Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tylor, Spencer and Marx meet Globalization

I'm in the middle of writing a paper on the Marxist, Tylorian and Spencerian perspectives of globalization. Trust me when I say, it sounds much more interesting than it actually is. To boil this down to the nitty gritty of the paper: Tylor would have seen globalization as an extension of his social evolution theory. Spencer would have seen globalization as fitting in perfectly with his model of the social organism. Spencer believed in a correlative theory of society where he compared societies of scale to living, biological organisms. He believed that the mobile hunter-gather unit was like a simple creature such as a paramecium or amoeba. It lives independently and has a simple structure (egalitarian). As societies grow so does their complexity along with being an interconnected-interdependent organism. The human body needs the circulatory, nervous, digestive systems in order to survive and societies on the level of states need garbage men, craftsmen, politicians, religious leaders, etc. I don't think that Spencer had an idea to extend this idea of growing complexity to the global level where nations would become parts of a complex whole but in many ways, that is exactly what has happened. Marx, on the other hand, would have viewed globalization as increasing antagonism and exploitation of the masses for the benefit of the few. In the global economy there are the countries which profit and there are the countries which do not. Now, all I have to do is extend these sentences out to ten pages, and I am golden. I have plenty of resources with which to support my thoughts, now I just have to write it all down.

Problem is that I have to write this paper in a way that I am not accustomed to writing. Normally when I write, I write an outline, followed by a rough draft the next day. I have to let the outline percolate in my brain (although, I am doing that in my dreams- I REALLY hate dreaming theory. I'd rather dream about some hot young man feeding me grapes while fanning me with a palm frond, but apparently those dreams are over for now) before I begin writing the nuts and bolts. Then I usually edit the crap out of the paper, working on items such as clarity and word choice. Then I write the abstract and title. I have always had trouble with titles because I have to give a snapshot usually of a complex item. And titles really do involve using the right words, in the right order to say something that takes me however many pages to write. Same with the abstract. Its like taking a photograph of a movie which is playing. It can be taken out of context or might not have enough information to make sense. Unfortunately, I have to turn in an abstract and title by midnight tonight (thank goodness for electronic drop boxes). Wish me luck