Course Description

Course Name

Globalization and Beyond: Culture, Society, and Political Economy

Session: VSOS3221

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Globalization is a concept that is much discussed but poorly understood. It is at once
praised as the answer to all the world?s problems while being blamed for everything
from pollution to poverty. Adding to puzzlement are the stereotypes of globalization,
including its characterization as American imperialism and as an economic panacea.
To better understand this buzzword of the day, this course will begin by exploring the
multidimensional definitions and meanings of globalization. The course also examines
globalization?s many variations as well as sub-globalizations that bind regions together.
The power and the unexpected consequences of this great force will then be scrutinized
in the context of history. In addition, the course looks at the various interconnections,
from economics and trade to poverty, war and civil strife, and examines how structural
elements, both political and economic, have polarized the world into a minority of
?haves? versus a growing majority of ?havenots.? We will also explore other ongoing
problems of globalization, such as climate change, threats to both cultural and
biological diversity, financial instability, corruption, migration, malnutrition and hunger,
trade barriers, water access, modernizing forces encroaching on rural and traditional
cultures, union-busting via back-door utilization of low-wage labor, and interventionism
by foreign superpowers in the political, economic and social affairs of foreign lands.
From these exercises, it is hoped that the students understand the distinction between
globalization (the process of the intensification and expansion of global
interconnections), globality (the condition brought about by the process of
globalization) and globalism (the ideology that underwrites and legitimizes the current
form of globalization). Also, the students should comprehend how the concept of globalization basically boils down to the wholesale commodification of all of the
resources on the planet; how some of the global issues have their direct counterpart in
some very local issues; how ?everything is connected??colonialism, sweatshops, child
labor, food production and distribution, consumerism and culture, and neoliberal
capitalism; how the Western consumer model has seeped into every corner of the globe
while gaps in wealth, food security and social provision continue to grow; how the
promise of globalization is seductive, powerful, and ultimately hollow; how an
emerging global culture does indeed exist; how globalization, which can be said to be
American in origin and content, is far from a centrally directed force like classic
imperialism; and how there exists currents that carry a culture of globalization,
including a worldwide class of young professionals and non-governmental

The principal objective of this course is to prepare students with the knowledge and
analytical tools needed to develop balanced views on globalization and its impact.
Toward this end, students are expected to:

  • understand the nature of globalization in a historical context;
  • understand the multidimensional nature of globalization, particularly its
  • economic, political, cultural and ideological aspects;
  • recognize economic, political, and social forces that are interconnected in the
  • process of globalization;
  • comprehend the consequences of globalization;
  • develop the ability to think critically about globalization;
  • understand the impact of globalization at the individual and societal levels;
  • recognize how globalization causes many problems, particularly those pertaining
  • to inequality and power;
  • understand various theories about globalization; and
  • explore possible solutions to the problems caused by globalization and delve
  • into ways to improve quality of life.


*Course content subject to change