Review Essay: Globalization: The Making of World Society
Part One: Summary
Since the industrial revolution, the structure of world has been constantly evolving and progressing. The spread has involved the interlacing of economic and cultural activity, connectedness of the production, communication and technologies around the world, and it is now known as – globalization. The book I chose for this particular essay is Frank J. Lechner’s, Globalization: the Making of World Society first published in 2009. Author
Frank J. Lechner was born in 1958 in Amsterdam, Netherlands and is the director of Graduate Studies & Professor Department of Sociology at the Emory University in Atlanta. In 1982 he earned his Master in Arts degree in Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh followed by a Ph.D. in 1985 in sociology as well. Most of his focus lies in global culture, change, religion and theory. One of his most recent researches involved national identity, specifically concerning the Dutch. In addition to publishing Globalization: The Making of World Society (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), Lechner is the author The Netherlands: National Identity and Globalization (2008), and World Culture: Origins and Consequences (with John Boli, Wiley-Blackwell, 2005), as well as numerous papers on religion and sociological theory. Book Summary
In Globalization: The Making of World Society, Lechner talks about the processes that unfold in a wide range of fields such as sports, media, food industry, global economy, environment and religion due to globalization. He describes its effects on everyday experience all around the world and demonstrates how globalization is also generating new discourses, cultures, and state policies. He explains globalization as a part of a still-greater transformation, both technical and social.
Lechner wrote this book and divided it into three main parts: Global Experience, Global Institutions, and Global Problems. Each of these three parts is further divided into few more sub-topics such as for example, food, sports and media in Part I. In the first part of the book, the author describes the three “waves” of food globalization around the world. The first “wave”, he describes as a “wave” in which Jamaica became a “sugar island” at the centre of the global network. The wave started not with a desire for sugar but with a search for spices. Many European explorers lured into travel by the prospect of finding gold and silver and were able to not only bring precious metals home but have brought tomatoes and potatoes to the European diet. Another part of the first wave that the author talks about is when the Portuguese reached China and introduced maize, sweet potatoes and peanuts which later helped to sustain China’s population boom. With the first wave of globalization, more people became globally connected in more ways than ever before. People in different parts of the world were able to taste foods from other continents. As the new links in globalization were beginning to become established, they benefited some and harmed many others. Early globalization thus began to create a global hierarchy.
The second “wave” which dissipated in the early twentieth century is described as the time in which the Dakotas became the bread basket of the world. Also, large parts of Canada, Argentina and Australia became a source of food and profit and by 1913 they produced more wheat than all of Europe. As globalization continued to spread, a global food system emerged, tying all producers into a network of interdependence. The world market created enormous wealth and leading nations, tied together through free trade, strove to safeguard their power by extending their imperial reach.
The third “wave” of globalization was called “McDonald’s in East Asia.” In this section of the book Lechner talks about how with globalization nothing stays exotic as it...