Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Visual documents on globalisation with comments by pupils

I think this cartoon illustrates the flaws of globalization rather well. It shows that there are still inequalities between the North and the South, which is paradoxical when we know that globalization is supposed to erase these inequalities and allow everyone to trade... It also shows the fact that the "Western way of life" is spreading in the entire world through America's "soft power" (i.e. cultural influence). In the cartoon, Disney, Coka Cola, McDonalds, Microsoft, etc. are shown as invading poorer countries like an army would; soft power is as powerful a means of controlling other countries as "hard power" (i.e. miltary strength). American products and the way of life associated with them are imposed on poorer countries (shown as victims being rounded up in the cartoon). The United States of America gains rather more than the southern countries from globalization, exporting its products and factories and cultural habits to other continents. Laurie Delaire

The black and white cartoon above shows a globe which is quite strange. We are used to seeing countries, cities, etc, written and drawn on a globe, but it is not the case here. All the different countries of the world are embodied by faces which look sadder the further south they are. Faces in the middle have more neutral expressions.
This globe symbolises the unfair aspects of globalization which does not benefit every country equally. Globalization is supposed to be about encouraging exchanges and to create links between countries, between the North and the South. Globalization stimulates interdependency, and yet, some countries (principally in the South) are still forgotten and marginalized.
The author highlights the fact that globalization increases the North-South divide instead of reducing it. Countries in the South are not able to compete and to integrate a competitive world. They do no have enough wealth to be able to do so.

In this black and white cartoon representing the earth, The United States of America is bragging about the fact that they’ve been able to make the world’s tallest stack of pancakes while Africa is complaining of starvation. This is a comment about the drawbacks of globalisation, as it represents a country from the northern hemisphere, which is very well developed and wealthy in contrast with a poor continent of the southern hemisphere. It allows us to think about the inequalities on earth, for example the fact that 1 billion people share just 1% of the world resources while 20% of the world population use 60% of the energy resources.  I think globalisation has increased the gap between well-developed countries and the poorest countries from the south more than it has helped to develop the global economy. It has only improved things for a minority of countries like America, the European Union and Japan. Marianne Moinard

The document is a drawing representing the earth with lots of symbols; it actually deals with globalization. Firstly, in the foreground, there is a huge American flag over the earth. At the top, the same flag is represented with sculptures of emblematic Presidents (the first presidents of the USA). At the bottom, AMERICANIZATION is written in capital letters. Other elements appear, less visible, in the foreground. The earth is surrounded by different types of American symbols : elements relative to the country are at the top of the drawing (like bridges, monuments, edificies, skycrapers), and brands of American society are at the bottom (Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Macdonald's, Nike, Starbucks Coffee, etc.).  One focuses on New York City  represented at the top of the earth, with the sun behind it. As a matter of fact, all these symbols send a message : America dominates the world. That is to say, globalization generates great wealth mostly for the USA. The USA controls the world as shown by all their multionational corporations. It is the country where you can make your dreams come true, as symbolized by the skycrapers. Concerning the word AMERICANIZATION, it reenforces the idea of the USA's power. The fact that America has been placed on a pedestal on the earth is not a coincidence, the USA is shown as an example, as the heart of the world where you can find freedom, justice, liberty and equality. I suppose though that the drawing is denounciating the hegemonic position of the USA in the world. The drawing is ironic. The USA is considered as a superpower because it has the most powerful economy in the world. But I'm wondering whether it feels concerned about the inequalities with some countries of the South? To my mind, their capitalism has to be abandonned now. Americans can't continue to increase their wealth to the detrement of the rest of us. They have to find solutions in order to reduce the inequalities. Alexia Rechapt

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