chapter  1
14 Pages

Introduction

ByJoshua Ho

Globalization, once a rather nebulous concept, has become a buzzword and entered into mainstream dialogue and discourse. Globalization as a phenomenon in itself has attracted its fair share of supporters and detractors. Supporters have celebrated its virtues and its inevitability and emphasized that globalization is economically benign and increases economic prosperity by enlarging the economic pie. Supporters have also emphasized that globalization is socially benign, and that it diminishes poverty, gender discrimination, and protects both mainstream and indigenous culture. Detractors, on the other hand, have accused globalization of lacking a human face. They see globalization as the increase in the power and influence of the multinational corporation who will pursue profits at the expense of civil liberties and human rights. In particular, opponents have feared that the phenomenon of globalization might increase poverty or the rich-poor divide, increase the use of child labour, undermine democracy, harm the interests of women, dilute indigenous cultures, damage the environment, and encourage illegal flows of humanity that simultaneously fuel vices within industry such as prostitution and the consumption of drugs.