The world is becoming increasingly interconnected with Globalisation forging networks between countries/nations that normally wouldn’t occur. The current World is now characterised by Transnationalism and Mobility where technological advances have made it easier to create links and travel across nations than it has previously been. However, these changes can have implications.
Many could argue that this is interfering with the identity of places. Cities are becoming unbounded; turning into meeting places known as socioscapes where peoples sociospheres are touching down together in one temporary place. In reference to Delanty’s 4 components of Citizenship: Rights, Duties, Identity and Participation, peoples membership of a political community are being directly affected causing implications within a ‘place’.
Commodity chains are being stretched across space with the development of Megacities in such places as South East Asia. This is, therefore, creating links between people who are from opposite parts of the World but does this mean that they feel a sense of responsibility to one another being a Global citizen? You could argue these connections are increasing peoples desires to respond to others needs but people will always still favour people in their own nation state. Would you be more likely to donate your kidney to a boy in your village or someone you don’t know in a town in Bangladesh?
In the case of fair trade, it is shown that Transnationalism is giving power to the consumer to respond to demands of the producers in a positive way. Campaigns for workers to receive their worker rights and environmental protection are passing down the commodity chain, implementing a need for change. Consumers have shown increasing willingness to pay an ethical premium to reach these demands for workers rather than a ‘sense of self’ in wanting cheaper commodities. The case of fair trade is a growing phenomenon and is ensuring commodity chains are containing the correct features.
In my first year I undertook a module called ‘A Global World’ which I found extremely interesting. The module was based around the effects of Globalisation on sense of self, place and responsibility and much more. Our lecturers were fantastic in giving examples to help us understand and connect to the discussions and implications ourselves. This module was an 100% essay exam which is not my favourite style but it didn’t go too bad in the end at all (Note: never doubt yourself).
Finally, right now, take a look at the shoes you’re wearing. What country do you think they were made in? Who made them? How long did it take to make them? How much were they paid to make them? The list could go on… The moral of the story is that the clothes we wear, products we consume and the things we connect within our own networks link us to systems and people from other countries we haven’t met. However, do these connections make us feel a sense of responsibility towards them, therefore, acting as a ‘Global Citizen’ or not? The answer is up to you.