From Diaspora to Racism: The Impacts of Migration in Globalisation Era

When I was in Sydney last year, I went to a suburb called Lakemba from the Sydney domestic airport by train. Once I get off in Lakemba Station, for a second I thought that I was not in Australia anymore. All the people I met were Asians and they spoke in Arabic or Hindi or other languages except English. From my friend I finally knew that Lakemba is well known as a suburb of Asian immigrants.

This experience is just a little example of how migration has become an essential part of globalisation. Moreover, migration is the earliest form of globalisation, as LeVine (2010) argues, “The theme of migration has been part of the collective human narrative for as long as there has been recorded history”. The Economist (2001, p. 65) supports this argument by states that “migration has been one of the most conspicuous features of human history”. In addition, according to Keeley (2009), “Almost 3% of the world’s population – or about 190 million people – live outside the land of their birth” and many more people move temporarily such as to study, as tourists, or to work abroad under special scheme (The Economist, 2002, p. 6). Continue reading “From Diaspora to Racism: The Impacts of Migration in Globalisation Era”

Child Labour: The “Unwanted Child” of Globalisation?

In one episode of “The Big Bang Theory”, an American television series, there was a scene when Sheldon, the main character in this series, had a conversation with Penny, his neighbour. In that episode, Penny tried to make a handicraft for charity and Sheldon became the timekeeper so Penny would knew how long she took to make one brooch. In the end of Penny first attempt, Sheldon said that it took 14 minutes. In a cynical tone, he added: “You are much slower than children who make Nike shoes in Indonesia”. Indeed, child labour was a sad phenomenon in Indonesia before Nike factory moved to Vietnam in 2007. At that time, as Sheldon said, most workers who worked for Nike factory in Indonesia were children.

Child Labours and International Trade

The international trade as a part of globalisation has led to some sad phenomena including child labours. A data from UNICEF indicates that children with age ranges 5-11 work at least one hour of economic work or 28 hours of domestic work per week (Menendez, 2009). In addition, the ILO’s report in 2002 shows that approximately 211 million children under 15 are working worldwide (cited in Edmonds & Pavcnik, 2004, p. 1). Continue reading “Child Labour: The “Unwanted Child” of Globalisation?”

Anti-Globalisation: Who is The Real Opponent?

Anti-globalisation movement has become the popular jargon since years ago. According to Giddens (2003, p. xx), “The activities of Anti-Globalisation movement have grown apace since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meetings in Seattle on 30 November 1999”. However, the manifestation of this jargon is sometimes not really clear since some anti-globalisation movement supporters do not really know what they are fighting for as Giddens (2003, p. xxxiii) argues, “When the anti-globalisers blame inequality on globalisation they normally have in mind narrow interpretation of globalisation. They identify it with the growth of market competition and free trade”.

In Indonesia, for example, some supporters think that globalisation is simply equal to Westernisation and Americanisation. Thus, they often held a demonstration in front of the franchise store of McDonald’s (McD) and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). It is not an entirely wrong understanding, indeed, but it is not fully correct either. Giddens (2003, xxii) contends, “Globalisation today is not a simple recapitulation of the past and it is not identical either with Americanisation or Westernisation.” It is far more complex than that. Globalisation is as complex as a can of tuna that contains tuna from South Australia but packaged in Thailand, then distributed in Indonesia and eaten by Italian tourist who had vacation in Bali. Certainly, “globalisation is multidimensional, non-territorial, polycentric and involve multiple intentionalities and cross-crossing projects on the part of many agents” (De Block & Buckingham, 2007, p. 3).

Continue reading “Anti-Globalisation: Who is The Real Opponent?”

Modernisation within Globalisation: The Era of Risk and Opportunity

Globalisation has a strong correlation with modernisation. From the early modernisation (i.e. when Columbus discovers America in 1492) to today’s modernisation, there has been a rapid acceleration on globalisation. The development of globalisation has been escalated to the max especially after the 20th century. This period is also the third phase in modernisation, which is signified by the globalisation of modernisation. The globalisation of modernisation emerges through industrialisation, urbanisation, capitalism, modern nation states, and mass social movement (Berman, 1983, p. 17). In other words, globalisation has been accelerated by these five processes.

Furthermore, since globalisation has caused inequality especially between developed and developing countries, some people argue that globalisation is just a new version of colonisation. However, it cannot be simply argued that globalisation today is another form of colonisation. In terms of domination, like colonisation, it is true that globalisation create dominant power. However, colonisation is “territorial, state-driven, centrally orchestrated and marked by a clear division between coloniser and colonised” (De Block & Buckingham, 2007, p. 2). Globalisation, on the other hand, is unrelated to territory and there is no clear distinction between the person who control globalisation and the person whom been controlled by globalisation. What we have in globalisation “is a process in which all manner are frontiers (political, economic, cultural, religious) are apparently breached and even reduced to nothing in the creation of seamless web of market relations and of the legal and humanitarian institutions of capitalist democracy” (Lehmann, 2009). Thus, the main tension in globalisation era is not about domination but more about the contestation of risk and opportunity as a part of modernisation occurrence especially the capitalism.

Continue reading “Modernisation within Globalisation: The Era of Risk and Opportunity”

Media World vs. Real World: Globalisation and Our Unequal Relationship With Media

The innovation of technology has been an inseparable part of globalisation. From the invention of printing press to the born of Internet, there is always a strong bond between technology and globalisation especially with the communication and media technology. Flew and Cunningham (2001, p. 77) state, “Developments in communication media are important in all the process of globalisation.” However, the development in media and communication has brought significant impacts. One of them is the consequence to live in two worlds: the real world and the media world (Potter, 2001, p. vii). The real world is where we live in direct and real experiences while media world is the world where we live in mediated experiences. In other words, in globalisation era, we have at least two relationships. The first one is our real relationship with real people, and the second one is our relationship, as audience, with media.

Unfortunately, sometimes, there is an unequal relationship between media and audiences, which make the audiences, become the subject of the media. According to Althusser, “individuals are always-already subjects” (1971, p. 176), even before they are born. He argues that before its birth, “the child is therefore always-already a subject, appointed as a subject in and by the specific familial ideological configuration in which it is ‘expected’ once it has been conceived (1971, p. 176)”. In the globalisation era, we are the subject of media, technology and anything related to technological innovation. Consequently, as the subject in media-audience relationship, we have at least three tendencies. The first tendency is a will to be on media or covered by media. The second tendency is a strong belief that media cannot be wrong and the third tendency is our media experiences takes over our social experiences in terms of defining our social life, which make most people feel that the real phenomenon is just something off media.

Continue reading “Media World vs. Real World: Globalisation and Our Unequal Relationship With Media”