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The Global Economy: Changing Politics, Family and Society

The Global Economy: Changing Politics, Family and Society

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The global economy is enormous-about $32 trillion per annum-and it is pervasive. Because of mass communication and advanced technology, the global economy affects the output of goods and services of every nation. Gone forever are the days when mighty oceans or mountains allowed any country to isolate itself from the rest of the world. Time zones have been replaced by the 24-hour-a-day stock market. The fate of the South Korean won and the Thai baht is a matter of major concern to the stock markets of Washington, London and Sao Paulo. Today, no nation is an island but a part of a world-wide economic archipelago. Today, because economics is global, politics is becoming global.

Furthermore, the globalization of the economy impacts the socio-cultural shape of every nation and people on the face of the earth. From soft drinks to jeans, automobiles to computers, television news to movies, the world is being homogenized, usually in the American image. The film "Titanic" is playing to standing-room-only crowds in New York City, London and Tokyo. Country singer Garth Brooks is the best-selling singer in history. CNN is the global news network. Cultural blockbusters and superstars are eclipsing smaller, indigenous cultural offerings and entertainers. Is the planet truly becoming Hollywood?

Yet, in a world that is changing faster and more dramatically than at any time in history, the family remains the fundamental social unit of every country. How is it faring, economically, socially, spiritually? Beyonddebate, the family is being subjected to stresses and strains it has heretofore never known. It is buffeted by China's one-child policy, America's 1.2 million abortions a year, Japan and Western Europe's rapidly aging population, the spreading AIDS epidemic in Africa and Asia, a widening gap between haves and havenots within nations and between nations, and the sharpening conflict between fundamentalists and secularists in many countries.

And still most agree that there can be no viable society without viable families. This volume examines the focus of globalization on politics and society and what can be done to preserve and strengthen the family in a world increasingly indifferent to the age-old virtues of faith, hope, and charity.