This sociology class in Social Justice has really broadened my horizons and has allowed me to view the world more critically. I have taken many other sociology classes but it was this class that really had me critiquing the negative and positive aspects of globalization. I have also developed a greater sociological imagination. That is, the ability to understand and connect my own life with the forces and dynamics that affect it.
I have always thought of globalization as a very positive thing. I believed it would aid in equality among all people and would allow for the developed nations to aid in development for the less developed nations. I believed it would create more GDP for the less developed countries as the more developed countries would be importing things from them resulting in more jobs. However, after completing this course, I no longer think of globalization in strictly a positive light. If anything, i think of it more negatively now. Instead of creating equality and higher GDP for developing countries, it is resulting in even more inequality between the north and south due to the developed countries taking advantage of the cheap labour available in the developing world. These “rich” countries, such as the USA, are taking advantage of the fact that many of these “poor’ countries will do just about anything to make a dollar. They will work 24 hour shifts if needed for mere pennies because anything is better than nothing. This has resulted in numerous sweatshops being built in developing countries by large corporations such as Nike and The Gap, in which they have their employees working excessively long shifts with minimal breaks while barely making enough money to survive. This is not social justice. This is social injustice.
Using the global sociological imagination, I have also discovered that what I do can affect those worldwide. For instance, if I continue to purchase Nike products or Gap clothing, I am only supporting the cause of inequality and inhumane working conditions for those working in the sweatshops. By my purchasing of these products, the company continues to make a large profit which will only encourage them to continue to use cheap labour available across the glove. Due to the global sociological imagination, I am now able to see that what I do over here in Canada can make a difference on people’s live’s all the way across the world in places such as Indonesia.
One other thing that this class really opened my eyes to in regards to globalization is how it has resulted in increased human trafficking and how it has made human trafficking even easier. With the world becoming as one and with easier access to travel, human trafficking now takes place across borders.Children can be bought or stolen and sold to someone in another country and then used as a sex slave where they will never be found.
All in all, I found this class very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It really opened up my eyes and had me thinking critically about globalization as well as the sociological imagination and the global sociological imagination. I can’t wait to use everything I learned as well as the techniques I learned. in my next sociology class in January.