Globalization and Social Change: People and Places in a Divided World

Globalization and Social Change: People and Places in a Divided World

Globalization and Social Change: People and Places in a Divided World

Globalization and Social Change: People and Places in a Divided World

Synopsis

Globalization and Social Change takes a refreshing new perspective on globalization and widening social and spatial inequalities. It draws on ideas about the new economy, risk society, welfare regimes and political economy to explain the growing social and spatial divisions characteristic of our increasingly divided world.Combining original argument with a clear exposition of the underlying processes, the book illustrates it's points through a series of case studies linking people in rich and poor countries. Emphasis is placed on the socio-economic aspects of change, particularly changes in working patterns and living arrangements, and reference is made to the new global division of labour, declining industrial regions and widening social divisions within what the author terms superstar regions. Broad in scope, changing family structures, the feminization of employment, migration, work life balance and new conceptions of gender identity and gender roles, are all discussed.Diane Perrons' enlightening book concludes that divisions by social class and gender are in some ways becoming more significant than divisions between nations, and suggests that new systems of social end economic organization are necessary for social peace in the new millennium.

Excerpt

Globalization and Social Change analyses the effects of globalization and the new economy on people living and working in different places. Emphasis is placed on socio-economic aspects of change, particularly on the development of information and communication technologies and changes in working patterns and living arrangements. A theoretical approach is combined with detailed comparative case studies in order to provide a social scientific interpretation of contemporary socio-economic change.

Reference is made to existing theoretical explanations and popular conceptualizations but a key aspect of the book is to provide a coherent account of these changes based on the author's own synthesis of a number of theoretical approaches arising from the French Regulation theory, Beckian risk analysis and Gösta Esping-Andersen's welfare regimes in the context of a feminist historical materialist understanding of social change. The book also provides detailed comparative empirical analyses to illustrate how societies have responded to similar external pressures in different ways in order to identify more socially inclusive patterns of development. The approach followed is that of the 'reformist tinkerer' rather than the 'utopian visionary' (Harvey 2000) in conformity with the author's belief that marginal improvements are worthwhile as they have a real and immediate impact on people's lives. By so doing the book seeks to counter the determinism and lack of optimism found in some accounts of globalization without diminishing the significance of increasing inequalities found in the contemporary divided world.

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