Archive for the ‘globalisation’ tag

The Digital Divide:- Geography and Criminology   no comments

Posted at 3:58 pm in Criminology

The Digital Divide has become a popular term, commonly understood as the gap between those that have access to the internet and those that do not. Initially it is assumed this gap is simply between the developed and developing countries, also known as the Global Divide. However, there are other distinct aspects of the divide; Social divide – the gap within each nation, and the Democratic Divide – those who use/do not use digital resources in their pubic life.

Although there are several efforts and schemes in place with the hope of bridging the gap, it is a great issue that is highly unlikely to be solved in the near future. In fact it is most probable that the gap will carry on growing, increasing the difficulty of bridging it.

This topic has always intrigued me. I believe this is a great opportunity to research the matter through the perspectives of Geography and Criminology.

> Geography

Geography, the study of “the world around us”, already draws upon a range of disciplines including sociology, anthropology, geology, politics, and oceanography.

It is divided into two parts; Human and Physical Geography. Although I will hope to cover both parts, I believe my research will heavily focus within the Human side of Geography, as it emphasises on the changes of the world effected by human interventions.

I anticipate to discover research amongst one of the main topics of Geography; Globalisation – a defined term used since the 1990s describing the characteristics of the world we live in.

> Criminology

With absolutely zero previous experience in the field of Criminology, I hope this will give a different insight to the Digital Divide in comparison to Geography, and with a closer focus on the topic, such as social inequality.

Light research has already demonstrated there is a vast interest in crime and criminals, and that crime varies throughout different societies. There are several explanations criminologists have composed from Biological explanations to Social and Psychological explanations. There are also several different theories created to explain reasons for crime including the Economic and Strain theory.

> Resources

To date, the following books appear to be of great use and help towards this research study:

Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M., Shaw, D., Sidaway., (2012)  An Introduction to Human Geography, 4th ed, Essex: Pearson

Moseley, W., Lanegran, D., Pandit, K., (2007) Introductory Reader in Human Geography Contemporary Debates and Classic Writings, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing

Hale, C., Hayward, K., Wahidin, A., Wincup, E., (2009) Criminology, 2nd ed, New York: Oxford University Press

Norris, P., (2001) Digital Divide, Civic Engagement, Information Poverty and the Internet Worldwide, New York: Cambridge University Press


Written by Sophie Parsons on October 12th, 2013

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Anthropology & global issues   no comments

Posted at 9:26 pm in Uncategorized

This week I have done some more reading on anthropology’s methods, complementing the findings I wrote about last week. The more I found out about anthropology, the more I wondered how as a discipline it would tackle global issues. Indeed from reading the introductory texts, I got the sense that anthropology (the socio-cultural kind) was concerned with the study of human kind. A priori this doesn’t seem to pose a problem in terms of the globality of the subject matter, but in its approach and even epistemology, anthropology is firmly based on the notion of classification. Indeed its ontologies are cultures, peoples, societies, etc. and its methods are primarily descriptive and comparative, assuming the existence of different ‘things’ to compare. As mentioned in previous posts, an anthropologist looks at a society/community/social group which he/she investigates doing fieldwork, conducting interviews, historical research, etc. But what happens when the group in question is the entire world population, as is often the case with so-called global issues? How then would such a discipline tackle questions that seem to contradict its own epistemological foundations?

Trying to look at the digital divide from an anthropological lens, I have hit what might be the crux of the issue in this assignment – how to let go of my previous assumptions about the world, shaped in large parts by my training in International Relations and instead of re-phrasing the ‘problématique’ I immediately see with the global digital divide in anthropological terminology, attempt to ‘discover’ the problems and ‘frame’ it as an anthropologist would. In order to try and do that, and while I did find some answers in the introductory readings, I decided nevertheless to look for some more targeted articles on the issue.

An article by Kearney (1995) ‘The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism’ in Annual Review of Anthropology was particularly helpful. The answers or thinking I considered fall in two broad categories – theoretical and practical.

On the practical side, Peoples and Bailey (2000, p. 5) assert that for global issues, which have admittedly gained importance in the past two decades, anthropologists are often called to consult on specific projects – an emerging sub-field of the discipline referred to as applied anthropology. The idea here is that solutions to global problems often require local knowledge, provided by traditional anthropological research and therefore increasingly useful in the field.

On the theoretical front, Kearney recognises that new thinking is required in ‘anthropological theory and forms of representation that are responses to such nonlocal contexts and influences’ (1995, p. 547). He sees global issues (and globalisation) as having ‘implication for [anthropology’s] theory and methods’ as research which is limited to local units of analysis ‘yield incomplete understandings of the  local’ (1995, p. 548). He sees the redefinition of space-time into a multidimensional global space with fluid boundaries and sub-spaces as the most important disruption to anthropological epistemology. He also notes that the notion of ‘progress’ assumed in the discipline and the notion of ‘development’ is and needs to be questioned in the context of globalisation, that is to say that there is no inevitability in the course of global history. Moreover with the ‘deterritorialisation’ of culture, the focus of anthropological study is shifting towards ‘identity’.  Underpinning these changes is the fundamental reframing of the concept of classification, no longer considered ‘an invariant subject of investigation in anthropology, but taken instead as a historically contingent world-view category’ (1995, p. 557).

This has given me some interesting avenues to explore so I will conclude my introductory reading on anthropology here. Next week I will start looking at management as a discipline.


Kearney M. (1995) ‘The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism’ in Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 24, pp. 547-565

Peoples, J. and Bailey, G. (2000) Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, 5th ed., Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning

Written by Jennifer Welch on November 5th, 2012

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Globalisation and The Long Tail   no comments

Posted at 10:19 pm in Economics,Sociology

Globalisation refers to the how the world is ‘shrinking’ culturally and economically. How the world is changing from different nations managing themselves to one big world trading ideas, people, products and money. There are many global companies such as MacDonalds that exists everywhere! There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to globalisation. Sometimes it can be seen as a good thing that benefits small businesses by giving them access to a larger market, such as through the Internet. However, sometimes it can also be seen as a bad thing, for example with the outsourcing of work to poorer countries and buying materials for production in poorer countries to save money which can affect the local and national economy.

The Long Tail – Chris Anderson

The tail refers to the long end of the curve on the graph that depicts the popularity of all products. As you can see from the image above, ‘the head’ is short and contains the most popular of products. These are things that everyone wants, think of it is the top 40 songs in the charts. ‘The tail’ is much longer and consists of every other product in existence (or every song that is not in the top 40!). These things are much less popular, but there is a lot more of them. Money can be made by just selling products from the long tails, you would sell maybe one of each product rather than millions of one product as is seen in ‘the head’.

Companies do still aim for a business model that targets ‘the head’ rather than the long tail. For example radio stations tend to play the popular music at that moment in time, but there is a suggestion from Chris Anderson that the radio is dead.

Why the radio is dead:

  1. Radio stations need money so they need advertising and therefore need listeners. To get the most listeners you need to appeal to the majority who like what is popular at that moment in time (‘the head’).
  2. The rise of technology in the form of MP3 players. You can listen to any music you want at home, on your PC, on my personal MP3 player and even take that into your car and connect it to a modern car stereo.

Chris Anderson also suggests that “The Long Tail is full of crap.” Which is it…It does contain everything! But the compelling thing about the long tail is that there is something for everybody that they would not be able to find and purchase otherwise.

The Internet and the Long Tail

The internet has given us unprecedented ability to access products never before available so quickly and easily. The Internet is the best example of how globalisation can reach everyone. Someone who makes Doggles (goggles for dogs), or other niche items, can become a millionaire.

A real shop on the high street may have trouble making money if it was taking advantage of the long tail. Not just for the reason that it cannot reach as many customers as an online shop, but for more practical reasons that it would be difficult to sort through all of the many niche products. Being able to search through the ‘crap’ and filter to get to the information you actually want is very much a benefit you can see online. Social media may also help with this, we often see suggestions for other items we might like on online shops like Amazon. Folksonomies consisting of lots of tags collaboratively created may also assist with finding things you want and things that are similar to it.

Does the Internet bring down the barriers for businesses?

Eric Schmidt on the long tail

Is Globalisation good for the small business?

Yes and no, it depends on what you are selling. There is the potential for more sales through having greater access to a wider market. This is especially true for niche items and products where in some situations they may sell nothing if they are not based near their market. The Internet definitely assists with globalisation based on geography. There is also the benefit that selling products online is very cheap to set up and use. Google Analytics is also a nice tool to assist with marketing and improving your own business website.

However, with the benefits of reaching more people, large businesses will also receive this benefit. Large businesses may be able to give better prices due to mass production, but this shouldn’t effect niche businesses where large businesses do not offer so many niche products.

Written by Gemma Fitzsimmons on December 6th, 2011

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Markets not Stakes…   no comments

Posted at 12:00 am in Discipline,Economics

Front cover of the book referred to in this post, called 'Markets not Stakes.' Shows an eagle apparently trying and failing to fly over a map of Europe. It all looks highly symbolic but I'm not sure what of.Am now looking at a book on economics called, ‘Markets not Stakes: The Triumph of Capitalism and the Stakeholder Fallacy.’ This is written by Professor Patrick Minford and was published in 1998. He outlines why he thinks that the stakeholder culture was mistaken and how capitalism was thriving. The stakeholder concept was supposed to find the middle way between ‘failed socialism and free-market capitalism.’ The blurb discusses the way in which regulatory proposals were to create more rights for workers, allow the government to override the pull of market forces on investment in an attempt to curb the 80s short term corporate culture.

I am particularly interested in this because it would seem very easy now to say how obviously mistaken this view was. However, it goes on to say that ‘Stakeholding is no different in essence from interventionist and redistributive taxation, its only difference is its lesser transparency, which therefore deceives people into believing it to be innocuous.’ Although he then apparently goes onto argue that it destroys incentives (the meat and blood of economics, according to ‘The Armchair Economist’ ) I’m initially quite interested in the transparency issue.

When I worked for a FTSE100 company that was quite concerned about corporate governance and hence ‘transparency,’ a word which we hear all too often nowadays, the other word that was always brandished was ‘stakeholders.’ Generally the more your job was to do with explaining figures and processes to people, the more you had to take ‘stakeholders’ into account. This actually meant not just anyone who had a right of some sort (surely just one’s bosses in a monolithically hierarchical company structure?) to poke their nose into what was going on, but those who felt that they ought to have a right. Or those, like me, who were just very, very curious about how it all worked. The more stakeholders there were (in a PLC serving most of the country’s households, that was at least 18 million) actually the less possible it became to be transparent. I’m increasingly convinced that the possibility of transparency decreases exponentially in any very small company (say, 7 or fewer employees) or any company that has over say, 300 employees, just because of organisational factors. I’m also wondering whether this is not accidental, but actually deeply tied into company size (depending on its structure, or how the power gets passed around). So am quite interested to read this book and see what comes out.

Am reading it alongside ‘The Armchair Economist’ which is interesting, but is leaving me feeling vaguely unsatisfied at present.

PRIVACY (Politics & Psychology) – Blog post 5   no comments

Posted at 6:36 pm in Politics,Psychology

PRIVACY (Politics & Psychology) – Blog post 5

As my previous readings within Politics have led me to identify the areas of globalization and security as paramount in relation to the issue of privacy I have extended my reading to specific books focusing on this concepts.

Globalisation, Competitiveness and Human Security (1997) – Cristobal Kay ,states that globalisation can include political negotiations, cultural trends and increased internationalisation of economic activities. It is also the process whereby enterprises become interdependent and interlinked globally via strategic allegiances and international networks. The book  discusses changes occurring on a global level. Such changes are beyond the influence and henceforth the control of any individual person, community or even the government. It is therefore logical to link these dynamics to society experiencing feelings of insecurity over many related issues, including that of loss of privacy. After the end of the Cold War in 1989, which was predominantly viewed as a positive outcome as it reduced the fear of global military conflict which would have threatened peace and security, many political and economical reforms were instigated within developing countries and at the global level there was an overwhelming sense of security due to the dissolution of the threat of nuclear war. However it has been purported that there are new specific threats to human security, many of which have international or global dimensions as their root causes can be traced to events and processes occurring outside of their territories, namely globalisation and competitiveness. The UNDP (1994):23 produced a list which delineates all aspects of human security; on that list under political security was violation of human rights – privacy connotations. The implication is that globalisation and competiveness can be directly attributable to human development and to reduce people’s insecurities.

Globalization and insecurity – political, economic and physical challenges (2002) – Barbara Harriss-White, gave the definition of insecurity as ‘unsafe or unreliable’ and  determined that there are four areas of physical insecurity which are interrelated:

  1. Threats to persons, property and/or environments
  2. Economic and political autonomy of states
  3. Instability, particularly of market
  4. Vulnerability – a susceptibility to damage, closely but not completely aligned with poverty and inequality

This book also discusses globalization as a political process, whereby the main forces producing it have moved away from industry and weapon production towards instead, technology, information and communications, and financial control of everything else. It is suggested that it is the political project that causes insecurity via poverty, regulation of health and the reworking of national politics.

For the psychology part of my independent disciplinary review this week I have been reading : Self – Presentation Impression Management and Interpersonal Behaviour (1995) – Mark R. Leary. Self-presentation deals with the ways in which human behaviour is affected by people’s concerns with their public impressions. The norm would be that individuals would prefer that others perceive them in a flattering light rather than in an undesirable manner. Thus people may act in a certain way in order to make an impression on someone e.g. the job applicant in an interview. It is determined that generally people’s concerns with others’ impressions constrain their behavioural options and so individuals would be reluctant to conduct acts which would be seen as morally/ socially reprehensible in public. This is not necessarily negative though as a world where no-one cares about the opinions of others would be far more detrimental. Consider people saying or doing anything without considering the feelings of others etc. However it is possible for people to be too concerned with what others think about them which can lead to feelings of insecurity building up. The book also discusses the differences between exaggerations and lies in relation to the fact that individuals are multi – faceted and can therefore convey many different aspects of their characters, the majority of which may be genuinely true attributes, depending on the circumstances. Thus rather than lying per se, people may select the images they want others to form from their repertoire of true-self images.

There are two prevalent thinkers in relation to self-presentation: Erving Goffman who was a sociologist and wrote ‘The presentation of self in everyday life’ (1959) in which he determined that much can be gained by focusing on public behaviour, and Edward Jones (1990) ‘The study of impression’, in which he discussed management and self – presentation being an integral part of the study of interpersonal perception as it is not possible to fathom how people view each other without knowing the dynamic to self-presentation at the same time.

I will be continuing my reading further into these areas within my two disciplines as I feel that there is far more valuable information to be obtained towards the overall research.

Written by Lisa Sugiura on November 23rd, 2010

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Contemporary landscapes of crime, order and control (3rd Post)   no comments

Posted at 11:47 pm in Criminology

Source: The Oxford Handbook of Criminology by Maguire. Morgan and Reiner

This week, I have been reading chapter 3 of the book which is on the influential theories behind the governance and control of crime. Changes to the landscape of crime, order and control forces the shape of criminology as a field of study to be revised.

  1. Which topics command the most serious attention
  2. Which theoretical resources and empirical materials best advance contemporary analysis
  3. How to contribute pertinently to public debates on crime and control

Significant features which shifts and changes include:

  1. Contemporary shifts in the character of the governance of crime
  2. The changing postures and capacities of the state
  3. The intensity of public sensibilities towards criminal justice matters
  4. The shifting boundaries between the public and private realms in providing security
  5. 5. Social consequences of risk
  6. The place of crime and social order in public culture

The chapter is divided into three chapters, governance, risk and globalisation, all of which are important factors in our perception of crime today. Below are the notes I have made.


Governance: blurs the distinction between state and civil society. The state becomes a collection of interorganisational states made up of governmental and societal actors with no sovereign actor able to steer or regulate.

Transformation in the field of control institution and philosophies came in the 1970s when there was:

  1. Massive escalation in post-war crime rates
  2. Significant changes in economic, social and cultural relations. Modernity include:
    1. Transformation in capitalist production and exchange
    2. Changes in family structure e.g. rising divorce rate
    3. c. Proliferation of mass media
    4. A democratization of everyday life – as witnessed in altered relations between men/women parents/children and a marked decline in unthinking adherence towards authority.
    5. New Rights government rule in USA, Britain, Australia and New Zealand which aimed specifically to break with the economic and social consensus of the post-war decades. The result is the formation of “MARKET SOCIETIES” in which social inequalities deepened and had profound ramifications on levels/responses/politicization of crime.

Refiguring policing and prevention

  1. De-centering of the criminal justice state: there is a tendency for government officials and senior practitioners to emphasize the limits of the police and criminal justice in controlling crime and to seek to inculcate correspondingly more “realistic” public expectations of what state criminal justice agencies can accomplish.
  2. Managerialism: subjected the police, courts, probation and prisons to a regime of EFFICIENCY and value-for-money, performance targets and auditing, quality of service and consumer responsiveness. (an attempt to inject “private sector disciplines” into public criminal justice agencies)
  3. Emergence of crime prevention partnerships at a local level: commercial actors delivering closed-circuit television systems (now: ISP supply data, eCrime police)


Long standing professional concerns with judgements about ways of anticipating and forestalling future harms have evolved and extended to incorporate new methods, statistical models and the availability of previously unimagined computational power.

The refocusing of the theory and practice of crime control in terms of risk actually serves to reconfigure its objects of attention and intervention, its intellectual and institutional connections with other domains, and its cultural and political salience and sensitivity in potentially fundamental fashion.

Gidden, we live in a world of “manufactured uncertainty” and it is characteristic of such a “risk-climate” that its institutions become reflexive. That is, endlessly monitoring, adjusting and calculating their behaviour in the face of insatiable demands for information and pressures for accountability.

Becks, “Risk may be defined as a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernisation itself. Risks, as opposed to older dangers, are consequences which relate to the threatening force of modernisation and to its globalisation of doubt.”


Relations between states and societies (and the economic and political systems within which they are embedded) have altered in ways that rob analyses of “societies” as distinct entities with clear boundaries of much of their purchase, and bring to the fore the issue of networks and flows; movement of capital, goods, people, symbols and information across formerly separate national contexts.

Criminal networks and cross-border crime flows (transnational crime)

Hirst and Thompson emphasise that globalisation is not a new phenomenon and can be traced back over centuries. However, in terms of the extensity, intensity, velocity and impact of global networks and flows, the globalisation new are witnessing is distinct.

Criminal networks operate ruthless protection and enforcement systems that challenge directly “an essential component of state sovereignty and legitimacy”. Such networks become appealing cultural idols for many dispossessed young males who see no other obvious route out of poverty, as well as having more diffuse effects at the level of popular culture.

Shadow enterprises deploy some variant of bribery, extortion, political funding, assassination or armed combat as a means to undermine the governing capacities and political authority of weak or “failed” stats. Such networks have assumed a key role in setting the basic terms of existence across many parts of the globe. (Most cybercrimes are moving towards organised crime)

“Local” crime and responses to crime

Bauman has written provocatively that the economic precariousness and existential insecurity attendant upon globalisation generals “withdrawal into the safe haven of territoriality” and condensed anxieties about, and social demands for, safety.

Transnational crime control

Interpol was originally set up in 1923 and in its current guise in 1949. However, its impact has diminished because the US is trying to extend and coordinate law enforcement beyond its borders and the building of an enhanced police and criminal justice capacity within the EU.

The developments in the EU are:

  1. The 1992 Maastricht Treaty of a Third Pillar of EU competence in “justice and home affairs” of forms of intergovernmental activity and supranational policymaking in areas of police cooperation, efforts to tackle organised crime and measures concerning immigration, asylum policy and other matters.
  2. The onset of institutions, networks and training programmes aimed atfurthering the exchange of information and know-how among Europe’s police officers, prosecutors and judges.
  3. New modes of ground-level cooperation between national police forces e.g. Europol liaison officers

Relevance to cybercrime

Cybercriminals most often belong to an organisation or criminals across the globe with well structured hierarchies and well organised plans to aggregate profit in a quick, efficient and well disguised manner.  This chapter has introduced the theories behind the changes in governance, the influence of risk on society and in particular, it has introduced the impact of globalisation on crime and control. It would be interesting to see if cybercriminals really are those “dispossessed young males who see no other obvious route out of poverty”. It has also introduced transnational policing and some of the developments such as the Europol.

Written by my2e09 on March 9th, 2010

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