North America, The Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America
There are few regions in the world, if any, that have not been profoundly affected by globalization. Globalization has changed the landscape of human activity and life, in ways that have been both beneficial and devastating. The regions covered in this module, North America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America all have changed dramatically through globalization. These regions are all vastly different, not only from each other, but from within themselves. The regions have largely different demographics (possibly with the exception of religion*), the quality of life in each region is radically different, and the effects of globalization and environmental change vary, as do the response of the regions and countries. Still, there are similarities. In most regions, there is a strong trend towards urbanization, a noted common effect of globalization. There is also a commonality of rising environmental concerns--such as the growth of deforestation in many areas--and the growing gap between the wealthy and impoverished.
North America has been highly impacted, but is also in large part responsible for a significant amount of globalization. Although the wealthiest of the regions considered here, North America struggles with many of the same issues as the others. The United States has struggled with environmental problems including deforestation (Huffstutter), and it has also *This is assuming that Catholicism is put under an umbrella of Christianity, and with an exception to the Muslim dominated Northern regions of Africa. contributed to as well as suffered the consequences of global warming (Rowntree 80). Deforestation issues are of growing concern I the California Red Wood forests, where there is large scale forest clearing (Sahagun). Like Latin America, the United States and Canada have seen a high increase in urbanization. Like most of the other regions covered, the majority of North American population there relatively recently and there are few remaining native cultures.
While Latin America still has a strong Native Indian presence in many countries, the United States has few remaining American Indians (Rowntree 86). Unlike the Caribbean and Latin America, who struggle with emigration, the United States has a highly immigrant culture, which has vastly changed its landscape. While many immigrants come to North America to escape impoverishment, it shares a growing and large gap between the wealthy and the poor (Rowntree 119). The North American economy is incredibly diverse and is a leader in the global market. It relies strongly on foreign investments in and on the importation of foreign goods, which has created a dearth of employment opportunities within North America (Rowntree 117). Technology firms are a growing part of the American economy, while the once thriving auto industry has undergone a vast decline due to globalization. North America, though a strong influence on the world economy, is also reliant upon it.
Though a small region, the Caribbean has been strongly affected by globalization. It has one of the highest emigration rates of the regions studied, along with one of the highest poverty rates. While unique, the Caribbean has many of the same struggles and benefits from globalization as the other regions. Unlike the other regions, rapid urbanization has been slower. Although some countries have grown dramatically more urban, such as Cuba, the region has not had the massive influx of urbanization that others have experienced (Rowntree 195). The environmental effects of globalization, like in North and Latin America, have resulted in large scale deforestation. Deforestation began with agricultural clearing, which began during colonialism, and continues to persist in many countries today in order to supply wood for energy production (Rowntree 184). Globalization is a major factor in the...
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