On page 26, Globalisation: The Analytical Tool, bullet points both supporting and skeptical ideas of the globalization movement. One of the supporting arguments says that with the increased global mobility of people, there are more refugees and more migrant labor around the world. The skeptics come back with saying that most people stay at home, most refugees stay in their own region, and most labor is not mobile. That’s it. The article goes on with other supporting arguments and then counter skeptical ideas. For one, I am appalled that Lechner and Boli considered refugees to be a positive outcome from globalization, and two, that they could have so easily breezed by what I consider to be a major problem from globalization. I understand that a key argument from this piece is that globalization is not just economic imperialism and western imperialism/influence, but I think that a more holistic and in-depth view into refugees is necessary when writing about this topic.
“The critics thus share a fear of the unrestrained capitalist system. Some lament its imperial obliteration of cultural distinctions and advocate preserving or reviving traditional cultural distinctions” (9). While this quote embellishes my point, it fails to look at the parts of a capitalist system that impact those who become refugees. Refugees may have to leave their homelands for a variety of reasons, but usually it is unwillingly. Someone who has only ever known one community, one way of life and one loved hometown may be overwhelmed and isolated if they have to leave. Globalization that brings in this more free-world view generally only applies to the owner, the manufacturer, the CEO’s of massive companies and those seeking to make a profit off of global networks. Refugees who are scared to leave their homes and unprepared for a new language, way of life, culture, monetary system, travel system and every other small detail that comes from being stripped from one’s homeland is not an argument in support of more labor. Odds are these refugees do not have a big support system or network in the area they are travelling to. Without local help, this “migrant labor” may end up being a low-paying, service job that isolates them still from building a new community. Locals often complain these are the people “taking their jobs,” and will condemn and hate them for just trying to make a living.
I would argue that pockets of high density populations of similar race or ethnicity in the United States and elsewhere in the world are not the products of successful globalization and market capitalism but a means of survival, a last-ditch effort to keep something that reminds them of home. Chinatown’s world-wide weren’t created by American’s to appeal to the Chinese who would then travel to America and support our economy; it was created by the Chinese who felt that they had to leave their life in China for greater opportunities and needed to feel at home in a foreign place. While globalization may increase the average prosperity of people around the world and introduce the poor to technology and better practices for medicine or healthcare, specific cultural communities are not quick to assimilate into something new. I am not an expert on globalization, the economy, world trade markets, and the extremely intertwining networks of people, technology, goods and services constantly moving around. I am however confident that while some refugees may be escaping a bad life and are able to seek greater possibilities and safety elsewhere, leaving one’s beloved homeland is not a positive effect of globalization, but a source of great tension and sadness throughout the world.