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The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

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General Introduction

Globalization means different things to different people. To a Korean Pentecostal missionary, it means new opportunities to spread the faith and convert lost souls abroad. To a Dominican immigrant in the United States, it means growing new roots while staying deeply involved in the home village. To an Indian television viewer, it means sampling a variety of new shows, some adapted from foreign formats. To a Chinese apparel worker, it means a chance to escape rural poverty by cutting threads off designer jeans. To an American shoe company executive, it means managing a far-flung supply chain to get products to stores. To a Filipino global justice advocate, it means rules of the global game that favor the rich North over the poor South. For all their diversity, these examples have something in common. They indicate some of the many ways in which more people become more closely connected across larger distances, and grow more aware of their connections as well. “Globalization” captures that process. Of course, new connections entail new risks, as the economic crisis that started in 2007 brought home to many people, when the troubles of Americans unable to pay their mortgages cascaded across the world economy. As the pull-back in trade and investment during that episode showed, connections can be broken, our shared awareness can be put to the test; globalization does not march forward along a smooth path. Caveats aside, however, the record of global change ...

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