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Economic Decline and Sense of Place

"McDowell County, situated in the coalfields of West Virginia, has experienced a great boom-and-bust since 1950. But despite the economic decline and population loss, many still call it home and feel a great sense of purpose among the mountains. Residents speak about their connection to this place and the meaning of 'home.' Hear more stories at hollowdocumentary.com "


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dilaycock's curator insight, April 29, 2014 6:51 PM

Excellent example of urban decline. Would pair nicely with a reading from 'Rocket Boys' by Homer Hickam Jnr, or with the movie version 'October Sky.' The book and movie are the true story of a boy in Coalwood, West Virginia in the 1950s who is determined to  "escape" working in the coal mines to become a rocket scientist.

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, September 16, 2014 11:02 PM

 McDowell, a once thriving county in the 1950’s ceased to keep up with the ever-chaning world. There was little need for coal after the 1980’s so work became scarce and the “Brain Drain” began. Those looking for a successful future left for there was more choice elsewhere and economically it would make no sense to stay in McDowell. Nevertheless, cultural upbringings paved way to this "Boom and Bust” town, which gave people a sense of place and identity. Though McDowell is economically on the decline the communal relations and sense of place the community holds is still strong. 

Luke Walker's curator insight, October 3, 2014 3:41 AM

Develop your sense of place regarding the coalfields of West Virginia.

What geographic context (location) might create a place like McDowell County, West Virginia?

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Detroit on the edge

Detroit on the edge | Human Geography CP | Scoop.it
Bob Simon reports on the decline of America's former industrial capital and the people determined to bring it back

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2013 8:32 PM

Detroit is the largest city to declare bankruptcy and more importantly the first major American city to essentially fail as a major metropolitan area.  Sections of the city are reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic bestselling novel:  80,000 buildings stand empty, 40% of the streetlights don’t work, and it routinely takes police one hour to respond to a 911 call.


Tags: urban, economic, industry, Detroit

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, November 19, 2013 12:21 PM

The Detroit "Renaissance"  is an interesting one to say the least. There is an obvious opportunity to lay the foundations for something new and bold after clearing the rubble that has become detroit. But who is going to be displaced once the rubble's cleared and the trendy cafes, art studios, and co-ops are erected? Who amongst the poor and already displaced will be held up high, encouraged, and supported to help create this new Detroit? Cutting costs from health care and pensions, from those who already live in this city and are struggling, doesn't sound particularly productive. Especially after referencing having posession of extremely valuable art pieces that could be sold off. This article really sheds a light on the pro's and con's that are associated in capital investment in a bankrupt and wartorn American city.

I don't think that the poor and hungry care about paint on a canvas. They need access to opportunity and the resources to seize it.

 

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Globalization and the Textile Industry

"On the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, little has changed in the global sweatshop economy. Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates."


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Danielle Bellefeuille's curator insight, May 10, 2014 6:16 PM

The sad reality of the new division of labor, we are moving backwards instead of forwards with labor policies and widening the gap between core and periphery countries. We need to stand up and advocate for fair trade. These countries rely on us for sources of unemployment, and we need to give them better wages, safer working conditions, and help them push pass this dependency, and grow into more economically and socially strong countries.

 

http://www.laborrights.org

Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 10, 2014 8:03 PM

The triangle shirtwaist factory in New York was a revolutionary turning point in labor regulations. Following this unfortunate event there had been many rules and laws that took effect in order to help the working people in factories and other harmful work places. The textile industry had been such an impact on globalization because this product had been so greatly treasured that countries all around the world were getting their fair share of producing a good that was in such high demand and through the use of globalization transport created an higher demand for textiles. Although, the boom of the textile industry came with the sacrifice of innocent civilians who worked endlessly just to feed their family. Regulations and legislation have to be put into effect to protect our people and our economy. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:17 AM

One of the first industries to be impacted by what is today called globalization was the textile industry and the successive waves of globalization continue to alter the geography of the textile industry.  This video shows how historical problems in the U.S. textile industry are seen today in countries such as Bangladesh, as does this interactive feature.  The following paragraph is from a Geography News Network podcast / article that Julie Dixon and I co-authored for Maps101 about the Bangladeshi garment industry:     


Many developing countries with the majority of their laborers working in agriculture welcome outsourced labor from the West. This is seen as a way to nurture industrialization, even if it is on the terms of trans-national corporations. Countless workers seek employment in textile factories simply because low pay is still an entry into the cash economy and it is one of the few jobs rural migrants can find when they first enter the big city. In such locations, Western labor, construction, and environmental standards are not priorities because the population’s basic needs haven’t been met, so the responsibility falls to the global companies—but their aim is to cut costs as much as possible to remain competitive.  From its emergence in textiles back in the late 1970’s, Bangladesh in 2013 made $19 billion in the export-oriented, ready-made garment industry, employing 4 million workers, most of whom are women. 


Listen to more of this Geography News Network podcast or read it here. 


Tags: Bangladesh, poverty, development, economic, globalization, industry, labor.

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Containerization Shaped Globalization

Sometimes a single unlikely idea can have massive impact across the world. Sir Harold Evans, the author of They Made America, describes how frustration drove...

 

The economies of scale that globalization depends on, relies on logistics and transportation networks that can handle this high-volume.  In a word, the container, as mundane as it may seem, facilitated the era within which we live today. 


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Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 10, 2014 7:48 PM

Globalization has connected the world in such a way that we hadn't thought possible. This idea has created rising economies all over the world and has made transport of goods and services move faster and continues to increase this rate with advances in technology. Containerization is a staple of globalization and without it, none of these products would be able to get from country to country. In essence it has developed the world of import and exports. To add to this success, globalization has also created jobs and communities which revolve heavily around the transport of goods. It saves time by using massive containers to move goods and it creates opportunities in places where it had not been possible before. 

Ricardo Cabeza de Vaca's curator insight, May 27, 2015 3:45 AM

I believe this video is very interesting. It tells us that everything we have today is thanks to globalization and the reason we have it so fast is because of shipping containers! In the video it told me that before my time it was impossible to get swordfish from Japan or cheeses from France, but now thanks to globalization it is all possible. Globalization is even behind the reason how our phones were made! 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:28 AM

The economies of scale that globalization depends on, relies on logistics and transportation networks that can handle this high-volume.  In a word, the container, as mundane as it may seem, facilitated the era within which we live today.  This is a very useful video.