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Globalization in Developing Countries Essay Sample

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Globalization in Developing Countries Essay Sample

There are few regions in the world, if any, that have not been profoundly affected by globalization. Globalization has changed the landscape of human activity and life, in ways that have been both beneficial and devastating. The regions covered in this module, North America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America all have changed dramatically through globalization. These regions are all vastly different, not only from each other, but from within themselves. The regions have largely different demographics (possibly with the exception of religion*), the quality of life in each region is radically different, and the effects of globalization and environmental change vary, as do the response of the regions and countries. Still, there are similarities. In most regions, there is a strong trend towards urbanization, a noted common effect of globalization. There is also a commonality of rising environmental concerns–such as the growth of deforestation in many areas–and the growing gap between the wealthy and impoverished.

North America has been highly impacted, but is also in large part responsible for a significant amount of globalization. Although the wealthiest of the regions considered here, North America struggles with many of the same issues as the others. The United States has struggled with environmental problems including deforestation (Huffstutter), and it has also *This is assuming that Catholicism is put under an umbrella of Christianity, and with an exception to the Muslim dominated Northern regions of Africa. contributed to as well as suffered the consequences of global warming (Rowntree 80). Deforestation issues are of growing concern I the California Red Wood forests, where there is large scale forest clearing (Sahagun). Like Latin America, the United States and Canada have seen a high increase in urbanization. Like most of the other regions covered, the majority of North American population there relatively recently and there are few remaining native cultures.

While Latin America still has a strong Native Indian presence in many countries, the United States has few remaining American Indians (Rowntree 86). Unlike the Caribbean and Latin America, who struggle with emigration, the United States has a highly immigrant culture, which has vastly changed its landscape. While many immigrants come to North America to escape impoverishment, it shares a growing and large gap between the wealthy and the poor (Rowntree 119). The North American economy is incredibly diverse and is a leader in the global market. It relies strongly on foreign investments in and on the importation of foreign goods, which has created a dearth of employment opportunities within North America (Rowntree 117). Technology firms are a growing part of the American economy, while the once thriving auto industry has undergone a vast decline due to globalization. North America, though a strong influence on the world economy, is also reliant upon it.

Though a small region, the Caribbean has been strongly affected by globalization. It has one of the highest emigration rates of the regions studied, along with one of the highest poverty rates. While unique, the Caribbean has many of the same struggles and benefits from globalization as the other regions. Unlike the other regions, rapid urbanization has been slower. Although some countries have grown dramatically more urban, such as Cuba, the region has not had the massive influx of urbanization that others have experienced (Rowntree 195). The environmental effects of globalization, like in North and Latin America, have resulted in large scale deforestation. Deforestation began with agricultural clearing, which began during colonialism, and continues to persist in many countries today in order to supply wood for energy production (Rowntree 184).

Globalization is a major factor in the economy of the region; the majority of the countries in the region’s economy are based on tourism, factories and exportation. One of the strongest recent globalization effects on the Caribbean has been tourism. Tourism not only ties the Caribbean to many other countries economically, but socially as well, in terms of the popularity of Caribbean music and cuisine. Although tourism is the strongest contributor to the Caribbean economy, it brings many disadvantages. Tourism ties the Caribbean to North America not only from the influx of North American tourists, but also from the fact that most owners of Caribbean resorts and tourist hotels are in North America as well as other regions outside of the Caribbean (Rowntree 216). As a result there has been capital leakage, meaning that a large amount of the capital created from the Caribbean tourism industry leaves the region.

Latin America enjoys the same diversity as the Caribbean and North America, while also experiencing its own very marked struggles with globalization. Of the regions considered, the environmental effects of the globalization of deforestation have been highest in this region (Rowntree 138). The Amazon rainforest has lost enormous amounts of forest to logging, agricultural clearing and making room for more advanced roadways. Latin America has seen vast urbanization (Rowntree 147). Like the Caribbean, the cities strongly represent their colonial heritage. While there are Latin American countries that have had the same near-extinction of native populations as in the United States, in many Latin American countries there exist much larger and thriving native populations.

Surviving native populations are, in many ways, the least affected in daily life by globalization, as their survival has partially depended on isolation (Rowntree 153). Although there was mass immigration to Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries, in the past few decades it has slowed while immigration to North America has risen (Rowntree 180). The ties created between North America and Latin America have been important. Latin American music, food and culture are now steeped in American culture. Latin Americans living in the U.S. have had to combine their native culture with an American identity, which has been dubbed Transnationalism. Perhaps of greatest importance are the economic ties between Latin Americans in the U.S. and Latin America, as Latin Americans working in the U.S. send billions of dollars to their home countries each year. Globalization has had an enormous effect on the Latin American economy, which is largely based on trade and (somewhat lessening) exportation (Rowntree 167).

Sub-Saharan Africa has suffered many of the same consequences of globalization as the other regions considered, but, to a higher extent. The extent to which the benefit of globalization has profited other regions is also diminished in Sub-Saharan Africa. While there are countries and areas in Africa that are growing enormously, many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are in crisis. The end of colonialism left regions divided and in disarray. The economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and the GDP of its countries are among the lowest in the world (Rowntree 264). Many areas in the region, the Democractic Republic of the Congo especially, have enormous promise in their vast natural resources, but lack the stability to create a strong economy.

While aid from North American and some wealthy Latin American countries link the regions, the aid to Sub-Saharan Africa has often yielded little help or change to the area (Rowntree 269). One of the most striking differences between the other regions and Sub-Saharan Africa is its ancient population. While a majority of the African population is natively and ethnically African, most of the peoples in the other regions covered were relatively recent immigrants (within the past 400 years). Sub-Saharan Africa has had mass environmental loss. While there are some remaining thriving forests, deforestation is of high environmental distress (Rowntree 229). Land has been cleared primarily for agricultural purposes, desertification has been a major concern in Africa. Rural living is more common in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions in this study, but there has been a growth in urban living, especially in Nigeria.

In this paper, we have considered North America, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The influence of globalization on these regions is extraordinarily high, affecting almost all areas of life. The regions and countries therein have influenced each other and the world economically, socially, culturally, religiously and in countless other ways. There have been benefits from globalization to all the regions such as influxes of money from tourism and emigrants who send money back to their families back in their homeland, but disadvantages as well, environmental decline and a growing poverty gap being just a few. Through globalization, the regions are intrinsically linked. Countries in today’s world, more than any other time in human history, are dependent on one another with all the benefits and challenges this endeftails.

P.J. and Sahagun, Louis. “A tale of grape versus redwood”. Los Angeles Times August 25, 2011: Print.

Rowntree, Les, et al. Diversity Amid Globalization: World Regions, Environments, Development Third Edition. New Jeresy: Pearson, 2006. Print.

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