Introduction to Part II

GEORGE RITZER

This is by far the largest section in the book and deals with the vast majority of major topics in the study of globalization. So many areas are involved in, and affected by, this process that it is impossible to cover all of them in one volume, but I feel confident that few, if any, significant issues have been omitted. While most topics are covered in one chapter, a few, especially economic aspects of globalization, are covered explicitly in several chapters and implicitly in many others.

While a beginning point for coverage of the major concerns in globalization studies is somewhat arbitrary, I have opted to begin with the global movement of people, especially in the form of migration (tourism would be another form of such movement).

Guhathakurta, Jacobson and DelSordi argue that our sense that we live in a global era of unprecedented international migration is incorrect. While international migration has ebbed and flowed over time, the current rate is unspectacular in comparison to at least some of the recent past. While the contemporary numbers may not be impressive, there are interesting and important changes in the nature of today’s migrants. First, the proportion of international migrants from the developed world has declined. Second, there has been a large increase in the number of migrants from the developing world and a very significant proportion of them (70–90 per cent) are moving to North America.

Migrants from the less developed ...

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