Globalization, Family Well-Being, and a Culture of Peace

Article excerpt

The purpose of this paper is to stimulate discussion among family and consumer sciences professionals about the links between the movement toward a culture of peace in the context of globalization and the profession's focus on individual and family wellbeing. An overview of (a) "what is globalization" and (b) what is a "culture of peace," is provided, followed by a call for dialogue about (c) how these two dynamics have an impact on the profession's practice, education, research, policy and theory.

Globalization

Globalization is often referred to as a compression, intensification, and increased speed of time, space, and relations due particularly to advances in telecommunications and technology. The phenomena of globalization covers a wide variety of changes in various aspects of social, cultural, political, religious, and economic life.

Many paradoxes exist within the phenomena of globalization: relationships are intensified, but they also can deteriorate. Local happenings are no longer isolated, but affect and are affected by global events. Distance and borders are undergoing re-conceptualization. The globe is becoming a single space in its own right at the same time that localities exist within the global sphere. Nation-- states are pressured by the presence of a worldwide international system. Efforts to ensure national security and peace threaten human security and peace. An expanding global consciousness threatens both the individual's and family's sense of connectedness and belonging.

Culture of Peace

Within this context, the United Nations declared 2001-2010 the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (http://www.unesco.org/manifesto2000). This culture would be based on values and underlying assumptions about a peaceful, daily reality, the essence of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). UNESCO defines a culture of peace as one that: (a) consists of values, attitudes, and behaviors that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing, based on principles of freedom, justice, democracy, all human rights, tolerance, and solidarity; (b) rejects violence while endeavoring to prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation; and (c) guarantees all people the full exercise of their rights and the means to participate fully in the development process of their society. Other agencies define a culture of peace by the following features:

* Respects our natural environment. …