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Globalization: The Human Consequences Paperback – September 15, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0231114295 ISBN-10: 023111429X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 023111429X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231114295
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #976,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Anyone prepared to move beyond the seductiveness of libertarian ideology... will find Globalization as eloquent a summation of the problem as they are likely to encounter anywhere.

(Alan Ehrenhalt Wilson Quarterly)

Utilizing the works of philosophers, historians, architects, and theoreticians, British sociologist Zygmunt Bauman takes a hard look at the history, ethics, and economic and social consequences of globalization, and finds that it will inevitably divide more than it unites.

(Globe and Mail)

A valuable introduction to the question of globalization, and, more importantly, sets a new agenda for sociological theory at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

(Acta Sociologica)

A powerful antidote to bland political-cultural pronouncements of the 'there is no alternative' variety.

(British Journal of Sociology)

Brooding brilliance... Bauman subtly lays out [globalization's] 'human consequences.'

(Independent)

Review

"Eminently readable." The Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
The process of socio-economic reform in the free-market era, facilitated under the direction of private enterprise, has created an international dichotomy in the political realm between the mobility of capital (global) and the immobility of labor (local). Essentially, Bauman argues that the privatization of the global economy, although gradually, has led to the erosion of the public sphere and a rise in absentee landlordism. In a sociological sense, the inculcation of the consumerist ethos, harnessed as a means of fueling the burgeoning private sector, amounts to the de facto division of global consciousness into two categories. For the author, the tourist and the vagabond, people with the financial ability to free themselves from the grips of spatial locality, and those who aspire to become free in the former sense, epitomize the cultural, economic, and political expectations of the new global elite and the local underclass. Bauman views the increased use of criminal incarceration and the conservative appeal to "public" law and order as an outgrowth of this spatial dichotomy, and the increase in urban criminal activity as a symptom of this new polarization. In referring to this issue as the "criminalization of poverty," Bauman suggests that the global elite have reconfigured the structure of power in the world market, since they are no longer bound by practical barriers, namely governmental restrictions and national boundaries. The tourists have effectively withdrawn from their historical obligation to local communities, while the underclass have been forced to contend with their plight (unemployment and economic insecurity) in the tumult of urban ghettos on an individual basis.Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
The world renown sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman, illustrates extremely well the dynamics of globalization on civic society and its breakdown thereof due to mass consumption, the ease of ability of communication, and the inability of binding corporations to rules of conduct. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the grim realities of globalization for the nation and locality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Thomas Scarborough on July 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book represents one of a series, which, as one of its goals, "aims to shape the major intellectual controversies of our day". It deals with five major themes:

the new "absentee landlords" of our time

the "legibility of space"

the "demise of state sovereignty"

the "freedom to choose where to be", and

the criminalisation of "the rejects and the waste of globalization".

Zygmunt Bauman paints a stark picture of "state borders . . . levelled down". He writes about "the fast weakening hands of the nation-state", and the reduction of the state to "the issue of law and order". Is this a true reflection of reality? "Globalising" powers are, after all, nothing new. One may think of the papacy, or of colonialism, which exercised vast trans-national influence. While such powers undoubtedly had a profound impact on nation states, they did not erase either their borders or their national character. It would seem far more likely that state power is merely transmuting into new forms.

The new global order, states Bauman, has largely emancipated business "from territorial constraints". In the past, we knew the "absentee landlord" -- a class of agricultural landowner who lives away from his property and is not directly involved in its day-to-day production. Even the absentee landlord, however, faced a "practical limit" to exploitation. According to Bauman, this is not so in the case of "late-modern capitalists and land-brokers, thanks to the new mobility of their now liquid resources". They easily uproot and relocate to exploit more favourable circumstances elsewhere, creating an "increasingly worrying polarization of the world".

This was a worthwhile book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Dunn on January 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Bauman's thesis is that the twin siblings of globalization are opulence and mobility at the top (the 'tourists') and alienation and despair at the bottom ('the vagabonds')of the social milieu. He makes a good case for such tendencies, though he relies on metaphor and allegory, more than careful argumernt. This is a brilliantly stimulating book which should be widely discussed. Nonetheless, the lack of qualification -(e.g., most of us are neither completely tourists or vagabonds - which Bauman notes but then drops) leaves his paradigms looking like caricatures. I felt aambivialence towards much of Bsuman's discussion, agreeing with him that he had identified a problem but disagreeing with him on its paramenters and extent. Globalization, though fraught with problems, deserves a bettter defense.
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9 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was more worthless than the paper it was printed on to someone with a limited understanding of globalization and anyone with less than a Masters in English Grammar. Globalization by Zygmunt Bauman was a fascinating tale of how globalization works and how its problems can be rectified.
This book was completely difficult to understand and was much like swallowing a big pill. Every other word was long and could have been easily replaced with a smaller word to create a more fluent understanding of his thought processes.
The author uses a lot of references that one cannot understand simply from the print of his book, but necessitates a run to the Internet for understanding. I sat next to my computer the entire time I read this book to get through it. It was completely nonsensical work which needed much revision. It could have been a great book, if the author realized that everyone who reads his book would not have a complete grasp on the whole idea of globalization. I can not lay all the blame on the author, as the editor, and publisher should have done that themselves.
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Globalization: The Human Consequences
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