Globalization is a series of social, economical, technological, cultural, and political changes that promote interdependence and growth. Globalization raises the standard of living in developing countries, spreads technological knowledge, and increases political liberation. (Harris 5-23) The main cause of globalization
is influence from other, more developed, countries. Globalization is a historical process that results from human innovation and technological progress. The social effects of globalization
are clearly illustrated in Peru. Once a third-world country
filled with poverty and oppression, Peru is now transitioning into a developed nation. In Peru, globalization has raised the human development index, empowered women, and created a stronger country. (Leon 90-91)
One of the benefits of globalization on a social level is an increased Human Development Index. The Human Development Index is a measurement of a country's social, political, and economical growth in comparison to other countries in the world. The Human Development Index rates each country with a score between 0 and 1, with 1 being the most advanced, globalized country. Factors that are involved in determining a country's HDI are gross domestic production per capita, life expectancy at birth, adult literary, and the number of persons enrolled in educational institutions. In 1975, Peru's Human Development Index was a 0.643. By 2003, the Human Development Index had risen more than one tenth to 0.762. The substantial increase of Peru's HDI is a clear indication that globalization has made a positive impact. From 1975 until 2003, globalization has caused a 2% increase in the adult literacy rate. During the same time period, the poverty rate to dropped 6%. Women's fertility rates have also dropped. In 1975, women had an average of 6 children each. In 2003, that average dropped to less than 3 children per woman. (Genovese 457-8) When fertility rates drop in developing countries, such as Peru, it is usually an indication that there is an increase in women's liberation. Women are no longer facing as much social pressure to have lots of children and stay home to raise them. By having fewer children, women are exposed to more opportunities for employment. The role of women as housewives and domestic servants is rapidly changing. Women in Peru have begun to experience liberation and equality, mostly due to the spread of globalization. (Bowman 551-59)
Historical traditions in Peru have dictated that women are only allowed to work menial jobs that pay poorly. Women were not given the opportunity to seek an education or to have a career. The spread of globalization has caused an increased number of opportunities for women to pursue an education or a career. In the last few decades, women have been encouraged to fight for equal rights. In 1993, the United Nations affirmed that women's right are human rights. If women's liberation had not occurred in the United States and other highly globalized countries, it is very unlikely that women in Peru would be experiencing liberation now. For the first time in Peru's history, women are being encouraged to participate in politics. After facing years of social oppression, globalization has directly led to political liberation for the women in Peru. In 1980, the Communist Party of Peru began the People's War. This political party and subsequent revolution mark the first time that Peruvian women have participated equally with men in politics. (Bowman 540-49)
Globalization in Peru has even greater effects than those directly felt by the country. When developing nations see the progress that has been made by Peru, they too will want to become involved with globalization. The more countries that embrace globalization, the more widespread it's effects will be felt. In the same way the women's liberation in the United States indirectly led to women's liberation in Peru, the innovations in Peru will lead to innovations in even less developed countries. (Impact of Globalization in Peru)
Globalization is not an overnight solution to all of the world's problems. In fact, technology is always evolving so globalization will always be evolving as well. Skeptics of globalization argue that it is causing the world to conform to American standards, that there is a loss of culture associated with globalization, and many people in the countries being globalized do not want it to happen. No one should ever argue that globalization is perfect, because it is not. (Taylor 87-91) However, the concerns of skeptics can be easily alleviated. America is a country where everyone has an equal chance in life. No one is born into a predetermined destiny, as are many people who live in countries like Peru. It is a great thing for a country to be influenced by American standards, so that the people in that country can live in a technologically advanced, free country. It is true that there is sometimes a loss of culture associated with globalization. However, skeptics forget that not all culture is good. For instance, in the past in China if a girl was born it was very likely she would have been murdered because Chinese culture dictated that only boy children were of value. The population of China did not necessarily want to have that type of culture, but their government forced certain policies and traditions onto the Chinese people. It is often better to rid a country of certain cultures that are immoral and wrong, especially those cultures which the government forces onto its people. Globalization encourages independence and choices for all citizens. Globalization in Peru has met resistance from some of the citizens. Changes caused by globalization are not always viewed as positive changes. For example, women's liberation in Peru was not embraced by some male chauvinists who believed that the only place for a woman is in the home, as a wife and a mother. Another example of people not embracing globalization is when the poverty level decreased and more people moved into the middle class, then members of the wealthy upper class responded with protests. Many of the members of the wealthy upper class opposed the influences of globalization when those influences began narrowing the gap between the social classes. Wealth is directly related to power; the wealthier a person is in Peru, the more powerful that person is. Those people want to have the rich get richer and the poor become even poorer, so they are probably against globalization. (Kentor 435-46)
Although globalization may not be the perfect solution to end all of the world's problems, it is a good start. Countries that embrace globalization, such as Peru, have benefited tremendously. Globalization is good for a country's economy, politics, and most importantly for its people. Peru was once a third-world country ravaged with poverty, oppression, and a lack of education. Globalization has contributed to the reduction of poverty, increased literacy rate, and the liberation of women in Peru. The effects of globalization can be recognized in Peru and all around the world, when technological knowledge is spread, free trade is encouraged, and political or social liberation is achieved. (Kellner 285-92)
Bowman, Olga Celle de. "Peruvian Female Industrialists and the Globalization Project:
Deindustrialization and Women's Independence." Gender and Society. (Aug, 2000):
Vol. 14, No. 4, 540-559. < http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0891-
*This source explained how women in Peru have been affected by globalization and how women could benefit from globalization in the future. This source explains the changing role of women in Peru and women's independence.
Genovese, Frank C. "Measuring Human Development." American Journal of Economics
and Sociology. (Oct, 1990): Vol. 49, No. 4, 457-458.
*This source gave explanations about what the human development index is, how it is measured, and how it can be used to compare countries in different areas of development. It also gave statistical data about Peru during different time periods.
Harris, Richard L. "Introduction: Globalization and Globalism in Latin America:
Contending Perspective." Latin American Perspectives. (Nov, 2002): Vol. 29, No. 6,
Globalism in Latin America and the Caribbean, 5-23.
*This source gave information on both the positive and negative effects of globalization in Peru. It also speculated on what changes globalization will bring to Peru in the future.
Kellner, Douglas. "Theorizing Globalization." Sociological Theory. (Nov, 2002): Vol. 20,
No. 3, 285-305. < http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0735-
*This source gave more information that concurred with the information about the effects of globalization in Peru that I had found from other sources. This source confirmed a lot of statements I found in the other sources.
Kentor, Jeffrey. "The Long Term Effects of Globalization on Income Inequality,
Population Growth, and Economic Development." Social Problems. (Nov, 2001): Vol.
48, No. 4, Special Issue on Globalization and Social Problems, 435-455.
*This source focused on the long term effects of globalization on Peru. It gave information about how globalization will affect Peru's social classes, poverty level, and how Peruvians reacted to globalization.
Leon, Rafo. "Peru's Globalization Problem." Foreign Policy. (Nov, 2002): No. 133, 90-
91. < http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0015-
*This source outlines the problems associated with globalization in Peru. I used this source so that I could acknowledge the problems associated with globalization and address why the benefits of globalization are worth the problems.
Taylor, Milton C. "Problems of Development in Peru." Journal of Inter-American
Studies. (Jan, 1967): Vol. 9, No. 1, 85-94. < http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0885-
*This source described the conditions of Peru and why the country was in need of development. This source provided evidence of how the country was before globalization so that I could fully exemplify the positive changes made by globalization.
"Impact of Globalization in Peru." Posted March 22, 2006. Last accessed October 4,
2006. < http://www.theglobalist.com/DBweb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=3784 >
*This source gave another perspective on the benefits and the problems associated with globalization. It discusses the failures and the successes of globalization in Latin America. It also discusses how globalization has effected Peru.