The Relationships that Globalization Possess

In this particular section of the book, not only did I find myself agreeing with Giddens more than I had in Part One, I also found that this section captured my attention the most. I believe this is because capitalism and industrialization are two topics that I rarely find myself thinking of or debating over, and thus had little opinion on the two of them. However, Giddens knowledge of the two helped me to expand my thoughts on the two.

After reading Giddens explanation on both capitalism and industrialization, I agree with him in that, “we should see capitalism and industrialism as two distinct ‘organizational clusters’ or dimensions involved in the institutions of modernity” (Giddens 55). Although one could argue that capitalism and industrialization are heavily intertwined, the two are separate; capitalism is clearly a system of possession and industrialization a system consisting of the use of “material power in the production of goods” (56). The two are heavily associated with one another in that the two have to do with power and possession. Capitalism depends on competitive markets, which industrialization helps to supply. Much of industrialization has to do with machinery producing material goods, a system which capitalism needs in order to survive and prosper.

Just as Giddens points out when he states “industrialism should not be understood in too narrow sense-as its origin in the “Industrial Revolution” attempts us to do” (56), I came to realize that I (and most likely others as well) think about industrialism and the Industrial Revolution as the same thing. However, once you begin to process Giddens thoughts, it is obvious that the two are not the same-the Industrial Revolution simply brought industrialism to be. As Giddens continues, he speaks about industrialism not affecting the workplace but other aspects of everyday life. This particular idea is not one that I am certain of. Yes, industrialism has much to do with domestic life, transportation, and communication, but it also has just as much to do with the workplace. Most careers (anything from janitorial, factory, or office-type jobs) exist because of industrialism. Thus, industrialism and the workplace are two topics that are connected to one another.

I was curious as to how Giddens would tie the concepts of capitalism and industrialism to globalization or modernity. Giddens defines globalization to be “the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa” (64). By this given definition, one can assume that the success of globalization has much to do with capitalism and especially with stable industrialism. Before reading this section of the book, it was easy for me to think of the three as separate topics having to do little with one another. However, after reading Giddens beliefs on globalization’s relationship with industrialism and capitalism, it is obvious that the three are in existence because of one another.

I realize that I only touched upon a small portion of this section of Giddens book, however I felt I understood and connected with this section the most.

5 thoughts on “The Relationships that Globalization Possess

  1. Amanda,

    I’m glad to hear that you’re getting more out of Giddens as we go on. It’s never a bad idea to focus in on a specific problem, issue, keyword, etc. to ground your discussion. As you point out, industrialization has had a significant impact on our work and personal lives (and, further, the fact that we even perceive these as two separate entities). I wonder what you make of the relationships between post-industrial countries like the US and other places–if different nation-states have distinct economies, how does this impact the process of globalization?

    ~DM

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  2. I agree with your post whole supporting the divorce of capitalism and industrialism,two hard materialist systems of economics , i agree in the the fact Giddens has yet to merge forces complexly together therefore the larger picture is still being formed.

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  3. Amanda,

    Whenever I am unfamiliar with a topic or idea, I am often swayed to believing whatever is said. It is until I further research or learn about the given topic that I am able to form my own opinion on it. I believe this is why we all easily agree with Giddens because like you said, he writes about topics that most of us have not thought about before.

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  4. In The Relationships that Globalization Possess, I like how you have come to terms with capitalism and industrialization, and feel strongly that ‘The two are heavily associated with one another in that the two have to do with power and posession”. It was refreshing to read that Giddens in this section ‘captured my attention the most’, and was able to change you from having ‘little opinion’ to ‘expand my thoughts on the two’.

    After reading the text, I too ‘was curious as to how Giddens would tie the concepts of capitalism and industrialism to globalization or modernity’. Your conclusion that globalization, capitalism and industrialism were interdependent was spot on. I wonder what your thoughts are if industrialization could possibly occur in a communist state in the absence of capitalism?

    Overall, a very nice post.
    -Chris

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  5. Amanda,
    I could not agree with you more! I, too, rarely find myself ever giving capitalism and industrialism a thought in realms outside of our English class or a history class. This section of Modernity reminded me just how much these concepts played a role in shaping what we call “our world.”

    And speaking of “our world,” I began thinking about how generalizable this chapter was in terms of globalization when it comes to countries that are not developed or in the process of developing. In the United States, for example, where industries continue to reshape and reinvent themselves around new technology, we are clearly in the modern era. In a place like Sierra Leone—one of the poorest nations in the world—I don’t think they have gone through the same Industrial Revolution we have. So, in this sense, are people living in a third-world country also in the modern era? In what ways does industrialization determine the “era” we live in?

    EEM

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