Globalization and informatization
Over the years, globalization and informatization have "redefined industries, politics, cultures, and perhaps the underlying rules of social order". Although they explain different phenomena, their social, political, economic, and cultural functions remarkably overlaps. "Although globalization ultimately refers to the integration of economic institutions, much of this integration occurs through the channels of technology. Although international trade is not a new phenomenon, the advent of communications technologies has accelerated the pace and scope of trade".
a) Globalization and Informatization will have great impact on cultural and social consequences of society.
b) "Globalization and informatization are likely to diminish the concept of the national as a political institution". Friedman (1999) argues that as nation states decline in importance, multi-national corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and "superempowered individuals" such as George Soros gain influence and importance. As these non-political organizations and institutions gain importance, there are inevitable challenges to political, economic, and cultural processes.
c) On the other hand, globalization and informatization allow for efficient flow of information. Individuals and societies are, therefore, greatly empowered to engage in international arena for economic, political, and cultural resources.
d) "There is proliferation of information about lifestyles, religions, and cultural issues. The telecommunications and computer networks also allow for unprecedented global activism. This democratization of information increases the potential for international harmony, although it by no means guarantees it".
e) These twin forces greatly affects "centuries of tradition, local autonomy, and cultural integrity."
f) "Finally, one of the potentially most devastating impact of the forces of globalization and informatization is that there is created an insidious conflict between the new global economic order and the local, or even tribal, interests".
Exercise 10. Answer the questions:
1. On which spheres of life does informatization influence?
2. What place does information rank in the economic sphere? Why does it happen so, in your opinion?
3. What did Alexander Flor write about informatization?
4. What helps to provide easy access to information in the political sphere?
5. With what does the information age deal?
6. What is common between globalization and informatization?
7. With what does the information age deal?
8. What helps to force the pace and scope of trade?
Exercise 11. Find in the text synonyms to the following words:
Effect, supervise, efficiency, field, central, stage, possibility, change, upgraded, refining, rich, lift, main, principal, intersect, fusion, reduce, organization, call, participate, spread, world, accord, integrity, cunning.
Exercise 12. Match the beginning and the end of the sentences:
1. In the economic sphere, for example,
2. Industrialization propelled transformation of the economic system from agricultural age to modernized economies,
3. Alexander Flor (2008) wrote that informatization
4. Although they explain different phenomena,
5. Globalization and Informatization
6. The telecommunications and computer networks
a) and so informatization ushered the industrial age into an information-rich economy.
b) their social, political, economic, and cultural functions remarkably overlaps.
c) information is viewed as a focal resource for development, replacing the centrality of labor and capital during the industrial age.
d) will have great impact on cultural and social consequences of society.
e) gives rise to information-based economies and societies wherein information naturally becomes a dominant commodity or resource.
f) also allow for unprecedented global activism.
Exercise 13. Prepare the summary of the text and then retell it.
Exercise 14. Before reading the text, give Russian equivalent to the following words. Make up sentences with each word.
Globalization (or globalisation) describes a process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a globe-spanning network of communication and trade. The term is sometimes used to refer specifically to economic globalization: the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, and the spread of technology. However, globalization is usually recognized as being driven by a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural, political, and biological factors. The term can also refer to the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture through acculturation.
An early description of globalization was penned by the American entrepreneur-turned-minister Charles Taze Russell who coined the term 'corporate giants' in 1897, although it was not until the 1960s that the term began to be widely used by economists and other social scientists. The term has since then achieved widespread use in the mainstream press by the later half of the 1980s. Since its inception, the concept of globalization has inspired numerous competing definitions and interpretations.
The United Nations ESCWA has written that globalization "is a widely-used term that can be defined in a number of different ways. When used in an economic context, it refers to the reduction and removal of barriers between national borders in order to facilitate the flow of goods, capital, services and labor... although considerable barriers remain to the flow of labor... Globalization is not a new phenomenon. It began in the late nineteenth century, but it slowed down during the period from the start of the First World War until the third quarter of the twentieth century. This slowdown can be attributed to the inward-looking policies pursued by a number of countries in order to protect their respective industries... however, the pace of globalization picked up rapidly during the fourth quarter of the twentieth century..."
Saskia Sassen writes that "a good part of globalization consists of an enormous variety of micro-processes that begin to denationalize what had been constructed as national — whether policies, capital, political subjectivity, urban spaces, temporal frames, or any other of a variety of dynamics and domains."
Tom J. Palmer of the Cato Institute defines globalization as "the diminution or elimination of state-enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex global system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result.
Finally, Takis Fotopoulos argues that globalization is the result of systemic trends manifesting the market economy's grow-or-die dynamic, following the rapid expansion of transnational corporations. Because these trends have not been offset effectively by counter-tendencies that could have emanated from trade-union action and other forms of political activity, the outcome has been globalisation. This is a multi-faceted and irreversible phenomenon within the system of the market economy and it is expressed as: economic globalisation, namely, the opening and deregulation of commodity, capital and labour markets which led to the present form of neoliberal globalisation; political globalisation, i.e., the emergence of a transnational elite and the phasing out of the all powerful-nation state of the statist period; cultural globalisation, i.e., / the worldwide homogenisation of culture; ideological globalisation; technological globalisation; social globalisation
Exercise 15. Read and translate the text, then answer the questions:
1. What does the term globalization mean?
2. What aspects of life can the term “globalization” refer to?
3. Who penned an early description of globalization?
4. What do you think the term “corporate giant” mean?
5. Can you enumerate any famous corporate giants you know? In what spheres do they work?
6. What does the term “globalization” mean in an economic context?
7. Do you think it is good to remove barriers between nations?
8. When did globalization begin?
9. Why did globalization slow down during the period from the start of the First World War until the third quarter of the twentieth century?
10. What does Saskia Sassen write about globalization?
11. What is Tom J.Palmer’s opinion on this fact?
12. Which aspects of life does the definition of Takis Fotopoulos touch? Which of them are the most important, in your opinion?
13. Speak out about pros and cons of globalization.
Exercise 16. Find in the text synonyms to the following words:
joint, chain, commerce, known, written, create, start, rival, work, delay, privatize, decrease, display, originate, inconvertible.
Exercise 17. Choose one heading for each passage from the text, which can reveal its main idea:
1. An early description
2. General definition of the term “globalization”
3. A widespread use of this term.
4. Re-privatization of the nation
5. Globalization as a part of the market.
6. A great exchange and reduced barriers.
Exercise 18. Read the next text and complete it with the words, given below:
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