Pre-Trip Reading: Globalization at What Price?

Students going to El Salvador have been assigned a handful of books to read before the trip and after the trip, each requiring a brief written reaction piece. Here’s one of mine:

Globalization at What Price? by Pamela K. Brubaker

We live in a global market and just when we thought the recession was hitting the U.S. hard, Pamela Brubaker posits others around the world have suffered for the U.S. consumer’s benefit for a long, long time. This is a topic which is coming more and more to the forefront for today’s recession-immersed society. As we reflect on how we got here and ask ourselves where we go from here, not only in terms of the current state of the US economy but in our relations to the global market, this book states the case for giving developing countries a break in terms of distribution of work and wealth.

The two items Brubaker focuses on which I found most harrowing were food and clothing. Pointing out how globalization affects my daily life is a great way to get me to think about this more. She uses the term “McDonaldization” to describe how the food industry and service industries uses labor practices which prey on the weak and “maquilization” to describe many of the same practices in agriculture (Brubaker, 55-56). Pointing out how my one-dollar McDouble is making other people’s lives miserable is enough to make me think twice about buying one (as if the health concerns weren’t enough already).

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