Education About Asia: Online Archives

Understanding Globalization Through the Thai Economic Crisis

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By Thomas J. Scott
Today high school students are truly participants in the process of globalization. Networks between my students in suburban Minneapolis and Asian societies are an unconscious part of their daily life, yet reflect important dimensions of the global economy. For example, the students who take my Asian Studies class wear designer clothes manufactured in Vietnam. Their sports shoes are assembled in Indonesian factories, and the CDs they listen to are played on a Discman designed in Japan. They log-on to the Internet using computer hard drives manufactured in assembly plants in Bangkok. Although my American students are directly participating in the economic dimensions of globalization, they possess little knowledge of the social, political and cultural ramifications of the global age to which they are intimately connected. In a sense they are unwitting participants in one of the most dynamic transformational periods in human history.