Critical Globalization Studies and Women/Gender

Professor Esther Ngan-ling Chow American University, U.S.A.
Hangzhou, China (September 18, 200 !

.A. U. .! to this web site location ("inling.Copyright Statement The online copyright of this lecture is given by Esther Ngan-ling Chow (American University. please specify the U#$ here for %ocumentation an% citation use!.

. globalization refers to the complex and multifaceted processes of worldwide economic. depending on the aspect of reality that a theorist tries to interpret. social. political. and cultural expansion and integration that have intensified global social relations and transformed social forces transnationally across the boundaries of nation-states and cultures (Chow 200 ! """# Globalization is a contested term which is hard to define.Definition of Globalization Broadly defined.

ra (.evelopment &lternatives with -omen for a %ew .&-%#.. . &mnesty +nternational.$!I% & '(S)lair uses a hyphen here* • $nit of analysis! %ation-state (or city-state# • &rea study or case study of individual countries • 'ocuses on the inter-national relationships among countries G&%+$& • $nit of analysis! globe as a whole (e(g(world system theory# • )he central idea of globalization is that many current social phenomena cannot be ade*uately studied at the nation-state level( • )he global approach is based on the emergence of global processes and a global system of social relations not found in the characteristics of nation-states( 'or example. Global I !"#.nvironment and .0#--are all stateless entities( .evelopment 0rganization (-. -omen/s .Inter-national vs.

4 (&ppelbaum and 5obinson 2006! xii-xiii# !he Dual %b-ectives (according to &ppelbaum 7 5obinson# of this study are! • )o scrutinize and recast the emerging field of globalization studies 1by relating global studies in the academy and the actual process of globalization4( • )he grounding of a critical globalization studies in praxis and its lin8age of theory to practice. and flows.ard Critical Globalization Studies Definition! )he critical globalization studies 1views the world as a single interactive system.!o. relating it to the larger . interactions. rather than international relations2 3lobalization is both as a concept and as a process. rather than as the interplay of discrete nation-state( +t focuses on transnational processes.

and society( +t has its own limitations and inherent contradictions( +t is not completely beneficial as some globalists contend( )herefore. culture. critical. critical globalization studies offer a reflexive.Some Clarifications )he social sciences literature clearly points out that! (:# 3lobalization is a reality rather than a myth as some scholars have inadvertently thought( (2# 3lobalization brings about both positive and negative conse*uences for people. and analytical lens to lin8 8nowledge generated by studying globalization with praxis and by engaging in global action to deal with certain adverse effects of globalization( .

ive /a-or Components '. so that local 8nowledge elsewhere has the potential to generate distinctive discourse and a standpoint regarding globalization that challenges those in the core (or in the west#( .rom /ittelman 0112* • #efle3ivity! &n awareness of relationships between 8nowledge and specific material and political conditions.. consciously searching a series of transformations that constitute the globalizing processes( • 4istoricism! 5igorous historical thin8ing about the temporal dimension and process of globalization( • Decentering! +ncorporating the perspectives on globalization from those in the core as well as at the margins.

self-determination.• Crossovers5 Between different branches of social science 8nowledge and from multiple disciplines to brea8 down barriers in 8nowledge production( • Strategic transformations! )he goal is to replace the current dominant ethics of neo-liberalism by offering an emancipatory vision and a new moral order and by building democratic globalization with accountability to the people. and transformative action to solve practical problems caused by globalization( .

regarding the eventual demise of the nation-state( <cholars generally agree that globalized forces have significantly eroded the autonomous power of some nation-states( %ation-state remains the building bloc8 of globalization( • • . and developed countries (=.!hree $pproaches to Studying Globalization '&eslie S)lair 6777* $.ebate! e(g(. <econd. and )hird -orlds. powerful and less powerful states.Cs# or developing countries (>.Cs#( • 3lobalization represents a new form of imperialism and postcoloniality or neo-colonialism( . 'irst. !he Inter-nationalist (or state-centrist# &pproach • )a8es the nation-state as the unit of analysis by focusing on the interaction between states (e(g(.

. and whether the nation-state will become obsolete as its member become global citizens( (<ee other criti*ues of globalization#( • )wo opposing views in current global reality?ethnic and cultural fragmentation (e(g(. people. hybridization. &mericanization or -esternization are possible cultural outcomes#( . !he Globalist $pproach '#obertson8 . whether global culture will dominate local cultures worldwide.+. and societies eventually blend the world into an integrated whole( • .eatherman8 Giddens8 4eld* • )his is an antithesis to the <tate-centrist thesis that argues the power of the nation-state will eventually disappear( )he world has entered a borderless whole driven by powerful mar8et forces of a global economy that favors neo-liberalism and capitalism globalization( • 3lobalization is the ultimate destiny and cultures.ast--est cultures are still fragmented# and modernist homogenization or heterogeneity (e(g(.ebates! whether globalization is an old or a new phenomenon. @apanization.

!he Global System !heory '&eslie S)lair 67778 0112* • )he transnational approach to globalization is a synthesis of the first two approaches( • 3lobal system theory is based on the concept of transnational practices by non-states or transnational actors (although state actors may be involved# across national borders( • 1)hese practices in transnational social spaces operate in three distinctive spheres! economic. . The culture!ideology of consumerism • )o <8lair. all forming building bloc8s of an interdependent global system(4 • )hree ma9or components! :( The transnational corporation (TNC) is the most important institution for economic transnational practices 2. global capitalism is the dominant force of the global system in the 2:st century( • )he research agenda of this theory is to study how )%CsA)CC and the cultural-ideology of consumerism operate to transform the capitalist pro9ect of globalization( . political and cultural-ideological( .C.ach practice is embodied in a ma9or institution. The transnational capitalist class (TCC) is for political transnational practices.

and cultural ideology# &ocal (national-state. )ransnational Capitalist Class. organization. culture. household and individual# . and citizenship# !ransnational ()ransnational Corporation. /ultiple &evels of $nalysis .igure 6. community. )CC.)%C.Global (<ociety. culture.

they are either marginalized or ta8en for granted that women are victims( • )he focus is on the effects of globalization on women rather than on the effects of gender on globalization .Gender /atters in Critical Globalization Studies 'Cho.xisting globalization studies are highly abstract and general with economic overtone( • )heorizing on globalization is either gender-neutral or gender-blind( • -hen gender issues are mentioned. 0119* • .

and culture--e. gender power relations are the products of various global-local systems of patriarchy. relationships.Globalization as a Gendered :henomenon/:rocess What kind of knowledge about globalization is or should be produced that includes gender and other inequalities? (Chow 2003) Major Goals: • To produce transformative knowledge by placing gender (and its class. structure.g. identities. nationally. and experiences of diverse kinds of women and men. transnationally. which in turn shape gendered institutions. age/generation) as central in studying social change. hegemonic . contradictions. and worldwide. ethnicity. nationality. Major Thesis is: Gender matters for understanding what globalization is and how it is influenced by gendered hierarchies and ideologies. its dynamic processes.. and resistances associated with globalization locally. • To alleviate gender and all forms of inequality and to build a just society. Gender is embodied in the logic of globalization and embedded in its process.

global-local. 'or example. my emphasis is on the interrelationships among these three levels( + use examples to illustrate how these three levels intricately intertwine to affect women in different ways( $. may shape or modify these global processes. in turn. transnational. transnational. Global-&ocal &evel5 This le"el aims to study how global forces and macro processes e#ert impact on people$s li"es and social interactions at the local community or household le"el in any gi"en country and how people$s actions and local social institutions. transnational-local. how does China/s international trade affect labor demand internally to trigger increasing flows of migrant women to wor8 as cheap laborers in the manufacturing sector of urban ChinaB . global./ultiple &evels of $nalysis )o incorporate women/s and gender issues into the critical globalization analysis. + propose a multiple-levels of analysis as illustrated in 'igure : as a conceptual strategy( + identify six analytical levels--local. and global levels( +n this lecture. and global-transnational--at which to study Chinese women/s changing position and gender relations in the globalizing world( )he first three levels are easy to grasp how women/s and gender studies are researched at the local.

urope and the $(<(B -hat are the gender differential outcomes between those who migrate to western .urope and those to the $(<(B C. =ow has the global green movement impacted on the increasing number of transnational environmental organizations in the past two decadesB )o what extent have these organizations addressed gender issues in environmental degradation in different parts of the globeB . institutions. Global and !ransnational &evels5 This le"el aims to e#amine relationships between the global and the transnational and to study how such a relationship may ha"e subse&uent impact on the local. processes and practices influence people$s li"es across borders. how has the :CC6 Dlatform for &ction of the $(%( 'ourth -orld Conference on -omen subse*uently influenced China/s state policies and programs on women a decade immediately after this conferenceB =ow have Chinese women/s organizations sought connection and networ8ing with international women organizations and what are the interaction conse*uencesB -hy and how do Chinese migrate transnationally to western . +n the case of China. !ransnational-&ocal &evel! This le"el see%s to study how transnational actors.+.

good governance. scholarsresearchers. and experience in order to understand and eradicate the roots. and a healthy environment.ledge < :ra3is--"mpo. hierarchy. feminist knowledge about women vis-àvis men and their gendered power relations. . forms. To work for global justice movement: Working partnership. identities. To bridge the gap between knowledge and praxis by integrating the fields of sociology of women/gender and critical globalization Women and Society Dual goals of studying sociology of women/gender: • To produce transformative. • To empower diverse kinds of women collectively as working partners with men to engage in progressive action for beneficial social change in order to build an equitable. policy-makers. just and people-centered (or democratic) society with sustainable development. social justice activists and advocates can use knowledge and activism to reduce adverse globalization impacts. and processes of gender inequality--To indigenize knowledge on women..

THE END . Act Locally.Think Globally.

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