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Rescooped by Elizabeth Allen from Geography Education
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The Voices of China's Workers

TED Talks In the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world.


Our collective understanding of modern industrialization and globalization needs to go beyond the binary of "oppressors" and "victims."  This lecture explores the voices and lives of Chinese workers that we so often simply see as simply victims of a system, but are full of ambition and agency. 

 

Tags: industry, globalization, labor, China, TED. 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Allen's insight:

This is an interesting video.  Leslie Chang was able to gain such perspective from the girls who work in China's factories.  Learning about how the girls are optimistic about their future.  They don't want the Coach Bag or IPhone they are making- it would take months for them to afford it...  They want an education and social mobility.  It was uplifiting to hear that factory workers want education and more out of life, however as mentioned- they are "invisible"  We (Westerners) avoid the idea that people in China working for next to nothing in response to our lifestyle and demands. This also makes you think about when you see a product that is considered an 'American Classic'  it does not mean made in America.        Elizabeth Allen  

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Ryli Smith's comment, May 5, 2013 2:55 PM
In these Chinese factories, they don't view these jobs as harsh or poor treatment because this is better than how they would be doing back in their villages. They want these jobs so bad because they will give them a better life. Also, you have to remember that not all of these Chinese factory workers want to have an iPhone or a Coach purse or Nike shoes, because those things don't have any worth in their culture.
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:26 PM

The plight of Chinese workers today is incredibly great. This TED talks explains the situations many in China find themselves in the terrible conditions they must work in. While us in the west see this as unthinkable China's model for success and expansion comes at the cost of their workforce who are subjugated to poor working conditions as very low pay. The real hope for this to change is for the nation as a whole to become wealthy enough that these workers will be able to demand fair wages and work environments. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:08 PM

These workers do see their jobs as opportunities. This video is a great eye opener for people who tend to fall into the trap of looking at globalization as a system of haves and have nots. 

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Incredible Shrinking Country

Incredible Shrinking Country | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
There are “babyloids” and relatives-for-rent in an increasingly childless Japan.

 

While many parts of the world are concerned with population growth, Japan is struggling to find ways to slow down the demographic decline.  What economic and cultural forces are leading the the changing nature of Japanese demographics?  A video that explains the changing nature of modern Japanese relationships and gender norms can be accessed here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/japan-population-decline-youth-no-sex_n_1242014.html

 

This article helps to see why population is declining so rapidly in Japan. There is not just one contributing factor, but many factors. There is a high suicide rate and low birth rate. Many single Japanese women decide not to have children, while countries such as the US, many single women choose to have children. Japan's high divorce rate will also cause decline in population(women do not tend to have babies out of wedlock) . Al of these factors that contribute to the decline in Japan's population is hurting the economy. If the population does not start to increase, Japan will be further in trouble.  however, there is not much physical decline, most of Japan's population is enjoying a high life expectancy.  Elizabeth Allen


Via Seth Dixon
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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 20, 2013 6:30 PM


Japan in the future will have a great economy because there will be more people working than being retired collecting a monthly check. Which means they have more taxes coming in than being given out and they can use that extra money to help create better things for their society.  It also could mean they wont have so much of a deficit like the United States does.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:21 PM

Japan's shrinking population poses many challenges to the state, namely a shrinking work force. While Japan is a very developed country, it still needs people to continue its growth. Perhaps the government should subsidize families with more than one child? a la reverse One Child policy. As I'm sure Japan would not welcome an influx of Han Chinese.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:14 PM

In Japanese culture older generation are taken care of by their decedents. With more and more people not having children it is going at odds with long standing cultural traditions. What will happen when these people are no longer able to take care of themselves and have no one to turn to for assistance. Japan will  have to adapt and consider solutions that go against their norms regarding familial structure.

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China's 'Mountain-Moving' Project

A promotional video shows planned development of a state-level development zone by government of Lanzhou, a provincial capital in China's arid northwest...


The Lanzhou province is lightly populated mainly due to it's semi-arid climate and rugged topography.  The goal is make a 500 square mile area (currently with 100,000 people) into a city with over 1 million people by 2030.  To make this new metropolis, developers are planning to literally remove mountains to create a more 'ideal' urban environment.  This makes some of the most ambitious environmental modification projects seem tame.  For more read, the accompanying article from the Guardian.  


Questions to Ponder: What potential environmental impacts come from this scale of modification?  How will this massive influx of the population impact the region?  Could this type of project happen in other part of the world? 


Tags: environment, urban ecology, planning, environment modify, China.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Allen's insight:

The developer is claiming this will be "protective development." I am not sure if I buy that.  They are moving mountains- which means everything that comes with that, wildlife, trees, etc...  And they are building an airport and an oil refinery (amongst other things)..  Urbanizing can be great for the economy- but at what cost.   Elizabeth Allen

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 11, 2012 11:51 PM
The developer is claiming this will be "protective development." I am not sure if I buy that. They are moving mountains- which means everything that comes with that, wildlife, trees, etc... And they are building an airport and an oil refinery (amongst other things).. Urbanizing can be great for the economy- but at what cost.
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Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     

 

My heart was in my throat watching this video. Is that the procedure for demolishing the entire building? Ironically this was to clear way because the Olympics were being held in Bejing. There is some irony here, representatives from other travelling down that main road would be appalled to see these working conditions. And for little pay on top of risking their lives.   According to the National.ae.com, close to 80,000 people died in 2010 due to unsafe working conditions.

Elizabeth Allen


Via Seth Dixon
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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:23 PM

This video borders on difficult to watch. While it is definitely amazing to watch it really flies in the face of standard American job safety operations. These workers are perched on top of this building with no harnesses balancing in the shovel of a back hoe while sawing loose great slabs of concrete. Luckily no one was injured in this video but frankly this video does a great job of showing how China has been able to grow so rapidly. A lack of interest in individual workers safety and a sole goal of progress, at the possible cost of its citizens.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 9:45 PM

China has one of the strongest economies in the world. However, I think sometimes, China takes that for granted. They think that just because they have a strong economy, they don't have to worry about safe working environments and they have nothing to lose if something happens to someone. As much as I'm sure China gives good paychecks to manufactured workers because of its wealth, there are some jobs, such as this one, that they think they don't have to pay enough. However at the same time, it's not China's fault. Sometimes, it's the workers faults for not using common sense while working, I'm a firm believer in "work smarter, not harder."

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 4:32 PM

Well nobody ever accused China of being a Union favoring country.  These people are risking their lives because its their job.  This is a country where you have very little leeway to argue for benefits.  If they want to do this, then come to the US.  Although I wonder why they don't just use dynamite?  Faster and few people are involved.