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Labour & Globalization: The Dysfunctional Marriage

1949 words - 8 pages

Through globalization, capitalism has triggered an increasing and overwhelming disregard for the well-being and sanctity of the human body. This unrelenting mentality of modern capitalist authorities (namely corporation heads and/or politicians) that there will always be someone 'available for the job' has been the cause of tremendous pressures placed on employees, pressures felt by labourers the world over. The commoditization of the human body in terms or labour, sex and organ trades, and even intellectual properties, has been one of the most widespread implications of globalization, yet has managed to fly under the radar for years. Subsequently, the instant and effortless mobility of funds gives corporations employing masses of people the option to investigate alternative sources of labour, often alienating, exploiting, eliminating or relocating it, exercising their seemingly tyrannical power. These pressures have informally but permanently redefined the status, functions and value of the human body. Once considered singular and above the reaches of capitalism, the human body has become, in numerous ways, a means for profit. The implications of capitalism on society are magnified exponentially when coupled with the effects of globalization, as the ease of transnational movement and recent irrelevance of physical space have eliminated barriers and allowed capitalism to infect and infiltrate every aspect of society.One of the distinguishing characteristics that popularized globalization was the incredible ease of mobility that it allowed for. Through globalization, individuals, information and capital alike are no longer subject to the barriers of time and space; today, anyone or anything can get to anywhere in the world in a matter of hours, and data or money can be transferred across the globe almost instantaneously with the simple click of a button. This mobility and ease of access was a crucial aspect of the Stephen Frears film, Dirty Pretty Things. With the main character and many of the supporting roles playing illegal immigrants, the movie sheds light on levels of society that many of us are too naive to acknowledge. Waves of immigration are direct result of globalization and the ease of movement brought upon by the elimination of barriers, allowing for increased diversity and opportunity. The quests of Okwe and Senay epitomize (to some extent) the ordeals faced by thousands of individuals every year seeking the fairytale life that, allegedly, can only be found in the West. Another testament to the spread of globalization has been the emergence of a new kind of capital, dubbed 'intellectual property'. In the forms of patents and copyright laws that are enforced by governments as well as international institutions, this recent recognition of products of non-physical labour was brought into being entirely at the will of companies and corporations looking for exclusive rights to provide certain products or services; a privilege that they may...

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