Globalization Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In the 1990s, once globalization had momentum and it was obvious to many observers that "decent work" wasn't the end all in terms of solutions, Munck continues. Is "decent work" just a "backward-looking utopianism" as Waterman (2008) insisted it is? Yes, Munck agrees it is a bit utopian, because its promise is based on "the myth of a golden era of social harmony" and yet, a "decent work" movement could reduce poverty and provide that "human face" no matter how many negative things can be said about it.

A second suggestion for mitigating the negative consequences of globalization for workers is to encourage trade unions to get involved in social movements (which in the history of the American trade unions was part of their agenda). Munck offers some optimism on that topic when he quotes Dan Clawson: "Labor's links with other [social movement] groups are denser and stronger than they have been for half a century" (Clawson, 2003: p. 205). The relationship between trade unions and social change has led to "…new, more progressive policies… in relation to undocumented immigrants," Munck explains.

Because many workers in the United States were involved in "the informal economy" (as this paper has alluded to earlier in the context of African women being in the informal economy) trade unions -- concerned with social justice and fairness for workers -- got involved and helped workers of color and women to organize themselves. Why couldn't that also take place in the context of a globalized world where workers in developing nations are suffering and struggling just to eek out a living?

In fact poor people's movements have shown "…great degrees of inventiveness" and they should be given credit for their creative strategies that can help them approach housing and health care issues (and decent pay) with a plan that gets the attention of the multinational companies and other powerful globalized companies. Indeed the very nature of transnational communication and networking could help mitigate and overcome the obstacles that hitherto had prevented women and people of color from healthy, hopeful lives. So by using the tools of the globalized society -- the digital world of the Internet -- trade unions in unison with struggling populations in developing countries could indeed mitigate some of the more dire issues facing poor people.

Meanwhile, Adam Hanieh writes ("Migrant Labour, Class Formation and the Geographical Displacement of Crisis: A Case Study of the Gulf Cooperation Council") that the working class people in the Gulf region -- many of them Arab immigrants hired as cheap labor from Middle Eastern Muslim nations -- should get organized to push for radical change. Albeit that idea is an extreme one and difficult because many of these workers are temporary (in Saudi Arabia the migrant community makes up half the labor force) and as a result have no citizenship, an understanding of this crisis is the first step to finding a solution.

Hanieh implies that capitalism could solve this crisis but those agencies and organizations with the resources (like the WTO and World Bank) must first "…grasp the process through which class structures have formed historically" prior to coming to a definitive solution or strategy. Moreover, if an answer for the displacement of temporary workers in Muslim countries isn't forthcoming -- first based on understanding how specific social formations impact the global market and globalization -- the world could become a place where these patterns of class formation are continued. That is because emerging patterns of "class formation" are growing throughout the world, along with globalization.

In conclusion, the most effective strategy to help people in developing nations is to help them organize themselves. Of course, that having been said, observers of domestic politics in the U.S. And elsewhere are witness to conservative governments trying to destroy the union movement. So there has to be a new and more globalized movement, led by bold and high-visibility actors with no axe to grind, that can help citizens become organized so they can put pressure on multinational companies that seek to exploit workers, not help workers pull themselves up by the bootstraps.

Works Cited

Baruah, Bipasha. "Gender and Globalization: Opportunities and Constraints Faced by Women in the Construction Industry in India." Labor Studies Journal, 35.2 (2010): 198-

Chang, Grace. Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy.

Cambridge: South End Press, 2000.

Hanieh, Adam. "Migrant Labor, Class Formation and the Geographical Displacement of Crisis:

A Case Study of the Gulf Cooperation Council."

Hibbert, Christine. "Multinational Corporations, the Politics of the World Economy, and Their

Effects on Women's Health in the Developing World: A Review." Health Care for Women

International, Vol. 23 (2002): 861-869.

Johnston-Anumonwo, Ibipo, and Doane, Donna L. "Globalization, economic crisis and Africa's

Informal economy women workers." Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography,…

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