Globalization and Social Exclusion: A Transformationalist Perspective

Globalization and Social Exclusion: A Transformationalist Perspective

Globalization and Social Exclusion: A Transformationalist Perspective

Globalization and Social Exclusion: A Transformationalist Perspective


• First book to study the intersection of globalization and social exclusion
• This renowned author has published over 20 books on issues of globalization and development studies
• Author directed the Globalization and Social Exclusion Unit at the University of Liverpool

We inhabit a world of consequences and butterfly effects. When global economies integrate, what disintegrates as a result? The answer, Ronaldo Munck contends, is social equality. This is the first book to view globalization through the lens of social exclusion--defined as all the ways in which people are prevented from obtaining the necessities of life.

To illustrate how globalization deepens the existing inequities of race, place, gender, and class, in both the global North and South, the author highlights disparities in living conditions; the feminization of poverty and the global sex trade; the effects of racism, migration, and multiculturalism; and the formation and political manifestations of social class.

He boldly develops a politics and ethics of transformation to move us beyond social exclusion--even beyond mere social inclusion. He provides us with the tools to transform society from within, creating a more democratic and just global order.


Globalization is the big buzzword of our era, seemingly subsuming all other ways of understanding the world around us. It dominates economic policy making, social or welfare policies, and even the ways people contest the inequalities and oppressions that proliferate in the world around us. On the other hand, social exclusion, the other term in our title, is far less familiar beyond the corridors of Brussels where European Union “mainstream” social policy is debated, shaped, and implemented. My argument is that social exclusion—all the ways in which people are excluded from the necessities of life—is the necessary social counterpart to globalization. It provides us with a broad general framework by which to understand the social effects of globalization and, further, generates a common focus for those struggling against these effects at local, national, and global levels. The relationship between globalization and social exclusion should be set, I argue, within what I call a transformationalist perspective, which helps us transcend the divide between the “antiglobalizers” and those who believe the system can be reformed from within. Globalization both transforms the world around us and is itself changed by social, political, and cultural transformation. So, what does social transformation mean today and how might it help us in our investigation of globalization and social exclusion? According to the Oxford English Dictionary transformation entails a “dramatic change in form, or outward appearance,” but it can also refer to a “complete change of form at metamorphosis.” I take on board the latter meaning to capture the internal changes within society, not just the changes in outward appearance. In linguistics, on the other hand, transformation takes on a more specific meaning, namely, the process whereby a grammatical pattern or structure can be converted into another. Accepting that society is constructed discursively (how we name things), I also take on board this version to capture the struggles over meaning that occur constantly in relation to terms such as globalization. Finally, I borrow from adult and development education, where transformation refers to the way we . . .

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