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Community Development and Globalization - Essay Example

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Although globalization has existed since colonial times, through trade relations between nations, present day globalization has been enabled through modern technology and international trade. The main agent of globalization has been the multinational corporations in the private sector where companies, fueled by the bottom line, expand globally in search of new markets, low cost labor and a fewer restrictions on production…
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Community Development and Globalization
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Download file to see previous pages In this way benefits are said to trickle down into the various communities. Yet, the disadvantages of globalization can have a profound impact, distorting labor and financial markets in host countries and causing undesirable changes in traditional communities (Serano 2005). The negative aspects of globalization appear to overpower the positive. Globalization, as argued by Serrano (2005) can result in adverse effects like world poverty, a greater divide between rich and poor countries, increased inequities of income within economies, discontent leading to conflict, international crime, loss of biodiversity, global warming and loss of community values. Community development, which aims to improve communities, often works in opposition of globalization by frequently adopting a bottom up approach. Community development in this sense is based on the perception of meeting the requirements of individuals who belong to a certain geographical space and have common interests and therefore, functionally, require common physical and human services (Fulcher, 1989).
Prior to 1910 the concept of 'community' rarely appeared in the literature, the first identifiable social definition was constructed by C. J. Galpin in 1915. It related to rural communities in terms of the trade and service areas surrounding a central village (Harper and Dunham 1959 cited in Smith 2002). As a result various definitions of community followed, focusing on concepts of geographical area, groups of people in a particular location and sharing interests. According to Frazer cited in Smith (2002) community can be conceptualized as a value incorporating a number of elements, such as, trust, commitment, solidarity, mutuality and fraternity. Community can also be approached as a descriptive category or as a set of variables, however, in reality the two are interconnected and cannot be separated (Frazer 2000 cited in Smith 2002). This is exemplified in the concepts of communities of place (Barnett and Cavanagh, 1994, cited in Serrano, 2005) and communities of interest (Fulcher, 1989) sharing common defining characteristics.

For example there can be an academic community or a Muslim community in which identity is the crucial social relationship. In this sense, communities are not limited geographical boundaries. The increase of international exchange brought on by globalization has given rise to specific social communities in most multi-cultural countries. For example, Chinese communities in Toronto or Indian communities in Sydney are both "communities of place" and "communities of interest" (Serrano, 2005).

The broader term, "community of interest", has also undergone various changes with the evolution of globalization. Originally based on the sharing of common identities, affinities, concerns and purposes, and a sense of belonging to a common economic, social and political environment, the concept now includes geography and interests as defining characteristics (Fulcher, 1989). Recently this conceptualization of community has developed to incorporate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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