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Issues Related to Globalisation

Unit Description

It is a useful elective for students in Sociology, Community Development, Sustainability, Journalism, Management and Governance and any degree through which you want to consider issues related to globalisation, neoliberalism and their effects and affects on people. The unit provides students with an opportunity to: consider a range of important global issues; how an understanding of these relates to their discipline and lives; develop their ability to frame their oral and written responses to these issues to take account of the context; and the ability to apply theory from their disciplines in meaningful ways. Students will rely on the latest information from government, corporations, heath services, and NGOs.

This unit provides students with a global perspective. It explores the impacts of contemporary globalisation practices on people, the environment and cultures in the context of international capitalism and growing integration and interdependency between nations, national economies, and related social issues. We live in a ‘global village’, we have an international division of labour, and the global consumer economy leaves few untouched.

Q: Global economic practices have positive and negative effects on cultures, poverty, health and the environment. How do we know what happens globally?

Q: How do we communicate our responses to what is happening in personal and professional roles? What is our responsibility in this process?

The unit draws on theories of globalisation and neoliberalism and theories students bring from their disciplines to discuss issues including human trafficking, forced migration, the economic effects of transnational corporations. It also examines Gross National Happiness, a government policy of Bhutan and now incorporated by the UN into their development agenda, to foreground the importance of aspiration. The unit is delivered through a blended learning approach. This involves pre- and postworkshop reading, writing, researching and viewing. In class you will discuss what you have learnt with others. 

1. Understand the role of communication (media, film, popular culture, literature, conversations and social interactions) in its many forms, for producing, reinforcing and challenging cultural views;

2. Provide students with the opportunity to apply the theory gained from their program of study to a range of contemporary global issues;

3. Develop students’ understanding of and ways to communicate how contemporary globalisation and neoliberalism influence issues such as trafficking, forced migration, the positive and negative influences of transnational corporations, and corporate social responsibility;

4. Inform students of the life experiences and expectations of those we might assume are ‘other’ to ourselves. In doing this, to recognise that we are all economically, environmentally, socially bound together. It provides an opportunity to explore the assumptions, which underwrite our sense of ‘the rest of the world’ and of ‘other people’. This unit serves to meet the Graduate Attribute for a Global Perspective, and provides the opportunity to undertake and experience self-directed and self-managed research.

1. Define and critically evaluate the concepts of communication, globalisation and neoliberalism and their implications for inequalities across class, ethnicity, gender, and environment;

2. Identify, question and critically discuss issues confronting all ages and genders globally, as international capitalism structures more and more of our lives;

3. Communicate in ways that facilitate open discussion on issues that are unfamiliar, complex and ethically challenging;

4. Access the latest available online data from government, NGO, corporate and health websites and through library research and critically assess the reliability of the information. Graduate attributes developed in the unit This unit will contribute to the development of the following Graduate Attributes. Communication Critical and creative thinking Social interaction Ethics Social justice Global perspective Interdisciplinarity. 

To do well in this unit students should plan their workloads so that their study-time is ‘paced’. This unit requires students to critically engage with the topics and the set readings. Sessions may involve small group work, screenings, and discussions based on unit content and will be preparation for assessments.

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