Geography 400 at ric
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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. 

Rescooped by Elizabeth Allen from Geography Education
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Why more Mexicans are staying home

Tiny Tamaula is the new face of rural Mexico: Villagers are home again as the illegal immigration boom drops to net zero. Full story on CSMonitor.com: http:/...

 

Contrary to popular opinion, illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States is not really a problem in 2012.  As conditions on both sides of the border have changed, this gives a glimpse into the life choices of Mexican villagers.  For more on this issue see the complete article at: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2012/0408/Home-again-in-Mexico-Illegal-immigration-hits-net-zero ;

I have to say that I was surprised with what we learned in class and what I saw in the video. I did not think there was a considerable decline in Mexican migration to the US. As learned, due to much lower birth rates in Mexico, higher alert patrol along the borders and the agave product boom, there is actually a decrease in Mexicans crossing into the US. As heard in the video Mexicans do not still feel that the America is a great opportunity, therefore they do not want to leave their families, spend the money to get to the US only to find that due to the US recession, jobs are very scarce.  Elizabeth Allen


Via Seth Dixon
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Cam E's curator insight, February 4, 2014 11:55 AM

I enjoy stories like this, because it demonstrates people willing to fight for their home. Many interesting ideas lie behind stories such as this one, but what I find especially intriguing is the dynamics of money in relation to these small rural villages. Money and "income" drives our current economic positions, but there are some places which were left behind and have none of the jobs we in the first world would traditionally think of. They had to either subside off their own products through farming, or trade their livelyhood for a small amount of money. Put simply, money is necessary for a so called "modern" existence, but not necessary for survival. These villagers are working for their own future in their home country now though, while it may not be necessarily profitable in the short term, it will pay off for their children in the long term.

James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 11:29 AM

(Mexico topic 1)
"Things are not good in the United States. There is not a lot of work and Mexicans like to keep busy." I was surprised by this this comment which sums up one of the main reasons why many Mexican immigrants are returning to Mexico. This implies that as the American economy has worsened, Mexico's must be improving (at least by comparison). This completely supports the concept of Mexico evolving into a "semi-core" country.
   Additionally, I hope this quote will help to shed some truth onto the negative lazy stereotype many Americans associate with immigrating Mexicans.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 6:39 PM

With a little help from the video, it is clear now, to understand why many Mexican folks are actually not leaving their country for the US. It said in the video that there is not a lot of work in the US and Mexicans like to keep busy. Also, a lot of Mexicans are finding opportunity right in their own country where there once was no opportunity. Electricity reaches the house, they have paved roads and updated pipes. They will need to rely on us for fuel. It is also nice for them to know that they do not need to leave their families behind in Mexico while they go to the US, they can have the satisfaction of working in local fields and seeing family when they get home at the end of the day. 

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.

 

The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   

 

This video provides a clear picture of lasting effects of post-Soviet times. The Siberian mill was at one time a central industry town. Now that the industry has slowed down, it is becoming criticized for its environmental flaws. Environmentalists want to close the factory down, however there is a society of workers who are soley dependent on their jobs here. Through the transition from communsim to capitalism many factors need to be considered. The factory is causing a great deal of harm to the environment and the health of the people, however to just hut it down would disrupt the stability of the people who work there.  Elizabeth Allen

 

Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.


Via Seth Dixon
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Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 18, 2015 11:12 PM

Lake Baikal is one Russia's oldest and deepest body of freshwater but is turning into a swamp, Russian ecologists warn. They say that tons of liquid waste from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is being dumped into the lake. The financial crisis in Russian has been a big problem because it is leaving factories abandoned and leaving waste all over towns. If Baikal is ruined, it is going to put tons of peoples lives at risk for people who depend on this water. Also, a part of this Lake is frozen. This is fresh clean water that makes this lake what it is. 

The paper factory has caused some major pollution into the lake and all the chemicals are affecting the lake each and everyday. This beautiful land could possibly be destroyed for measures aren't taken, and can also just be another wasteland. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities.