THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF GLOBALIZATION ON THE YOUTH
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF GLOBALIZATION ON THE YOUTH
The contemporary world is considered a global community and the citizens of each nation comprise the larger global citizenry. Today, people live in a world of technological advances, interactive human relations, international flow of human and material capital and investments, and intensive need for labor to sustain the industrialization process. Communication and information sharing is a click on the mouse and a matter of Internet connection. Business and movement of production and capital are readily accommodated by national boundaries while migration of workers increases as corporations demand for additional labor. Globalization does not spare anyone. It penetrates the lives of everyone - adults, children and young people alike, and poses both advantages and risks to them. This paper looks into the negative impacts of globalization on the lives of young people. The paper works on the notion that globalization exploits the youth by robbing off their chances to learn the necessary social skills in living adult lives and negatively influencing their normal development. Firstly, it would render some definitions of and concepts relative to “globalization” to put the term in context. Secondly, it would narrate the negative effects of globalization in general to deduce the specific impacts to the youth. This would be followed by a discussion of the disadvantages of globalization on the youth. Finally, a conclusion based on the discussions would be formulated.
GLOBALIZATION AND THE YOUTH
Advocates of globalization refer to the concept as “a structured process that allows flows of capital, goods, knowledge and technology between individuals and states in all parts of the world and results to economic convergence, elevated standards of living, and massive evolutionary changes in the economic, political, cultural, and biological aspects of human evolution” ( 2003, ). (2004) agreed that globalization makes way for the assimilation of national economies into one global economy through international trade, direct foreign investments, short-term capital flows, and transfer of human resources and technology across national boundaries (). Human evolution is influenced by globalization since it consists of the immense proliferation of cultural production and consumption through television, movies, music, Internet, fashion and contemporary trends that pave the way for a single culture, style of living and desires ( 1998, ). The exploitation of the world market has rendered a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every nation where old wants of the country are responded to by itself and new wants find their satisfaction from the products of other countries ( and 2000, ).
Critics of globalization generally emphasize that the phenomenon aggravates poverty, unemployment, capitalism, social exclusions, social divisions, and environmental deterioration ( 2003). According to (2000) globalization connotes dependence between national economies through trade making way for either a dominant or dependent nation. Thus, free trade can increase the gap between affluent and poor countries (). Relative to the economic change brought about by globalization is the growth of the service sector where the traditional dependence on agriculture-based activities has been replaced by investments in human capital for labor ( 1998, ; and 2004, ). Globalization provides massive possibilities for interactions at any area or level leading to convergence in the lives of people from all parts of the world. Globalization also fuels the dissemination of capitalistic practices as more emphasis is put on consumerism and market economy ( 2003, ). (2000) stated that globalization is the contemporary flagship of capitalism wherein consumers and producers are given freedom to control the dynamics of the market. These realities have direct effect on the youth. Young people are in the midst of finding a sense of identity and the process is altered by the intensification of social and economic relations in the global context due to globalization ( 2003, ). According to (1998) globalization puts too much emphasis on commodization and consumerism where families have to maintain sufficient supply of financial resources in order to continue their participation in the free market system. This immense need for material resources forces parents and children to engage in intense income-generating endeavors. Young people are encouraged to provide more time and effort on “subsistence and cash-oriented activities” in order to adapt to the rapid pace of socio-economic living (). (2001) added that the present competitive global economy offers most children an escape from poverty as well as an opportunity for many developing nations to exploit their citizens who are capable and willing to work since their economic survival relies on foreign investments and world trade (). (2003) supports these assertions by claiming that young people of today do not want to be regarded as the “locals in a globalized world”. They are ready and enthusiastic to offer their skills, willing to learn, open to new technology and trends, and are hopeful to participate in the labor force. Most youth of today are aware that to avoid social deprivation and exclusion they should ensure their access to resources, wealth, social benefits, and opportunities (). Thus, globalization impacts the normal development and establishment of identity of children and youth. They are forced to confront economic struggles instead of focus on other areas essential for normal development such as leisure and studies. Statistics show that there are approximately 120 million children aging five to fourteen years who are out of school and working fulltime in developing countries ( 2001, ) while the rate of youth participation in the labor market is anticipated to grow from 345.1 million in 2003 to 363.9 million in 2015 ( 2006, ). (1998) said that engrossment with employment takes the youth away from school, decreases their opportunity to learn appropriate adult skills and alters the normal course of their development ().
Globalization is also said to pose disadvantages to young people and children by limiting public investment in social services and benefits. Globalization advances trade and not charity thereby restricting the capability of governments in poor and developing countries to resort to minimum levels of welfare endeavors for their constituents. Privatization of welfare services is promoted but this privatization reduces access of the poor to quality welfare services and lead to the growing gap between the affluent and the poor ( 2003, ). According to (1998) there are declines in public expenditures on “housing, health care, social welfare, education, job training, job creation, child care, recreation and open space” in many areas of the United States over the last twenty years. The lack of attention to recreation and public spaces make children and young people depend on technology for their leisure and entertainment needs through television, video games, music, movies and the Internet. They become isolated to their homes or their gadgets and are deprived of various opportunities to experience healthy development (). They are prevented from experiencing what normal developing children need including real play as opposed to screen-based entertainment and leisure, first hand experience of the world they live in and face to face interaction with real-life situations in order for them to incorporate the normal human capacities and characteristics (‘’ 2006). (2004) further cites that computers and video games take too much time that children could have used for other productive activities such as homework, reading, outdoor activities and sports. Technological leisure will hinder them from pursuing beneficial and developmental activities and therefore might make them feel isolated, dull and passive.
Globalization is the core of contemporary living that makes way for convergence and interdependence of economic, political and social relations. It affects nations and their citizens - both young and adults. Globalization has been criticized for its risks. Some of the disadvantages put forth by authors are increased poverty for developing nations, social divisions, environmental degradation and capitalism which emphasizes consumerism and commodization. Most of these risks somehow affect the youth in two ways. First, globalization makes the international economy more competitive thereby forcing people especially in developing economies to work hard in order to adapt to the rapid pace of economic living. Second, due to competition, most governments prioritize investments in production rather than social services such as recreation and public spaces for their constituents. Accordingly, many young people are encouraged to work at an early age instead of going to school. They do not experience formal education that could have helped them to learn the necessary skills for their future adult life. Furthermore, the limited opportunities and resources for recreation increase their dependence on technological entertainment through television, Internet and video games. They become engrossed in screen-based living and learning. This affects their normal development as they are restricted from experiencing real life situations that can provide them with the knowledge and competence to deal with real life.
The young generation comprises the future world public servants Thus, it is crucial that they are prepared for the responsibility. They should be provided with all the possible opportunities and resources that they would need in order to acquire skills, knowledge and confidence in facing the future. They should be in school, not in the workplace. Also, the government should provide them with the best support and services to ensure their normal development.