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Youth in a world of globalization essay

It is well known that the development model foisted upon the 'developing' world by the West, in the name of modernization Modernity Project Mark I has been regarded for decades by many non-western scholars and activists as cultural imperialism.

The realization that globalization has the power to exponentially increase this transgression has led me to coin the term Modernity Project Mark II, to highlight its amplified effects.

While much has been written in the last few years about the impact of globalization, particularly on the less 'developed' countries and peoples, the discourse with regard to globalization and youth has remained oddly silent. In its first definitive statement of the impact of globalization on the situation of youth, the United Nations Youth Information Network takes a rather cautious view, conceding more analysis is needed on the impact of: Intensified evidence of poverty, unemployment and social exclusion Furthermore, the trade imbalances between developed and developing economies, favoring the more developed economies, place development at risk in many countries Hundreds of millions of people are negatively affected by these factors.

Youth in a world of globalization essay

Young people are particularly affected, because it means that their transition to adulthood is made more difficult On the other hand There are constructive trends. Many countries are experiencing a deepening of democracy This opens up opportunities for participation by all people. Young people will gain from this move towards democracy. United Nations This cool and balanced weighing of pros and cons, masks a deeper, more far-reaching and profound cultural transgression that is emerging in the literature on the impact of globalization.

While the emphasis of concern of global NGOs about the well-being of youth globally has primarily focused on health and education issues in the 'developing' world, the emerging figures for growing mental health issues for young people in the 'overdeveloped' world confirm that 'development' as part of the modernity project is not the panacea it was once thought.

Yet globalization called by some 'Americanization' has amplified the modernity project manyfold, supported by mass education and communication technologies, particularly the Internet and the mass Media. Globalization is increasingly perceived by many non-western academics and researchers as 'a form of western ethnocentrism and patronizing cultural imperialism, 1 which invades local cultures and lifestyles, deepens the insecurities of youth in a world of globalization essay identities and contributes to the erosion of national cultures and historical traditions'.

Lemish, Drotner et al. While these Dickensian images of children in sweat shops are no longer valid for the West, the global sweep of industrial geography has merely shifted these images into other backyards - those of the newly 'developing' nations.

Youth in a world of globalization essay

As gentrification emerges and child labor becomes unfashionable in one place the multi- national global agenda simply shifts to another locus, from Japan to Korea, from Malaysia to Taiwan, from China to Fiji as the race for ever cheaper products meets the craving to buy what the high-tech world has to offer. Who will be next? In addition to these overtly oppressive macro-economic forces, globalization also impacts on non-western youth as a result of at least two other major processes: In a critique of the model of education put forward by the World Bank a decade ago at the 'Education for All' meeting in Jomtein, Thailand, a number of educationists and social activists, cite this model as being a further attempt to assert the values and culture of the western materialist worldview.

The Education for All agenda argued that education is essential for economic survival, but Sangeeta Kamat contests this yoking of education with economics. Kamat She argues that it is a flawed model for education being youth in a world of globalization essay as it is on human capital theory in which the World Bank's proposals relate to 'building human capital for increasing national productivity, as in production and consumption of economically valued goods and services'.

Furthermore, while the rhetoric of the 'Education for All' strategy was to promote 'flexibility and adaptability to local culture' according to Anita Dighe, in practice, in India at least, the reality of the World-bank funded District Primary Education Project is homogeneity and 'uniformity'.

Hoppers And yet, in the west itself, the narrow conceptualization of literacy as the 'new supreme force' has been undergoing serious critique from educationists and futures researchers for decades. The overvaluing of 2 narrowly-defined 'textual literacy' reading and writing text compared with broader categories of human expression social 'literacy', oral 'literacy', emotional 'literacy' reflects the material manifestation of narrowly defined conceptualizations of human intelligence.

Although the literature on multiple intelligences, cognitive holism, the value of artistic education and oral literacy has been growing in the west for decades, it seems that the World Bank programs have overlooked their impact. Read ; Anderson ; Eisner ; Arnheim ; Gardner Educational and youth futures researchers, aware of the failure of the western educational model to provide young people with confidence, hope, a sense of meaning and a love of life-long learning, are engaged in exploring alternative educational processes which transcend the narrow bounds of the three R's reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic.

Ong As a result of this process of mass education of children of the third world over the last decade, the increasing enculturation of the world's youth into the western world-view is described by Pawan Gupta: He adds, in a description of what might be called 'virtual colonialism', "the West has succeeded in refining the instruments of control to such a high degree that the physical presence of the oppressor is no longer required at youth in a world of globalization essay site of exploitation".

Gupta It is well known that education is the most powerful method of enculturating even 'brainwashing' a people. Mass education which transplants an educational model from one cultural system such as Euro-American into another very different culture while retaining the original standards and categories of knowledge, is tantamount to cultural genocide. Nandy The New Media as Amplifier of Global 'Culture' The Mass Media such as Television, musicand in particular the New Media such as the Internet are important tools in the process of spreading the global culture to young people around the world and conversely can be used as a platform for the networking of resistance.

Researchers from Denmark, France and Israel found that as a result of the media-induced processes of globalization, young people in those countries have a preference for transnational fiction, and movie material particularly American 'soapies' and also a new sense of transnational social space provided by the Internet.

This creates a push and pull effect of 'look alike' teenage role models masking the ongoing struggle for 3 individuality and identity which is at the heart of adolescence. However, when the individualism that is being promoted in tandem with the global media images of western lifestyles is blended with the aggressive market-driven consumerism it can be a rather toxic brew for youth living in poverty unable to attain the image.

  1. Some aim to study the matter more deeply so that we may understand more clearly the implications of globalization on culture, and others are already taking on advocacy roles. Eckersley 1993; Gidley and Wildman 1996 Youth suicides among young males 15-24 in Australia have doubled in the past twenty years.
  2. A Modern Art of Education, Lectures, 1923. Sonia Livingstone describes this process whereby modern marketing directs popular culture, transforming the global citizen or viewer into the consumer.
  3. Alternative Enculturation for Wisdom What is needed is enculturation processes that integrate and synthesize, that include social, cultural and educational processes that encourage wisdom, healthy imagination and creative and ethical activity through. Stop Teaching our Kids to Kill.
  4. Such a transformed global society a pluralistic, multi-layered network of cultures within societies could emerge from the emancipatory potential of globalization.
  5. The Sydney Morning Herald. Westport, Connecticut, Bergin and Garvey.

Sonia Youth in a world of globalization essay describes this process whereby modern marketing directs popular culture, transforming the global citizen or viewer into the consumer. She adds, "whether conceived optimistically or pessimistically, the processes of globalization of media and culture are seen by many as the means par excellence by which such social changes are effected".

Livingstone Yet ironically, in the one place where the wealth seems to grow into infinity, the youth of the US, have activated their ethical conscience. For the first time since the anti- Vietnam war marches of the sixties, students in large numbers are demonstrating in American universities.

Paradoxically, the targets of their resistance are the multi- nationals who continue to abuse young people confined to work in the sweatshops of the third world manufacturing the very 'label-brands' these students like to buy and wear. One of the processes used by these students, Culture Jamming, co-opts the powerful advertising images of the corporate giants and modifies them to show their shadow side.

Klein This student resistance United Students Against Sweatshops is being hailed as the beginnings of a new anti-corporatist movement Featherstone and is just one of the many paradoxes that surround the complexities of being young and human on earth at the beginning of the 21st century.

In this example the students are using their very commodification as their point of leverage. A Monoculture In Decline: Challenges From Within The particular variety of culture that is underpinned by western scientific thought, and in recent decades amplified by the information technologies and the economic rationalist paradigm of commodification, has since the European Enlightenment in the 17th Century, claimed cultural superiority.

With this self-imposed authority at first European, now Americanit has sought to 'develop' the 'underdeveloped world' using the development paradigms of 'deficit' and 'disadvantage' rather than 'diversity' as its justification. Dighe Yet, like all great civilizations of the past that have reached their zenith before they begin to decay, the 'over-developed' western culture, with its foundations rooted in a materialist world-view, has been for decades showing signs of decay.

The litany of symptoms exhibited by many young people of the 'most developed' nations, exemplify this with great poignancy. Increasing numbers are committing suicide and other violent crimes at an alarming rate, and are expressing a general malaise, loss of meaning and hopelessness about the future.

  1. Globalization essayspeople all over the world become closer than ever before goods and services that appear in a country will be immediately promoted in the others. The Colonization of Imagination Over roughly the same period of time, the education of the imaginations of children and youth around the globe has changed from the nourishment of oral folk and fairy tales to the poisoning of interactive electronic nightmares.
  2. Taking this perspective, I would argue that adolescence is a stage when powerful, opposing forces are emerging that require harmonizing over time.
  3. Furthermore, It has been suggested that if a society, or the responsible adults, do not provide some adequate initiation or orientation for adolescents one of two things may happen.
  4. Liberating Education from the Chains of Imperialism.
  5. Globalization critic Jeremy Rifkin has suggested there may be a need to establish a World Cultural Organization to help represent diverse cultures and put cultural protection on an equal footing with the WTO Rifkin, 2001. In the coming years, efforts to protect traditional cultures are likely to play an increasingly prominent role in new trade agreements and within international cooperative ventures.

Eckersley ; Gidley and Wildman Youth suicides among young males in Australia have doubled in the past twenty years. Mitchell Sohail Inayatullah refers to these phenomena as symptoms of 'postindustrial fatigue'. Before exploring some of the manifestations of this cultural breakdown, it is essential in my view to go to the heart of what is missing from the western materialist cultural model. The epistemology of positivist scientific thinking that underpins Western culture follows both the empiricist and Cartesian traditions that developed during the European Enlightenment.

More recently referred to as instrumental rationality it is a reductionist, materialistic mode of thinking which excludes such diverse ways of knowing as imagination, inspiration, intuition. As the epistemology of the technologically advanced western culture its global dominance of other cultures discounts the mythic, aesthetic, subjective, spiritual, traditional ways of knowing of most of the earth's cultures.

Based as it is on a view of human nature that lacks a spiritual dimension divorcing psychology from theology, science from ethicsall further fragmentations stem from this inherent tendency to segregate rather than integrate.

  • Their campaigns include protecting cultures in the Southern Hemisphere and using international legal instruments to protect culture INCD, 2003;
  • The overvaluing of 2 narrowly-defined 'textual literacy' reading and writing text compared with broader categories of human expression social 'literacy', oral 'literacy', emotional 'literacy' reflects the material manifestation of narrowly defined conceptualizations of human intelligence.

Richard Tarnas refers to these developments as the post-Copernican double bind Tarnas where the dominant worldview led humans to experience the following three estrangements: In a sense the 19th and 20th century 'anti-philosophies' of nihilism and post-modernism are the logical extensions of this triple alienation of the human spirit. As a longer term result of this cultural worldview, combined with the added pressures of increased mechanization and globalization, several major factors inherent in the western materialist cultural paradigm have arisen in my view which have contributed to a failure of healthy enculturation of young people.

While not wanting to youth in a world of globalization essay the gains that have been made in terms of equity and human rights, in the process of unmoderated individualism, the needs of family and community have often been compromised.

Moodie Is it just coincidence that the symptoms observed today among young people, such as homelessness, alienation, and depression have increased during the same few decades? By contrast this individualism inherent in the west, strikes a strong chord with youth in their striving for their own identities and balances some of the homogenizing cultural forces.

The Colonization of Imagination Over roughly the same period of time, the education of the imaginations of children and youth around the globe has changed from the nourishment of oral folk and fairy tales to the poisoning of interactive electronic nightmares. Since the advent of TV, and Video game parlors, followed by the use of computer games originally designed to train and desensitize soldiers before sending them off to the killing fieldsGrossman, Degaetano et al.

Globalization has led to the ubiquitousness of these processes and their subsequent colonization of youth culture and imagination, globally. Is it surprising then that over the past decade in particular, symptoms have appeared among young people particularly in the US, but also other 'developed' countries of ever increasing violence and suicide.

The American Medical Association and American Academy of Paediatrics have recently made a joint statement that "The prolonged viewing of media violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life".

Callahan and Cubbin Most of the research on suicide and suicidal ideation show strong links with depression and also hopelessness about the future.

  • A Modern Art of Education, Lectures,
  • Furthermore, the trade imbalances between developed and developing economies, favoring the more developed economies, place development at risk in many countries
  • Sociologists and ethnographers and more recently market researchers have devoted numerous dissertations to the various characteristics and types of 'youth subculture' and new age 'tribes' such as 'punks', 'Goths', 'homeys', 'surfies', 'ferals' and 'skinheads' to name a few;
  • Lemish, Drotner et al;
  • Dommers and Welch 2001 In addition, the diversity would be found within cultures whereby the plurality of possible ways of knowing would be encouraged at all levels of education, including university learning;
  • It seems the more that policy makers try to codify and rectify their curricula, to nationalize their agendas and to increase their retention rates, the more that young people will slip through the cracks.

Beck, Steer et al. The egoism that brings greed in its wake, youth in a world of globalization essay economic rationalism that denudes politics of the principals of social justice, the secularization of education leading to a loss of the values dimensionthe death of churches as inspiring community organizations and ultimately the cultural fascism and religious fundamentalism that leads to ethnic cleansing are all symptoms of societies that have lost connections with moral, ethical and spiritual values.

The resultant symptoms in young people are a cynical 'don't care' attitude, loss of purpose and meaning, and a 'dropping out' of mainstream society, assisted of course by the high levels of youth unemployment.

On the other hand the counter point to this is that many young people are beginning to recognize this void and seek to find meaning through a search for spiritual values. Environmental Degradation Finally the culture that has dominated the global environmental agenda, valuing private and corporate profit, over community or planet, has been responsible for the systematic and pervasive pollution of our earth, air and water.

What message we might wonder have Chernobyl, massive oil spills and global warming given to our youth? Seligman Meanwhile, genetic engineers push forward to develop improved strains of everything bringing us closer daily to the age of the 'designer baby'. Is it any wonder that in this unnatural world so many youth are turning to drug abuse to escape, or to alcohol binges to drown their sorrows. Conversely, the environmental awareness of youth is high with 'green futures' being almost universally present in their preferred futures scenarios.

Gidley forthcoming Youth by Definition as a Force of Renewal Contested Definitions of Youth There is much controversy about definitions of youth and adolescence and whether the characteristics which define youth are universal or culture-specific.

  • The resultant symptoms in young people are a cynical 'don't care' attitude, loss of purpose and meaning, and a 'dropping out' of mainstream society, assisted of course by the high levels of youth unemployment;
  • The changes of puberty bring with them simultaneously, new experiences of two forces;
  • Richard Tarnas refers to these developments as the post-Copernican double bind Tarnas where the dominant worldview led humans to experience the following three estrangements;
  • Mass education which transplants an educational model from one cultural system such as Euro-American into another very different culture while retaining the original standards and categories of knowledge, is tantamount to cultural genocide;
  • In Australia and the US growing 8 numbers of young people have become disenchanted with schooling, lack of work prospects and the general malaise of materialism.

I will briefly summarise what has been dealt with in some depth elsewhere. Gidley forthcoming The most frequently used conception of adolescence this century is that of George Stanley Hall who initiated the seminal psychological study of the period between puberty and adulthood at around 21 and coined the phrase 'storm and stress'. Hall In terms of cross-cultural perspectives, studies from cultural anthropology using a world sample of pre-industrial societies, recognize a distinct stage of social adolescence as almost a cultural universal.

Levinson and Ember However, the inevitability of adolescence as a period of 'storm and stress' in traditional cultures is strongly contested. Broude How long this will remain so is questionable in the face of global cultural change. To attempt to gauge the diversity of youth globally we can get a quantitative picture from the following figures: Global Youth Culture as Resistance to Homogenization In spite of the pressure towards homogeneity, of the globalizing influence of western values, youth everywhere refuse to be suppressed.

One of the great challenges and excitements of youth in a world of globalization essay with young people is their irrepressible spirit of rebellion. Sociologists and ethnographers and more recently market researchers have devoted numerous dissertations to the various characteristics and types of 'youth subculture' and new age 'tribes' such as 'punks', 'Goths', 'homeys', 'surfies', 'ferals' and 'skinheads' to name a few.

Lees One theory suggests that each main youth subculture has been superceded by another, each generation attaching themselves to a drug of choice - the hippies favored LSD, the punks were partial to speed, while the latest metamorphosis into the rave culture prefer designer drugs such as MDMA or 'ecstasy'.

Smith If we look to the extremes of the western youth profile, on one end of the spectrum we have recently begun to hear of some areas where the young can 'make it' in society - where they can rise to heights of success in certain predefined areas.

These would include the Olympic heroes and heroines, popstars and of course the new breed known as 'the dotcom boys' - youth in a world of globalization essay young twenty somethings who have made their first million from floating a successful dotcom company. At the other end of the spectrum are the marginalized and disenfranchised - the 'street kids' who spurn society because it has rejected them. In Australia and the US growing 8 numbers of young people have become disenchanted with schooling, lack of work prospects and the general malaise of materialism.

It seems the more that policy makers try to codify and rectify their curricula, to nationalize their agendas and to increase their retention rates, the more that young people will slip through the cracks. They live a life on the streets of cities and rural towns - hanging out with friends making a social life to make up for the sense of belonging and meaning that once came from working and community life. Many are children of the long term unemployed, who don't look to employment as the norm, but others are from diverse backgrounds, choosing the school of life rather than the life of school.

Gidley and Wildman Although the 'street frequenting' youth of the 'developed' world are living in relative poverty they are still wealthy compared to the 'street kids' in Brazil or the Philippines, without the safety net of Social Security.