This is Uni Using globalisation as a tool for social equality

Using globalisation as a tool for social equality

Using globalisation as a tool for social equality

Inequalities  in societies around the world are creating increasingly worse realities for people in every nation.  Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan gives insight into how closing the inequalities gap must start with addressing the effects of globalisation.

Globalisation is all around us, and it seems to be unstoppable. “Rapid advances in technology and infrastructure are enabling global flows of ideas, finances, media, products and people, and increasing connectivity across a range of stakeholders,” Narayan Gopalkrishnan says.

Modern technology has enabled marginalised groups to present their position on a world stage and to claim the media space they may have been denied earlier. As an example, indigenous peoples across the world are now able to connect with each other. They can work together to demand action on land rights, racism and discrimination.

Globalisation's effects on homes

The dark side of globalisation

However, according to Narayan, there is also a darker side to globalisation. Globalisation can be detrimental to the principles of social justice, such as the privatisation of public services, the deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of income and corporate taxes that are paid for with cuts to public spending.

The liberalisation of agriculture is a practical example for this. According to Narayan, “it has led to the many small farmers having to leave their traditional business, and, in some cases, committing suicide because of their inability to provide for their families.”

Globalisation can also have an effect on public services. “The privatisation of nursing homes, social housing, childcare systems, and disability services have had extremely negative impacts, and people are increasingly falling through the gaps or suffering neglect in the process,” Narayan says.

“The privatisation of basic resources such as water and electricity have led to increasing burdens falling on the already stretched incomes of the poorer in society,” Narayan adds. “There are also significant aspects of neoliberal processes that impact adversely on the environment and on existing democratic institutions.”

Feeding the poor and homeless

What we can do to reduce inequality

Narayan, like the United Nations, acknowledges that globalisation does not only have downsides. “The strengths of other aspects of globalisation – the interconnectedness, the advances of technology, the virtual solidarity, and the globalisation of ideas and peoples – all need to be brought to bear on the development of alternative institutional arrangements that will reduce inequality and benefit all people and the environment they live in,” Narayan says.

Those who move to create change can use globalisation by unifying themselves on a global scale. “Working towards a socially just society is a global endeavour,” Narayan says. “It goes beyond the nation-state and brings together all people in a globalised world.”

Join the webinar: Opportunities for social enterprise

Find out more about building a social enterprise business on 25 June at 7:00pm in a webinar with Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan. Discover the opportunities social entrepreneurship presents and get the tools to develop local and global solutions in times of COVID-19. Please register here.

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Feature image: Shutterstock

Published 23 Jun 2020

Featured JCU researcher

Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan
Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan
Narayan Gopalkrishnan holds the position of Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the College of Arts, Society and Education. Narayan has a thirty year career in Australia and overseas, working in universities, NGOs and the private sector.  This has