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Globalization & Mexico
Much has been made of the fact that world has gotten much smaller due to globalization. There has also been an associated shift in regardless to where products for sales in retail stores around the world, the West in particular, are made. Indeed, many of the items that were previously made in the United States are now made in Latin America and Asia with Mexico in particular being one of the ubiquitous countries that are involved. When it comes to globalization, many are prone to point out the positive outcomes and attributes that are developing. However, neither the prevailing opinion about the subject nor the ostensible effects of globalization are monolithic. Indeed, there is evidence and scholarly opinion out there to suggest that the effects of globalization are sometimes bad, if not quite bad. While the smaller nature of the world in terms of technology and communication can be touted as a good thing, there are some bad things that have to be pointed out as well.
One thing that cannot really argued about globalization and Mexico is that it truly did start off with a bang. Indeed, the years that ran from 1870 to 1911 show that there was a "vast wave" of technology imports into the country of Mexico during that time period. This allowed for a good amount of economic growth in the area as this wave developed and continued. These imports were shown to be stimulating the patenting activity that was happening in Mexico. However, it did pale in comparison to the same sort of activity that was seen in North Atlantic countries over the same time period. This led to a bit of a disparity as local technicians in Mexico were ready to go and grow but the opportunity that they had was muted in comparison to what was seen in other countries. In other words, there was indeed a boom of technology and development at the turn of the 20th century. However, Mexico did not realize and absorb the benefits that were seen in other countries like the United States over the same time period (Beatty, 2015).
Another effect that has been rendered on Mexico is that the increased globalization has led to a litany of brand names "imposing" their marketing and products on the people of that country. As explained by Bogin et al. (2014), globalization is described as a "biological, social and ideological process of change." This is rendered, also per Bogin, in the form of multinational corporations marketing and selling their products in an aggressive way in countries like Mexico. It is not as if the people who buy those products are being forced to do so. However, what is being shown is that at least some people are and the health and nutrition outcomes that result are not always the best for the people of the country (Bogin et al., 2014). When it comes to food products, prices and markets, there are other effects and trends that cannot be ignored as they greatly affect Mexico in other ways. For example, one can look at the food market in areas like Guadalajara, Mexico and see palpable changes in access equity and social engagement. There are some that say that globalization and its effect on food markets in Mexico over the course of the 20th century is good in some ways and bad in others. With that in mind, authors like Harner (2007) assert that while Mexico should not treat foreign investment and market presence as a pariah, they should also not "forsake" the local vendors and sellers that are local and native to Mexico. Indeed, Harner goes on record as saying as saying "Mexico should not forsake traditional retail food outlets for globalized forms of retailing, but should seek a better articulation between the two (Harner, 2007).
Many people think of manufacturing when it comes to offshoring and outsourcing. However, this is far from being the truth as many firms outsource information technology and other service sector jobs as well. That being said, Mexico usually falls behind other countries like India and other countries in Asia when it comes to the destinations for these jobs. Of course, Mexico would be wise to take advantage of whatever they can glean in the form of outsourcing given that getting such jobs is much more economically and socially advantageous than simple manufacturing jobs that are the staple of what is normally outsourced to Mexico.
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A main issue is that Mexico's information and similar industries are under-developed when it comes to meeting the needs and requirements of firms that could theoretically outsource to them. As such, they are usually playing second fiddle (if not third or fourth and beyond) when it comes to vying for the higher-end jobs that would help the Mexican economy much more than agriculture and manufacturing jobs (Mullan, Kenney & Dossani, 2008).
Even with the challenges that Mexico faces when it comes to the nexus of globalization and knowledge sector workers (like those in information technology), all is not lost as the country is certainly doing its best to catch up with the rest of the world. Indeed, Mexico has been making a strong effort to become the most open country in Latin America when it comes to the presence and development of knowledge sector workers with university education. Given that, Mexico may not be developing as quickly as they would like when it comes to attracting outsourcing from other countries when it comes to knowledge sector jobs. However, they are certainly moving in the right direction and they stand to reap the benefits at some point in the not-so-distant future. One proverbial roadblock that is being dealt with is the presence of what is known as patriarchal business practices. In other words, so much of the Mexican business environment is based on men and their seat of power. There is also a pervasive amount of nepotism and other hiring and promotion practices that are based on traits other than merit. Indeed, someone getting a job because of who they are related to and/or who they know is antithetical to a modern economy and this will only hinder the Mexican economy's ability to grow and enter the global marketplace so long as it goes on (Boutilier, 2009).
One has to focus on the cultural narratives when it comes to how Mexico and other countries interact. Of course, the primary country to speak of when it comes to this is the United States. To that end, the cultural narratives that relate to globalization are rather strong along the border that the United States and Mexico share. Women in particular are at the proverbial epicenter of this cultural back and forth. It has been shown that the "occupants and ideas that inhabit these spaces are in constant flux, resulting in the reformulation of the nations of mothering, pedagogy and pace, resulting in variable educational outcomes" (O'Leary, Gonzalez & Valdez-Gardea, 2008). To dovetail and interface this with another source, the traditional culture and mindset in Mexico has certainly been patriarchal in nature but it is clear that times are changing and more women are starting to roil and wretch at this structure. Over time, this should lead to a shift in what is acceptable and normal when it comes to the standing of women in society as compared to men. Clearly, women are fed up with being subjugated but the results of moving against that trend has obviously been mixed in nature and this will surely continue as women try to reassert their place in society within Mexico and near the United States border in particular. Globalization will only further assert the case that women should have a seat of power at the economic table in Mexico and countries like it, not unlike what is seen in the United States and other more developed countries in the West (O'Leary, Gonzalez & Valdez-Gardea, 2008).
One negative effect that is touted quite a bit when it comes to globalization is income inequality. While even the United States is prone to being the brunt of such an argument (in its own way, of course), the same thing applies to Mexico when it comes to some scholars and their research. One set of scholars that look at this question include Borraz and Lopez-Cordova (2007) and their recent study on the subject. Specifically, they….....