This course offers an evidence-based analysis of globalization that addresses what is happening to us personally as well as economically amidst the market-led processes of global integration. Particular attention is paid to the ways market-led macro-economic reforms associated with globalization (such as free trade agreements and privatization initiatives) have come together with much more micro innovations in how personal behavior is organized by market forces (rethinking education as a personal investment practice, for example, or outsourcing dating to for-profit companies). Mediating between these macro and micro scales of capitalist transformation are a wide array of other market-based mechanisms examined in the course. From bond risk ratings to the market metrics shaping FICO scores, labor trends, and online mapping, these market-mechanisms require close examination. Tracing their influence with an awareness of their material geographic variation and unevenness, the course offers an alternative to economistic assumptions about choice-maximizing behavior on a ‘level playing field’. It explores instead the complex uneven development dynamics of globalization in ways that allow you to see how your own personal perspectives on these dynamics are at once outcomes and enablers of economic and social change. And, by doing so, the course aims in turn at enabling you to be a more engaged participant in the ongoing debates over the direction these dynamics should take.
At the end of this class you will be able to:
- describe the main debates and controversies surrounding globalization;
- analyze the ties and tensions of uneven global development;
- understand the growing impact of global market integration;
- synthesize knowledge of market globalization with your own experiences of market forces and market reforms;
- evaluate the way in which market forces define and delimit personal choices and everyday life globally; and
- develop capacity to respond and reflect personally amidst the ties and tensions of market-led globalization.