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Less than 50 years ago England to Australia took a week. We live in a global ‘village’, this apparent shrinking is globalization. Globalization is like a blanket unfolding across the earth; homogenizing the world’s economic societies and cultures. Everywhere becomes the same, boundaries don’t matter and distance disappears.
See figure 1.1. and Cartoon 1.1 The End of Geography • • • ‘Place is no longer a primary source of diversity’ – Leystion. ‘The end of geography – a state of economic development where geographical location no longer matters’ ‘far-off’ places can have almost instant ‘local impacts’ o o o • Asian Crash 1997 2004 Indian Ocean US housing problems – Northern Rock
Globalisation is often misunderstood; relative distances between some places have increased. o o Income gap between rich and poor has increased. Internet that allows instant communication vs. those that don’t have internet are isolated. Shrinking technologies can drive places apart as well as together
Antiglobalization • • • • ‘Anti-globalisation’ protests began in Seattle in 1999 (in terms of televised coverage and the specific name). Complex, diverse and incoherent movement. Irony is that the movement has used the internet to spread the message. Anti-globalisation did not begin in Seattle; however this was the first time that this name was used.
Resistance to capitalism has a history over two centuries long. Protests not always as spectacular as media makes out – daily resistance to globalisation occurs on a daily basis in the lives of the many marginalised in both the rich and the poor worlds. In general the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement has a particular belief in terms of what it believes globalization is – what might be termed ‘corporate neoliberal globalization’.
Geographies of Globalisation • • • One of the myths which surrounds globalisation is the idea the it homogenizes the world. The nature of inequality has changed, we have networks of privilege and networks of poverty and deprivation. ‘The rise of globalization has been marked by increased material polarisation between regions; for every global city in the network of global cities there is what Castell’s calls a ‘black hole’ of marginalisation and exclusion from the global network society’ Taylor et al (2002)
Geography is Dead • • • • Time-space compression renders distance unimportant. Locality has less meaning, since we live in a ‘global village’ Difference is declining and culture homogenising. Under this argument TNCs are completely footloose and spread identical products across the planet. In the cultural sphere, global brands such as Nick or Madonna or the BBC send out identical messages which are interpreted in the same way across world society. Geography has a new life – traditional distance in an absolute sense is less important; but distance in a relative sense is more important.