you have a child working in a cotton factory from the age of 5, living away from his parents then by the age of 6 or 7 the work which they do will just be the norm. All of this means that the owners of these factories can work these children for long hours and pay them very little in order to gain as much turnover as possible when selling to companies.  A few years ago UNICEF carried out research in which they found that 250 million children were involved in child labour, and being exploited by the factories in which they were working as a result in globalisation. 32% of children in Africa are involved in child labour and 22% of children in Asia.
Many children in Asia work spinning cotton into thread. They first have to gather the cotton together. They carry huge masses of cotton and spend there time working in sweltering conditions.  However the temperature can quickly drop and those who have worked throughout the day may be vulnerable to illnesses such as pneumonia.  The actual spinning occurs on machines which have no guards or safety mechanisms which leave young children open to severe injuries.  The atmosphere is full of just and dirt and many children leave work with sever lung conditions which shortens their lives dramatically.

In my opinion globalisation has definitely moved our technology and product range into the 21st century but it seems that is has had no effect on the methods of work. If technology can evolve from the Victorian era where there were no televisions or iPods to what we see before us today than there should be no reason why we should not strive to stop the children who are exploited daily, have no education and no hope in their lives and try to give the children of the future a better chance in life where ever they are in the world.                 

By looking at the diagram above we can see that the most child labour occurs in Africa. Once again looking at the manufacturing pathway of a pair of jeans we see that all the raw materials such as cotton come from Africa. These are the jobs which require a lot of work but can be done by children. As a result of Globalisation we can see that the demand for cotton has increased and this has also pushed up the figures of child labour.

However there are positives to globalisation. The occurrence of globalisation allows us to communicate faster via email, mobile messaging and the internet. As a result we are all now connected to each other and able to contact someone on the other side of the world which previously was never possible.  This increase in means and accessibility of communication is one positive effect of globalisation. It is now possible to order clothing from China and receive it within a week of placing that order. Before globalisation this would not have been possible. The world is shrinking and soon our Earth will just become a super computer. We all are already linked into this computer and soon books and paper will not be necessary.  The amount of information shared on the internet every hour in 2012 is more than the total amount shared in the whole of 2003. This is evidence that our world is shrinking and everyone is becoming closer and closer. This ability to learn more, share more and connect more with people from all over the world is in effect the result of globalisation. Globalisation will keep going until we all are touching. The song “We’ve got the whole world in our hands” describes the future in my opinion. Soon we will have the whole world at our fingertips. This is the positive side to globalisation.
To conclude I think that Globalisation is an extremely positive occurrence to anyone living in an MEDC. We feel the positive aspects of this growth and development. We can now contact others, make a phone call to Australia and order products from the U.S.A. However what we do not feel is the knock on effect of this development. We do not feel the negative hard hitting truths that the citizens and children of LEDC’s feel. I think that we should take advantage of globalisation and learn to adapt to the future technology but we should also see this global development as an opportunity to help and bring the LEDC’s into the future as well. We do have the whole world in our hands. So why don’t we lend that hand to the children of the LEDC’s.

Robert Salvesen

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