QUESTION: globalization of U.S. communities

question / pregunta: 

The focus of our project is identifying the effects of globalization at the community level. We are trying to identify data and information resources that demonstrates trends in the internationalization (i.e. migration - including migrant sending and receiving countries/communities - and international trade patterns) and then tying those to a generation (last 15-20 years) of primarily neoliberal foreign and economic policy choices. The goal is identify 12 communities for further study on local impacts and the ways communities respond to the positive and negative aspects of these trends.


Answer posted by:
jim miller

Academic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary database that is at most colleges and universities (and some large public libraries). It gets 58 articles with the search: (globalization or internationalization) and communities and policy and united states, in the default title, subject, abstracts search. You can limit to full text online and even to “scholarly/peer reviewed” journals.

You can try many different searches: “Full Text” search, in scholarly journals, gets 210 hits for the search: (globalization or internationalization) and american communities and (foreign policy or economic policy). The same full text/scholarly search gets 138 hits for: (globalization or internationalization) and american communities and (neo liberal or neoliberal). It’s a word game, as you no doubt have found in Google – you have to try neoliberal as one word OR the phrase, and also “american communities” will pick up Latin American Communities – but you may not want to risk missing something because the indexers failed to add the Subject heading: United States. Academic Search has a few “cited reference” links – to papers that are cited by a few of the ones you find – and possibly even some that cite a few of the ones you find.

SocIndex tends to be limited to more scholarly sources, but will be available at fewer places. For the search: globalization and communities and su united states it gets 95 hits; for (globalization or internationalization) and communities and policy and su united states – 32 hits; and for (globalization or internationalization) and communities and (foreign policy or economic policy) - 47 hits, but MANY on other countries besides US. The search in all text: american communities and (globalization or internationalization) and (economic policy or foreign policy) gets 105 hits, and seems to be a little more promising. Also, SocIndex has many cited references as well as papers that CITE one you are looking at, so a few good ones might lead you to more good ones.

If this is a major research project, especially a Masters or PhD possible topic, be sure to search Proquest Dissertations. It covers very few Masters theses, but even if you are doing a Masters or advanced undergraduate project, it can help you to know about PhD research that has already been done in related areas. For one thing, PhD theses are likely to have huge bibliographies. I tried the “citation and abstract (default search): communities and united states and (globalization or internationalization), and got 152 hits. If you are at or near a large university, quite possibly they have full text online of dissertations back to 1996.

You can also use some free web sites, but it is much more tricky to get “scholarly” or “official” sources. You may find Google Scholar to be a bit discouraging unless you are at a big university, because it links to many SUBSCRIPTION sources (not just free web sites). If it finds an online journal your school subscribes to, it will link you to the full text, however. It gets 140 hits for: "american communities" globalization "neo liberal" (must use quotes for phrases in Google). You might want to compare these 140 with the 94 in a “Web” search for: communities" globalization "neo liberal" site:edu; or the 5 hits for "american communities" globalisation "neoliberal" , etc.

For free government (including some state government) research or position papers, etc., try with searches such as: communities globalization "neo liberal" (28 hits), communities globalization neoliberal (37 hits), etc. To get more from states, you can try the format,, etc. and use their site searches to look for publications or discussions of community issues and globalization.

You may also find it helpful, especially if the 12 communities you want to identify are all U.S. communities, to use data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. For example, to access a table of percentage of foreign-born residents by metro area (or county) by state, follow these steps:

1. Go to the American FactFinder main page.

2. Under "American Community Survey," click on "get data."

3. Select the 2005 American Community Survey (a lot of the ACS 2006 data won't be released until September 12, 2007, including the foreign-born stats that we're looking for now) and click on "Geographic Comparison Tables."

4. Leave "Nation" as the geographic type. Select one of the geographic break-downs from the other drop-down menu (use the glossary to help figure out what each geography means) and click on Next.

5. Scroll down in the next drop-down menu to "Percent of People Who Are Foreign Born" and click on Show Result.

Is Globalization Good for America?

The large outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing jobs that began years ago continues today. Michigan, a furniture manufacturing center, lost thousands of manufacturing jobs in the last few years. North Carolina experienced a similar fate, as has every state in the U.S.

U.S. arena seating and theater seating manufacturers have in recent years outsourced and manufactured seating in third world countries, for example Mexico, China and Malaysia. However, Preferred Seating, located in Tennessee, is struggling upstream to supply manufacturing jobs here in the U.S. Preferred Seating wants to grow the business in the U.S., create jobs and contribute to the U.S. economy.

The larger seating manufacturers who have the capital to build factories in third world countries make larger profit margins when they import seating parts from countries where labor and materials are less expensive. These companies argue that the public benefits from lower prices for their products. However, they sell their auditorium seating and theater seating for the same price as U.S. manufacturers, but make more profit. While these companies are making stronger sales, they are adding few jobs.

A seating manufacturer stated in “The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids Michigan, Jan 23, 2005 the following:
“Absolutely, every company should be looking at China and offshore production, whether or not they actually do it. The good old days are just that – old, and the climate will never be the same. It’s now a global world where people don’t buy (just) from their country anymore. They buy the product that fits their needs, and a lot of it has to do with cost.”

While standards of living have increased as third world countries become more industrialized, they have fallen in developed countries. Was it not the industrialized revolution in the U.S. that contributed to the U.S. becoming a world power? Losing our manufacturing base will make us more vulnerable to those countries we are allowing to manufacture our products.

Many countries do not regulate their manufacturing practices with regards to energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, materials and resources. Abusive labor practices and lack of concern for the environment is more prevalent in third world countries that do not have in place environmental and workforce safety regulations. The U.S. government and American citizens are financially supporting these environmental and human rights abuses by purchasing products manufactured in these countries.

Lower wage, unskilled earners are affected the most. They do not have skills that can be applied to other jobs. Education, with the ability to change careers, is the key to survival. The only answer that political and business leaders have agreed to so far is the necessity of an educated, adaptable workforce. But who is going to pay for the massive reeducation of the dislocated labor force, taxpayers?

We may enjoy lower pricing for products. Companies will make more of a profit by outsourcing. However, in my opinion the cost and risk to America is too great for the short term benefits.

Author: Billie Sumner
Preferred Seating
Indianapolis, Indiana
Tollfree 866-922-0226

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