DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, DIFFERENT KINDS OF GLOBALISATION
Different countries, different types of globalisation. It would appear that the notorious phenomenon of globalisation is making its effects felt on the life of each of us in a different way, depending on where we live. This at least would seem to be a certainty, if we are told so by an ambitious study lasting no less than six years, involving 70 academics in analysing the effects of globalisation on fourteen nations. The results were referred by Hans-Peter Blossfeld, sociologist and author of no less than 23 books and more than 190 articles, who coordinated what we could describe as a monster study.
“The most important element emerging from the data and our research was that it is not true that globalisation has a standardising effect which is the same all over the world”, underlined Blossfeld at the "Visions" session at the Festival of Economics “and this is for two main reasons: the first is that the effects of globalisation, which are in themselves relatively similar, are then differentiated due to a whole series of institutional filters, which clearly change from one country to another: the second reason is that in a time of uncertainty such as this (amplified by globalisation itself) we tend to act as we see those near us acting. This is why in response to the difficulties of this third millennium we react on the basis of the cultural framework which surrounds us, and which varies if not from one nation to another, at least from one continent to another”.
The session was introduced by Stefano Feltri, a journalist with Il Fatto Quotidiano, who emphasised a specific aspect of this particular survey, namely that it considers globalisation not only from the economic but also from the human point of view: hence it analyses its consequences on our everyday lives and on the major decisions we take during the course of our existence.
Another aspect which Blossfeld explained was that with the advent of globalisation everything becomes more rapid, but at the same time this is not the case for all countries: “We must not think that the phenomenon includes every country around the world: it includes many but not all. There are certainly effects in the West, and one of the most negative is undoubtedly the major difficulty encountered in making long-term decisions. Everything is too involved in a process of continuous evolution”, said the sociologist bluntly. “This is why, both for people and companies, the timescales are increasingly shorter”.
At all events the problems of globalisation do not hit everyone in the same way. Just as they affect countries in different ways, they also trouble different social groups in an irregular manner. This is the case of young people: “Young people’s problems – above all in Europe –actually date back twenty years, but globalisation has made things worse”, affirmed Blossfeld “Employment contracts have deteriorated, unemployment has increased, and not only in Europe but I would say around the world”. The precariousness of jobs and consequently the objective difficulties in making important life-changing decisions, such as getting married or having children, is a burden on the shoulders of younger age groups.
“Young people are those who lose most from globalisation” concluded Blossfeld, underlining all the weight of this bitter truth.
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