Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

12.1: Globalization and Migration

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)


    A general definition of globalization is the process of melding smaller collectives into a larger collective. The belief is that the phenomena of globalization started with the first humans. Contemporary globalization is fueled by the increase in technology, especially concerning communications and transportation. Scholars in political science, economics, linguistics, anthropology, geography, law, art, and film studies have all helped to define the term. Many have identified techno-economic globalization as the beginning of other forms of globalization, such as transnational cultural exchange.[1]

    The focus is not only toward individual nations, but also the entire globe. Therefore, a better definition would emphasize that contemporary globalization is a complex and synergistic which process includes improvements in technology combined with the deregulation of markets and open borders in order to bring an increased stream of people, money, goods, services, and information. Globalization promotes convergence, harmonization, efficiency, growth, and in some cases, democratization and homogenization.[2] It should be noted, however, that globalization has historically and currently caused extreme negative and destructive outcomes on certain people. This is especially true when contact is between industrialized mass consumption societies, and foraging or horticultural groups.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Dance competition at the Third Anniversary of Zulu Nation Seattle Celebration of Hip Hop Culture, part of Festival Sundiata, a Festál event at Seattle Center, Seattle, Washington 2007.

    Various Levels of Globalization

    Economic historian Immanuel Wallerstein developed the world systems theory which proposes an economic system in which some countries benefit from the exploitation of others for labor and raw materials. The theory also established three hierarchical levels which are: "core", "periphery", and "semi periphery". Wallerstein identified core countries as having a dominant capital, extensive military, and high skill levels, whereas periphery countries are weak states and rely heavily on the core countries to supplement their economy. Semi-periphery countries are characterized by having their own functioning economy, but still utilizes both core and periphery countries for labor and the production of raw materials.Therefore these three levels emphasize the global inequality of the world market.

    An example of the first core region was located in Northwestern Europe, including England, Holland, and France. In contrast the United States is a more contemporary example of a core country, due to its intensive capital, high labor, and innovative technology. Although the technology industry in India continues to flourish, they are considered a semi-peripheral because they still dependent on foreign investors for capital and other raw materials.

    World system theories relating to globalization: Large corporations, from "core" countries, will frequently look to place factories and manufacturing plants in countries with the least stringent environmental and labor standards (semi-peripheral/peripheral countries), which they can succeed in because of a lack of transnational labor regulations. Countries in the developing world will then compete for the business of the companies, often by lowering labor standards such as minimum wages. As a result, working conditions for these employees are abusive and unreasonable, yet the government pays no heed to resolve these situation.[1]

    Transnational corporations search out labor in impoverished countries like India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, using mostly young women laborers as a means of production. These workers will work an average of 14 hours a day for "sub-poverty wages under horrific conditions."[2] Due to a lack of proper supervisions, workers are allowed to work in dehumanizing and unsafe environments.

    Globalization aiding an indigenous group: The Kayapó: people are the Gê-speaking native peoples of the plain lands of the Mato Grosso and Para in Brazil, South of the Amazon Basin and along Rio Xingu and its tributaries. The Kayapó are nomadic people who still live in the rain forests using a sustainable slash-and-burn horticulture mode of production. Using global media and international attention, they have established political power over their own land. At one time, mining and logging threatened to destroy the rain forest, and their culture. However, the Kayapó people used forceful tactics to banish loggers and miners in some areas, as well as establishing themselves as an economic force. Later, they were again threatened by secretive government plans to build a series of hydro-electric dams on their land. But, a large demonstration was created by the Kayapós which caught the attention of the media world-wide. Including the hit rock band, including Sting, who made an appearance. The demonstration at the site for the first dam in Altamira, Pará, lasted several days and brought much pressure upon both the World Bank and the Brazilian government. Consequently, the World Bank denied the request for a loan which was to be used to build the dam and the Brazilian government backed out of its original plans. Also, the Kayapós had friendly relations with The Body Shoppe, who were able to supply the chain with the Brazil nut oil used in their best-selling line of hair conditioners.[3]

    Globalization not aiding an indigenous group: A concise historical example of the negative effects of globalization is the European colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. When the Europeans immigrated to the Americas, they brought European diseases to which the native populations had no natural immunity. This paired with technological superiority in military weapons and tactics, caused the extermination of roughly 90% of the natives.[4] Globalization has also harmed many cultures that are exploited by big businesses from other countries - for example, the bad working conditions of sweatshop laborers in China is more common place due to the globalization of Chinese-made western products. Workers are over-worked in dangerous conditions, starting around the tender age of sixteen. Due to the dangerous machinery, around 40,000 workers lose their fingers every year. Furthermore, they are also being exposed to dangerous chemicals, and as a result the United States and other western civilizations won't buy the product due to exposure to these chemicals. Aside from the dangerous working conditions, sweatshops in China are also known to pay their workers less than minimum wage while overworking them on an average of sixteen hours per day.[5]

    Globalization's Effects on the Modes of Production

    1. Agricultural: globalization affects agriculture as through agriculture, food may be grown or raised in a surplus and exported around the world. Drugs which can be both legal and illegal, are also sent around the world. One factor of how agriculture affects globalization is trade liberalization thus, the removal of restrictions on the free exchange of goods between nations. For example, small farmers in the Philippines are unable to compete with the prices of the global market controlled by countries with more advanced agricultural technologies. "Whether you look at corn, vegetables, or poultry-major sectors of the agriculture economy have been devastated by imports." [3]
    2. Foraging: societies that practice this mode of production have been impacted by globalization through an increased contact with individuals from various cultures around the globe. This process of interconnection often involves a severe reduction in the available territory to support the foraging lifestyle. Foraging can only support smaller, less dense populations of people when compared to other modes of production.
    3. Horticulture: is affected by globalization much in the same manner as foraging. The horticultural society depends on the practices of migratory slash and burns farming as well as hunting and gathering. As globalization continues, the amount of available land to produce food in this manner becomes more and more barren.
    4. Industrialism: is affected by globalization because many cultural aspects are spread by industrialism, especially through technological means, which is one of the most efficient modes of communication and exchange. This process has changed the structure of most developed societies and had greatly impacted the success of capitalism.
    5. Pastoralism: is affected by globalization because the animals herded, raised and butchered in this mode of production can be exported out of their original region. Having important things in common, such as food can further ‘the process of integrating nations and peoples’. Furthermore, the wool sheared from sheep can be used in the international textiles industry. Materials from one can be made into clothing that can be sold in an abundance of locations around the world.

    Tourism & Its Impacts

    Tourists are defined as people who stay in locations that are outside of their normal environment without intent to settle there. They travel to new places for recreational or leisure purposes. Many nations, such as Greece, Thailand, and The Bahamas heavily depend on the revenue created through global tourism. Employment in these areas is heavily reliant on associated areas of work (i.e. hotels, and transportation services like cruise ships and taxis.)

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Pacific Princess off the U.S. West Coast.

    There are three classifications for locations of tourism:

    • Domestic Tourism: residents of a certain country who travel within their country. (i.e. an American living in California visits New York)
    • Inbound Tourism: non-residents who travel within the borders of a given country. (i.e. an Australian tourist visit a Chinese resident)
    • Outbound Tourism: residents of one country who travel within another country (i.e. a Canadian resident visits Greece)

    Additionally, there are five types of tourism:[6]

    1. Ethnic tourism: visits to see native people from a very foreign/ different environment (i.e. travelling to Nahua Indians and their local and national governments) [7]

    Some activities includes performance, presentations and attractions relating to and that are important to that specific culture.

    1. Cultural tourism: visits to experience other cultures on a general level (i.e. travelling to New Orleans, Louisiana for Mardi Gras)
    2. Historical tourism: visits historical sites or monuments (i.e. travelling to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower or traveling to Rome to see the Colosseum).
    3. Environmental tourism: visits to experience a completely different environment than the traveler is accustomed to in their home country (i.e. traveling to Antarctica). This also includes going to a national park that is preserved for environmental sight seeing by the National Park Service (i.e. traveling to Yellowstone or Yosemite)[8]
    4. Recreational tourism: visits to partake in activities unique to the destination (i.e. traveling to Pamplona, Spain to see the Running of the Bulls).

    tourists are a country by an attraction within that nation. Some of the most popular international tourist attractions include the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy and the Great Wall in China. The Great Wall of China draws about 10 million visitors per year. Other cultural aspects, such as tasting the cuisine, experiencing traditional events, or learning the language, may also attract tourists. Throughout history, people with an elevated level of affluence have had great travelling. Wealthier people have both the money and the time needed to visit other areas, whereas people in lower classes do not have this opportunity. This influx of wealth to one area from another can be very beneficial to the region that attracts tourists.

    Tourism is largely beneficial to the worldwide economy, but there are also risks associated with it for both the tourists and country being toured. For tourists, issues such as security and health are present whenever they are in a country different than their own. In some cases, cruise ships have dealt with outbreaks of contagious diseases. There are a variety of things that can happen to countries who rely on tourism as their main source of economic income, there are many negative impacts of tourism. These includes but not limited to:

    Natural disasters such as, Hurricane Katrina which kept many people from visiting New Orleans, due to the natural occurrence.

    Terrorism, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many people were reluctant to visit New York.

    If economies could help themselves without relying solely on tourism, then a constant state of flux within their countries could be avoided.[9] However, tourism can also bring about the abuse of human rights in industries such as Sex Tourism, which is when tourists chose their vacation location(s) based on the lack of restrictions on sexual activities, as well as lasting Environmental Degradation. Such problems have become increasingly frequent with the rise of tourism as a global phenomenon. All around the world, popular tourist destinations face problems due to pollution caused by mass tourist migrations, showing tourism has being responsible for roughly five percent of the world’s pollution. The Caribbeans alone, a popular destination for cruises, contains half of the waste dumped in the world’s oceans; this is due in large part to massive cruise ships and extensive beach side resorts dominating many of the island's coastlines.

    Consumer Culture

    Marxian and neo-Marxian theory lead to the view that "one of the major driving forces behind globalization is the corporate need in capitalism to show increasing profitability through more, and more far-reaching, economic imperialism… enhancing profitability by increasing cultural hegemony nationally and ultimately throughout the world.”1 Economic imperialism describes when a country has more monetary control over another nation than it should, affecting more than economic aspects of the nation. Once organizations have economically dominated their own nation, a culturally driven need to expand outward to other nations occurs. Mostly driven by American corporations, industries continue to expand by the exportation and exploitation of other countries. Mere exportation is no longer enough to feed the companies, and a new aim to globalize consumerism and evoke a demand for the same products all over the world has arisen. Thus a global market and consumer culture has emerged and flourished. Companies like Wal-Mart, Disney, McDonald's and Visa MasterCard all spend enormous amounts of time and resources to entice customers with a desire for freedom, lower prices or a quality experience. In turn, this caused all people to consume in similar ways. The market culture is bought by consumers as a way of life, and poses underlying assumptions that money and products buy us a better life, and corporations are designed to make consumers always feel dissatisfied with what they have and ready to buy more, and is therefore able to reproduce and sustain itself.

    This widespread sense of a consumer culture has not always existed; it is largely an outcome of America's wealth and status as a results of World War II. Corporations were at the height of their manufacturing capacity after the war and made a fortune funding the military/industrial complex. They stood to make an even more considerable amount of money if this monumental demand for products could be sustained. This demand was created by impressing Americans, and soon after, people around the world, the association between acquiring material goods with increased social standing. Since corporations also control the means through which we view the world, i.e. the media, they could easily make this consumerist mindset a habit in society.

    As a result, the world of consumption affects an increasing number of people who relocate to work for their business, concentrate in cities and consume which creates waste while using energy and resources. Consequences of “Americanization” as concluded by critics are the irreversible impacts on the strength of cultural diversity, as well as the environmental sustainability of our planet.

    1Ritzer, George. "The Globalization of Nothing 2" (2007)

    Cultural Imperialism vs. Cultural Hybridization

    To understand the spread of culture, ideologies, and lifestyles around the world, anthropologists have developed the theories of cultural imperialism and cultural hybridization. Cultural imperialism states that some cultures dominate, and eventually replace, other cultures through formal policies or general cultural change. This became a popular way to understand the spread of Western culture to the rest of the world. However, understanding the spread of culture is not easy to fully identify and analyze. Below are some of the most important arguments anthropologists keep in mind when considering the impact of Western cultures on other societies.

    1. First, cultural imperialism assumes that non-Western peoples are powerless against the spread of Western culture. In fact, every individual has agency or the power to fight against their situation.
    2. Second, it implies that Western culture never changes. Culture evolves with the times, but it is the reason that cultures change that created the term of cultural imperialism.
    3. Third, it ignores cultural trends that occur around the world completely outside of "the West." Not every change is as a result of Western culture, the spread of culture has increased dramatically due to recent globalization.

    Because of these flaws, anthropologists developed a different explanation called, cultural hybridity. This new understanding states that cultures don't just blindly adopt dominant cultural traits, but rather borrow some parts of the different culture that compliment or contribute to their own. Another term used to define this method is cultural creolization. This perspective focuses on the creativity and motivation involved in hybridization. Rather than culture-change being explained as the accidental domination of one culture over another, it shows how native people purposefully adopt and domesticate foreign ideas.


    Cosmopolitanism is a concept that was first used by the Stoic philosophers in ancient Rome. Cosmopolitanism can be thought of as being comfortable in more than one cultural setting and being able to handle multiple perspectives or new ways of thinking. In the Stoic sense, cosmopolitanism means that every human being, “dwells […] in two communities – the local community of our birth, and the community of human argument and aspiration”.[10] During the Enlightenment, Eighteenth century philosopher Immanuel Kant revisited the term and defined it as being versed in Western ways, promoting a kind of “First World” culture. Cultural anthropologists use the term today to include alternatives to this elite Western culture.

    The word ‘cosmopolitan’ has been used to describe a wide variety of important views in moral and socio-political philosophy. The nebulous core shared by all cosmopolitan views is the idea that all human beings, regardless of their political affiliation, are (or can and should be) citizens in a single community. Different versions of cosmopolitanism envision this community in different ways, some focusing on political institutions, others on moral norms or relationships, and still others focusing on shared markets or forms of cultural expression. One specific form of cosmopolitanism is economic cosmopolitanism, which is centered around a global free trade market with minimal politics. Economic cosmopolitanism itself isn't universally deemed to be a viable option, as there would potentially be numerous wide-scale issues, such as inequality of wealth, poverty, and as a side effect of capitalism, natural/environmental dangers.


    Human migration refers to any movement of humans from one area to another. This can occur over any distance and in various group sizes. It is now more common for families to migrate together in response to economic and social needs.

    One prominent example of migration was the Holocaust[4] in World War II. The genocide that was inflicted upon people of Jewish descent and religion in Europe at the time reflected the necessity for Jewish people to migrate. The Holocaust that occurred in Europe is an example of forced migration for people of Jewish descent or religion because of the threat of death of not moving away from Hitler's forces. Jewish people across Europe were forced out of their homes. Some were taken to concentration camps while others fled to other countries because of the fear of death and enslavement. Approximately 6 million Jewish people were accounted for during this period, and millions more fled. As a result of the United Nations Partition Plan [5] for Palestine, many people migrated to the British Mandate of Palestine, which is now modern day Israel.

    Another example would be during the Chinese Civil War, the Kuomintang (KMT), led by Chiang Kai-shek, escaped from China and fled with the ROC government from Nanjing to Taihoku (Taipei), Taiwan's largest city, along with some 2 million refugees from China, consisting mainly soldiers, KMT party members and some most important intellectual and business elites.[6] Not forgetting the Trail of Tears, one of the famous migrating in history. When Native Americans were forcedly removed from their ancestral homelands into the Southeastern part of the United State area west of the Mississippi River. Migrants suffered from diseases, starvation and over four thousand people died.

    Different Types of Migration

    Internal Migration

    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Replica of a covered wagon used to travel west.

    Internal migration is the movement of people from one part of a country to another. Moving is a long, difficult process. In order for individuals or families to move, there needs to be a proper incentive as well as the promise of economic opportunities in the new place they are moving to. Their quality of life is typically thought to be improved in order to justify the move. Reasons for internal migration are varied but may include economic hardship, force, religious persecution, occupational changes, or any combination therein.

    An example from American history is the Westward Movement. Due to the possibility of economic gain and more space to settle, Americans from the East Coast migrated along the Oregon Trail to the unsettled land closer to the west coast of North America. It was believed that western United States had a near infinite amount of space, and so there would be room for anyone who wanted to settle in Washington, Oregon, and California to have a large farm of his own. Some minority groups, such as the Shakers and the Mormons, moved in hopes of settling in communities of their own, free from persecution because of their religious ideals.

    "westward movement." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 09 Mar. 2009 <>.

    International Migration

    One of the most common types of migration is international migration, where people cross international state boundaries to another continent or country. This type of migration can be both long and short term. In some cases, people stay in the new country for a short period of time. There are also many people who migrate permanently and work in order to bring their families to their new destinations. (Requirement 2a)

    An example of long-term International Migration is the immigration of Latin American Hispanic citizens to the United States in order to find work to provide for their family. Anthropologist Eugenia Georges studied this occurrence in immigration of people from Los Pinos to the United States. In most households, the husband would migrate and work until they could bring their family to America; “This sometimes took several years because it involved completing paperwork for the visa and saving money beyond the amount regularly sent to Los Pinos.” Some families, however, preferred to stay in Los Pinos after getting their feet moving, but returned to the States for a month or more annually in order to keep their visa. (Requirement 2b)

    Schultz, Emily, and Robert Lavenda. Cultural Anthropology. New York: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2009. -

    Different Types of Migrants

    Labor Migrants

    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\): Migrant farm worker, New York

    Labor Migrants are workers who move from region to region in order to find work. Labor migrant workers focus on jobs that are the most plentiful depending on the time of year or season, in other words, migrant workers are primarily seasonal workers (1). The United Nations defines a migrant worker as anyone working outside of their country of origin. The definition of migrant workers is different for all parts of the world but is usually considered someone who moves looking for seasonal work. <(1)ref:>

    An example of labor migrants from Washington is in Pasco. The drop out rates of the school are largely influenced by seasonal migrant workers. When the crops need to be harvested workers move to Pasco and bring their families with them. Then when they leave the students drop out of school instead of transferring. It is believed that some of the workers are illegal immigrants and this puts a lot of strain on the school system to support the students. Although so many Hispanic students may make classes, larger immigration also leads to an exchange of cultural values. It results in an exchange of knowledge and expertise between two nations. Immigration serves as an opportunity to interact with people of other countries. It gives a platform for people from diverse backgrounds to come together and share their views.[11]


    Refugees are migrants forced to abandon their country due to the threat of violence or disaster. Internally displaced persons are those who leave their homes but do not leave their countries. Though refugees leave their home nations, the majority remain in the region of origin. For example, Syria received approximately 1.4 million refugees from Iraq. Iran and Pakistan have received a great number of Afghan refugees, as well. Of the Western nations, Germany and the United States host the majority of refugees. In the 1951 Refugee Convention [7], states that signed the document became legally committed to protect the rights of refugees who arrive in their country. The convention also enforces the principle of nonrefoulement, which prohibits the deportation of refugees to places where their lives or freedoms could be in danger.

    Today millions of Iraqi refugees have fled their homes for safer locations within Iraq or to neighboring countries, and many Iraqi refugees have been displaced, which is the forceful/unwilling removal of people from their place of living, either directly or indirectly. Five years into the United States military intervention in Iraq, the country is facing the largest humanitarian and displacement crises in the world. There are approximately 1.5 million Iraqi refugees living in Syria, Jordan and other neighboring countries. Some Iraqis who have tried to return to their homes have found them either destroyed or occupied. The likelihood of violence in areas of Iraq is still high and these refugees are living in increasingly desperate circumstances.[8]

    Internally Displaced Persons

    As defined by the United Nations, internally displaced persons are persons or groups of people who have been forced or pressured to leave their places of residence, generally to avoid armed conflict, generalized violence, violations of human rights and natural or human-made disasters. Unlike refugees however, they do not cross any internationally recognized state borders. The aid and assistance of IDP's is extremely difficult. This is because in international law, it is the responsibility of the government of the state that the people are within to provide assistance and protection. However, many are displaced as a result of civil conflict or violence in states where the authority of the central government has been undoubtedly undermined. So it is unlikely that the countries involved are capable or willing to help these IDP's. There is also the issue that, unlike refugees, a binding legal international legal regime on internal displacement is absent. The Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement was drawn up by the United Nations in 1994 but it is not binding, leaving these people unprotected unless individual organizations such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [9] or the International Committee of the Red Cross [10] elect to provide assistance.

    Although it is nearly impossible to accurately record how many IDP's there are in a given country, it is estimated that Sudan is at the top of the list with around 6 million IDP's. This country has been experiencing a civil war for over 25 years and in 2005 things worsened when neighboring country Chad attacked. The Sudanese government itself is incapable and unwilling to help its citizens and has been charged with crimes against humanity. The government's militia, as well as the rebel groups it is fighting, are both accused of killing innocent civilians and humanitarians. Although programs have been put in effect to relocate the IDP's, they are being reintegrated in small numbers and it is clear that this country has a long way to go. The lack of housing and employment as well as the destruction of schools, health facilities, and water sources due to the civil war are all huge barriers to progress. 

    "Sudan-Internally Displaced Persons in Khartoum". Retrieved 2009-03-4.

    Institutional Migrants

    Institutional migrants are migrants with cultural practices and social lives, keeping some of their former country and traditions with them. These can be internally displaced persons, as well as labor migrants and people from other countries. These peoples would be classified under anthropologists Richard Wilk and Lisa Cligget's economic "camp" of the social model of human nature. This suggests that the person is motivated, at least in part, to improve the condition of the whole society that they belong to, rather than just their own standing.[11] Institutional migrants follow societal rules and regulations of power and tradition in the economic field. When people see themselves as a part of a group, they put effort into improving that group.

    Institutional migrants are seen throughout our own United States today. Many of these migrants are from out of the country, though some people who move around within the United States for work could be classified as such. The huge numbers of these migrants have helped give the U.S. its "melting pot" nature. They travel here for work, or a variety of other reasons, and bring with them their cultural ideas, social systems, and often their families. This is usually accepted by people who were already citizens, as long as the new migrants take in some American culture as well. An example of institutional migrants within our country could be truck drivers or families/workers moving around the country according to agricultural seasons. These people are working around the country, but usually have a home (family) that they return to at least once a year. Their ties are kept strong even though they migrate.

    Theories of Migration

    In Adams Smith's concept of the Invisible hand, he described the reality of economy where people act in their own interest. People who seek wealth mostly follow their own interest and well-being. Based on neoclassical economics theory, capital moves from high wage countries to low wage countries. Conversely, flows of labor move from low-wage countries to high wage countries. People in poor countries are willing to work for low wages, so factories are built in these places to cut costs. Migration is affected primarily by either push factors or pull factors. The push factor is where there is a lack of jobs, political fear, or the threat of natural disaster which forces people to move from their country of origin whereas the pull factor is when people are attracted by the several job opportunities with higher pay and better living conditions.

    Companies such as Nike build sweatshops in poor countries such as in Vietnam in order to cut costs of labor, while effectively increasing their net revenue. Nike has about four times as many workers in Vietnam as in the U.S. An article by Johan Norberg, mentions that people in Vietnam like their new jobs because not only do they receive better pay, but also they do not have to work in the sun.1



    The term diaspora refers to the forced or voluntary movement of any population sharing a common ethnic identity who leave their settled territory and become residents in new areas disconnected from their former home. This is converse to the traditional nomadic culture. Evidence of a diaspora culture is the community's resistance to primary language change and the maintenance of their religious and cultural practices. Some examples of this include Tibetan monks living in Nepal, India since the Chinese invasion of Tibet, ethnic Koreans living in Japan (Zainichi Kankoku jin), as well as the large populations of Hong Kong people living in Vancouver, London, Sydney, Singapore, New York and Los Angeles.

    Jewish Diaspora

    Jewish Diaspora began when the Assyrian conquered Israel in 722 BC and the Hebrew people were scattered all over the Middle East. These victims seemed to always be ignored in history books. When Nebuchadnezzar [12] deported Judeans in 597 BC, he allowed Jews to remain in Babylon, while others fled to the Nile. This was considered the beginning date of Jewish Diaspora. There were now three groups of Hebrews. Some were in Babylon, Judea, Egypt, and other spread around the Middle East. All of these Jews retained their religion under the Persian and Greek law. Some converted to different religions but were faithful to the new-found Torah. The Romans discriminated against the Jews. Governors wanted to get as much money revenue as possible and took any money they could get. The Judeans revolted and in 73 AD the last of revolutionaries were holed up in the mountain fort of Masada. 1,000 men, women, and children starved in the besiegement for two years. Rather than surrender to the Romans, the remaining people in the mountain killed themselves. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem, annexed Judea, and drove Jews from Palestine. The Diaspora would continue as Jewish people spread over Africa, Asia, and Europe.

    Armenian Diaspora

    The Armenian diaspora is a term used to describe the groups or communities of Armenians living outside of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh region of northern Azerbaijan. It mostly refers to the migration of Armenians during and after the Armenian Genocide, where 1.5 million Armenians were exterminated.

    The Armenian diaspora has existed since the loss of Armenian statehood in 1375, it grew considerably in size after the Armenian Genocide. Most Armenians stayed on the Armenian plain remaining in historical Armenia under control of the Ottoman Empire. Armenians survived as peasant farmers in rural Anatolia, but others mostly merchants resettled in the major Ottoman cities such as Constantinople, Smyrna, and Tarsus. Through upward social mobility, they were able to gain wealth and status even as a non-Islamic minority. This changed when in the mid to late nineteenth century, the change political climate in the Ottoman Empire prompted political paranoia. Fears of uprising revolts and coup left the Ottoman's looking for a scape goat. They found this in the Ottoman-Armenian population. The Young Turk government in an attempt to solidify their power massacred or forcibly removed the vast majority of Armenians from the eastern Anatolian provinces to the South West during the Armenian Genocide.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\): Map of Armenian Diaspora

    Today estimates range from half to two-thirds of the world's Armenians live outside of historical Armenia.[13] Armenian communities have emerged all over the world with the largest communities existing in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Russia, Poland, Western Europe, India, and North America. Of the total Armenian population living worldwide estimated to be 9,000,000, only about 3,000,000 live in Armenia and about 130,000 in Nagorno-Karabakh. [14] The rest of the populations appear to be equally dispersed around the world with approximately two million living in former Soviet states.[15] The post-communist Republic of Armenia has officially defined the Armenian nation to include the far-flung diaspora, a policy in accord with the feelings of many diaspora Armenians. Armenia officially considers all of the displaced Armenians to be part of Armenia. In 2008 Armenia created a Diaspora Ministry to strengthen ties with the Armenian Diaspora.

    Long-Distance Nationalism

    Long-Distance Nationalism came about when members of a diaspora would decide to support their homelands’ struggles. The immigrants being citizens of a state different than their homeland have been known to show little citizenship participation towards their homelands. However, they normally feel more of an attachment to their homelands than to where they currently live, which then leads them to support the struggles in their homeland. They tend to participate in the current conflicts of their homelands by propaganda, money, and weapons, anyway besides voting. An example of this is "the Haitian Diaspora", which was when thousands of Haitians migrated outside of their territory. Later these citizens began to act more like trans-border citizens.[12]

    Trans-border states

    Immigrants who are members of Long-Distance Nationalism are also known as Trans-border states. They are people who are citizens of another state but claim that even though they have left the country, their descendants remain part of their ancestral state. Therefore, they still have the right to participate in homeland struggles for they are expected to return home bringing with them new skills to help build their nation. In many nations trans-border states are permitted the right to vote in their country of origin. In the Dominican Republic emigrants that have become citizens of other countries are expected to vote in the Dominican elections. People of Trans–border States have the right to participate in decisions that will ultimately affect them, no matter where their decisions are made.

    Long Distance Nationalism has outgrown its definition and is now known as Trans-border states with the only difference between the two being that the citizens show more loyalty towards their homeland. Citizens of another state who claim that even though they have left their homeland country, their descendants remain part of their ancestral state are citizens involved in Trans-border states. They want the right to participate in their homeland struggles for they are expected to return home bringing with them skills to help build their nation. In many nations people involved in Trans-border states are permitted the right to vote in their country of origin. In the Dominican Republic emigrants that have become citizens of other countries are expected to vote in the Dominican elections. People of Trans-border states have the right to participate in decisions that will ultimately affect them, no matter where their decisions are made. The reason the Trans-border States has become more easily carried out on a global scale is because advances in communication and transportation have increase in size allowing the ability for more of an impact in their homeland. The Trans-border States are able to remain in the national struggles of their homeland more than ever before. In Mexico and the Philippines, it can be vital for emigrants to attribute to Long-Distance Nationalism by remitting money to sustain their families and communities. People seemed to feel attached to their homes, especially if they haven't adapted to their new ones. It is encouraged in Mexico for emigrants to participate in homeland politics. Although it is encouraged in Mexico it is also discouraged in many other countries, such as the United States soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. After September 11, dual loyalties began to be re-examined and the USA took precautions with countries that had Long-Distance Nationalism inside the US.

    This page titled 12.1: Globalization and Migration is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Wikibooks - Cultural Anthropology (Wikibooks) .

    • Was this article helpful?