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2003-12-16 - 6:00 p.m.


Globalization and its Discontents

by Saskia Sassen

Part I

Chapter I - Introduction. Focus on place, duality of National/Supernational inadequate to explain the nature of Globalization, especially if it is only applied to Capital. If Glob. insists on perfect freedom of movement for Capital, why no such recognition of movement for Labour (inadequately called 'Immigration')? Metropoles as site of International Capital, and simultaneously and consequently, low-wage, part-time service industry jobs, staffed mainly with immigrant women. Global Capital relies on 'placeless' tools like the internet, but the physical infrastructure those tools require are still place-bound. his is why no Mega-coprs are based in Topeka: no information infrastucture. The presence of high-payed managers and workers necessitates low-end service jobs for personal pleasure, recreation, and basic household suties once done by machines in the family home. That is Section I.

Section II concentrates on women and 'presence'. Don't understand that bit yet, haven't read it.

Section III details the informal Labour Market that Global Capital creates. Division of Market into up-scale formal and down-scale informal markets. (Quick Thought - I'll bet we see the former become cashless at exactly the same time we see the latter become totally cash-based: see cred-sticks in ShadowRun for a good example).

Section IV details politics in a supernational world.

Chapter II Immigration as Global Labour. The State is losing total sovereignty (but notm power) over immigration. often to extra-national organizations (MegaCorps) and Supernational organizations (Common Markets, Trade agreements). Immigration policy is currently based on the individualist model that sees all movement as pure choice: hence, control is asserted through punishment (to decrease reward) and through Foreign Aid (to decrease need). This is inadequate. Poverty alone does not create immigration, and choice of destination is not spread proportionally among wealthy nations. Emigres move to ex-Colonial master-countries or to countries with heavy political or economic investement. Immigration is not a 'wave', a natural phenomenon. It is created. The need for low-wage workers in Metropoles pulls these workers, and poverty and social dislocation in the home-country push them, over a bridge of cultural sympathy created by that sphere of influence.

Chapter III Furthermore, these emigres are created by Global Capital through Foreign Aid Programs that are meant to defuse them. Foreign Aid concentrates on financing export driven investment, focusing employment on women in rural areas. These women are recruited into the city for part-time, low-wage, non-machine-intensive manufacturing jobs. This denudes the country-side of women, disrupting the rural economy by depriving it of the unpaid labour women perform (cooking, threshing, tailoring, etc.). This lack of women also encourages male migration to cities, where there are women, but no jobs (Capital prefers to hire 'easily intimidated' women). This creates a pool of potential emigres, augmented as Capital fires exhausted women in favor of new arrivals. These women are twice disposessed, but have an acquired knowledge of the investing country. Hence, immigration. QuickThought - No mention of currency differentials. The ability to send home real money through underpaid work must certainly act as a pull, all else being equal. Perhaps this is more a pull to migrant workers, as opposed to immigrants.



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