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The Geography Classroom
Linking geographic concepts to human and environmental issues
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T-Shirt Travels

When filmmaker Shantha Bloemen was stationed in a remote village in Zambia as a worker with an international aid organization, she had to adjust to living in a different culture. But one thing struck her as oddly familiar: almost everyone in the village wore secondhand clothing from the West. Bloemen began to imagine stories about the people who used to wear the clothing, wondering if the original owners had any idea that the castoffs they had given to charities ended up being sold to Africans half a world away.


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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, July 19, 2013 9:48 AM

It's fascinating to look at the effects of globalization, and a great look at how economies change.  When people in the Western world drop a bag of clothes off at a charity, I doubt we think they'd end up in a village in Africa. Warning:  it does get a little preachy at the end. 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:44 PM

Is direct aid a good thing or not? How does secondhand clothing impact local economies?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:57 PM

Westernization is a popular theme thats happening in the East. Even though people don't know it, the clothes they give away may be some that are taken to places like Africa. Hand-me-downs are popular in the U.S. but even more so in Africa. The t-shirt you give away to someone might end up across the world. Who knows.

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What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City?

What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City? | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

Two Yale architects pose the question in an ambitious research project.

 

"Hsiang and Mendis have increasingly come to believe that the only way to study and plan for our urban planet is to conceptualize its entire population in one seamless landscape – to picture 7 billion of us as if we all lived in a single, massive city."


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Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, October 17, 2013 1:54 PM

I was very exited by the work being done by Bimal Mendis and Joyce Hsiang.  I hear to much on the news and in conversation about over population, energy shortages and brutal living conditions.  Creating a digital interactive medium is the most efficient way to educate the internet consuming public about issues and developments all over the world.  It reminds me of the blue marble picture taken from Apollo 17, the first full color image of our planet.  This image is considered to be the defining moment that awoke the conservation movement and understanding that the earth is our home and should be treated as such.  I cant help hoping a program like “the city of seven billion” will help people to relies we are all one species and from that develop a move beneficial way of coexisting.

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Globalization

The world is becoming more and more interconnected. Globalization changes how people consume, work and live almost everywhere on the world. Today, many economic, political, cultural or ecological relationships are not explainable from a national perspective. At the same time, a controversial debate about the consequences of globalization has begun.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the driving forces behind globalization? What areas are most impacted by globalization?  How does globalization benefit some, and adversely impact others? Why?

 

Tags: Globalization, economic, industry, NGOs, political, scale, unit 6 industry.


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Kyle Toner's comment, September 10, 2012 12:31 PM
Globalization is an overall positive drive. In time globalization needs to mold developing countries who are in need of a better political and economical system
Sheyna Vargas's comment, September 10, 2012 1:16 PM
After watching this video, it is becoming clear that Globalization isn't just one-sided. While making it easier to connect with people all around the world and lowering costs for businesses, it is also causing harm to less developed countries. The question that pops into my head is, "Does the ends justify the means?" One could argue either point.
First, Globalization has made the world a "smaller" place. Not only is it easier to communicate with one another on different sides of the world but it’s also easier and cheaper to transport goods across nations and bodies of water. These are obviously benefits to both the developed countries and lesser developed countries in getting goods in timely fashions and producing jobs in both areas. Globalization also creates competition amongst developing nations to learn or advance in new skills to bring and/or keep jobs in their country/area.
On the other hand, Globalization is also wreaking havoc on cultural diversity around the global with Western music, food, and products becoming more available. Western culture is basically looked upon as the “money making” culture. Globalization, by creating competition is also harming local business in newly developing countries. This drives the prices down for the local businesses and makes them work for less.
Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, May 3, 2013 11:39 AM

Globalización Globalization

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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


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Beth Jung's curator insight, February 9, 8:26 AM

This article is about children trafficking and child labor in West Africa. The director of this documentary is trying to tell people around the world that almost all famous chocolate factories such as Snickers, Nestle, etc, use cocoa from the cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast that use child labor to make as much chocolate they can with the least amount of money used. There are serious issues going on in West Africa, because most cocoa plantation workers are children who were smuggled around many countries such as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and were separated to isolated plantations. People who are working in the Cocoa Industry have all denied the fact that the children are working in the plantation; Even the Vice President of Ivory Coast denied the fact of children trafficking. Also, all the famous chocolate factories had declined the interview for this documentary. A lot of people around the village have helped the captured children escape back to their home, saving more than a hundred children. This article helped me understand more about Africa's bad economy. By using child trafficking, people get free workers as well as sell children; 230 Euros each. It costs less to buy children than to pay the workers. This article made me realize that the only way I could help the African children is to spread the awareness to the whole wide world. This article also made me want to go to Ivory Coast when I get older. Children Trafficking hurts my loving heart and I would go to Ivory Coast and help children go back to their home.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 12:38 AM

Its both sad and horrific to think that chocolate, such a pleasure and luxury item in the west comes as such a high cost. It's so sad that so many people are oppressed and used in situations such as this just so those living in places of plenty can enjoy resources like chocolate. Unfortunately it seems for the few to benefit many more have to suffer and endure hardships.  

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 5:03 PM

I was not aware that slavery is still not unusual in cocoa plantation in West Africa. It sickens me because nations all around the world consume chocolate produced under slave labor. 

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Billions of Geotagged Tweets Visualized

Billions of Geotagged Tweets Visualized | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

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fabio sousa's comment, June 3, 2013 9:00 AM
que lindo
oyndrila's curator insight, June 3, 2013 1:35 PM

Useful and interesting visuals. They help us to understand significant aspects like varying population density, variable intensity of use of social media, digital divide etc.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, June 10, 2013 8:12 AM

Communication and social media. 

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The Next Step in the Islamic Wave

The Next Step in the Islamic Wave | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

The Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining power in several countries since the Arab Spring. The rise of Islamist power in the Middle East is culturally and politically complex.  This interactive lets the user click on selected countries to see how groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hamas are impacting them politically. 

 

Tags: Middle East, religion, Islam, political.


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Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 4, 3:03 PM

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Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 12, 2:13 PM

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Quran Coaching's curator insight, August 27, 1:34 PM
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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 29, 6:20 PM

I am impressed that McDonald's knows their clientele so well! This is a company that will last since it is very globally conscious and therefore can open a restaurant in any country.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 10, 5:07 PM

McDonald's adjustment to producing a mostly vegetarian menu for locations in India is a smart business move on their part, and once again displays the positive affects of globalization on a company, but may hurt any of the smaller businesses in the area.

 

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 11, 8:03 PM

This article was really interesting to read especially because I have been working at a McDonalds for almost three years now. McDonalds is huge franchise that is known all over the world. Of course my McDonald's does not serve anything for vegetarians. India has various reasons for going meatless. One is that cows are sacred to Hindus. Also, Muslims who live in the country do not eat pork. As opposed to my location who has a top seller of a Big Mac, India's top seller is a McAloo Tikki burger. This burger is made out of a potato based patty as opposed to ground beef. The company is also planning to open another vegetarian location.

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Visualizing the Global Carbon Footprint

Visualizing the Global Carbon Footprint | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

One of the key things I reinforce in conversations about globalization is that the advantages are unevenly distributed and the negative externalities to the system are also unevenly distributed.  This clever infographic highlights both rather effectively. 


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Dale Fraza's comment, February 27, 2012 3:26 PM
Really surprised at a couple things:
1. Brazil's relative tinyness in comparison with the U.S. Guess I've always just heard bad things about Brazil in regards to deforestation and the like.
2. Just how much a formerly agricultural nation (China) has exploded. Something really needs to be done about the environmental havoc they are wreaking (not to be a total ethnocentrist or anything).
Rescooped by Elisha Upton from Geography Education
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West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...

 

The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Beth Jung's curator insight, February 9, 8:26 AM

This article is about children trafficking and child labor in West Africa. The director of this documentary is trying to tell people around the world that almost all famous chocolate factories such as Snickers, Nestle, etc, use cocoa from the cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast that use child labor to make as much chocolate they can with the least amount of money used. There are serious issues going on in West Africa, because most cocoa plantation workers are children who were smuggled around many countries such as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and were separated to isolated plantations. People who are working in the Cocoa Industry have all denied the fact that the children are working in the plantation; Even the Vice President of Ivory Coast denied the fact of children trafficking. Also, all the famous chocolate factories had declined the interview for this documentary. A lot of people around the village have helped the captured children escape back to their home, saving more than a hundred children. This article helped me understand more about Africa's bad economy. By using child trafficking, people get free workers as well as sell children; 230 Euros each. It costs less to buy children than to pay the workers. This article made me realize that the only way I could help the African children is to spread the awareness to the whole wide world. This article also made me want to go to Ivory Coast when I get older. Children Trafficking hurts my loving heart and I would go to Ivory Coast and help children go back to their home.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 12:38 AM

Its both sad and horrific to think that chocolate, such a pleasure and luxury item in the west comes as such a high cost. It's so sad that so many people are oppressed and used in situations such as this just so those living in places of plenty can enjoy resources like chocolate. Unfortunately it seems for the few to benefit many more have to suffer and endure hardships.  

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 5:03 PM

I was not aware that slavery is still not unusual in cocoa plantation in West Africa. It sickens me because nations all around the world consume chocolate produced under slave labor.