In an economic context, globalization has led to the reduction and removal of barriers between countries’ borders, facilitating more free trade. The creation of this free trade zone with minimal or no tariffs, results in reduction of transportation costs, reduction of capital controls, subsidies of global corporations, and universal recognition of intellectual property laws.
The emergence of a global market has given countries more options when it comes to buying and selling goods. People are able to choose from products from many different nations, and competition among global markets spurs competition in cost, keeping inflation and prices down. The flexibility of corporations to operate across borders increases, allowing the rise of multinational corporations.
These lowered trade barriers are extremely beneficial for less developed nations. Not only are huge international markets opened to them, but the lower cost of production in these countries allows them an advantage when competing in the global market. The cash flow into developing countries decreases dollar differences around the world, improving the standard of living in these countries. Furthermore, as liquidity of capital increases, developed countries are able to invest in developing ones.
A global market also increases the exchange of ideas. An open economy spurs fresh ideas and innovation in a way that increases the quality and quantity of goods and services. Growth easily spreads between regions as trades burden, effectively creating a domino chain in which neighboring economies prosper as they grow dependent on each others’ support. Productivity also increases as countries are able to increase their comparative advantages and specialize to produce goods and services more efficiently.
Economic benefit, the most tangible advantage, leads to many more social and cultural benefits. The interdependence of the world economy reduces the likelihood of hostility and war; countries are less likely to attack or antagonize each other if they have established friendly trade relations, or depend on each others’ economic success.
A gradual world power is being created, as many of the most important political decisions today must be approved by multiple countries.
Soon, no country will be the sole power head and global decisions will be weighed in on by all countries, ensuring that decisions regarding the future of our world will have input from everyone living in it.
Intermingling of cultural preferences is another advantage. Many countries are being exposed to the more liberal Western culture, leading to benefits as the ideas of democracy and social equality spread. Western societies are also benefiting from exposure to foreign ideas, creating a more diverse and accepting society.
The standardization of cultural identity creates shared cultural values, allowing people from all over the world to have a better understanding of each other. This helps promote peace and harmony among different cultures and ethnicities.
This process, known as homogenization, has created somewhat of a multicultural identity. Trans-border data flow such as communication satellites, the internet and wireless telephones allow popular culture and entertainment to become widely available to anyone, anywhere.
Copyright laws, patents and trade agreements can be extended globally, as well as international enforcement and criminal systems.
Cooperation among many nations allows countries to address global environmental problems such as cross-boundary pollution, over fishing inoceans, and the issue of climate change. The input of countries throughout the world is necessary to address global problems.
Through technology, cultural exchange, and the economy, the world is being made into a much smaller place, not in terms of size, but in terms of cohesion. The development of a global hegemony can only be a benefit for us, bringing people of all different creeds together under the single banner of humanity.]]>
The PTSO has a hand in a wide range of school programs, supporting teachers and students at all grade levels. The PTSO organizes several school events, such as graduation, South Stage, South Fest, and music at South. Many events are supported by parents who work on a volunteer basis.
Currently, the PTSO is not getting volunteers in the same balance as the population of the school. “When we look for volunteers, we tend to see there aren’t the same balance of parents involved, Sall said.
18.9 percent of South’s students identify themselves as Asian, but a far smaller percentage of parent volunteers are Asian. This is not to say, however, that all Asian parents are uninvolved.
“My parents are pretty involved in what I do¦they email my teachers when certain school things are happening and they help out the band by bringing food to all of the concerts, senior John Chan said.
Nevertheless, the PTSO still struggles to get more parents on the committee.
“It’s not even just time or money, Sall said. “We get a lot of monetary support and extra hands, but we want to be sure we are doing a good job communicating to everybody…We can’t understand what we need to do unless people are involved.
There are many factors that play into this lack of involvement.
In some cases, the language barrier plays a role, as some first generation immigrants do not speak English as their first language. Another problem is getting in contact with families.
The school does not have email information from many Asian parents, which creates a difficulty given the amount of communication that is now sent out electronically.
Junior Tony Wang also notes that many Asian parents hesitate when interfering when their children are doing well.
“My parents don’t really pay attention to what’s happening at school unless I’m doing badly¦I think a lot Asian parents are used to the idea of only getting involved when I’m not doing well, Wang said.
This could reflect wider cultural differences. Some Asian parents hesitate to get involved simply because they are unused to a level of such cooperation between parents and the school system.
They are accustomed to only interfering when their child preforms badly, and the parents don’t feel the need to involve themselves when all their child is doing well in school.
This lack of participation hurts both students and the school. The PTSO is not getting the input it needs so that all constitudents of the parent teacher body are represented.
The goal of the PTSO is to include as many members of its constituents as possible in order to fully represent the population of students at South. To foster a more diverse and all-encompassing learning environment, it is vital that parents from diverse background participate and contribute feedback.
“I’m interested in a way for getting greater participation and finding people who might be leaders in different communities…so that we get a greater perspective and bring new insight into the school, Sall said.]]>
Growing up in Newton has been a huge influence on who I am.
I feel lucky to be living in Newton. It is true that the population at South is in some sense homogenous, white and Jewish.
However, the environment at South is extremely accepting of diversity; in fact, much emphasis is put on celebrating our differences.
It is okay to be an individual: black, white, Latino or Asian, gay or straight, or anything in between. Cultural and ethnic differences are very much accepted at South. We may not be perfect, but we recognize the importance of acceptance.
Despite all our diversity and differences, there are very many pressures and influences that affect most South students. South is an academically prestigious school and there is a strong pressure to succeed. Being a relatively wealthy community with an emphasis on education, Newton spent an average of $14,254 on each student in 2008, higher than almost every other district in Massachusetts and the nation.
As a result, the Newton school district regularly performs better across all grade levels and all subjects on the MCAS than the state average.
High achievement only continues to create high expectations. It’s a common stereotype that South students take lots of honors and AP’s. We strive for straight A’s, perfect SAT scores and 5′s on AP tests.
For many students at South, there is the expectation that they will be academically successful, attend a top college, get a good job, and continue the tradition of an upper-middle class life.
A perfect example of this is the Wall of Shame. Students are encouraged to post up their rejection letters, obstensibly in order to create a less stressful environment.
This often backfires, however, because looking at the rejection letters received by seniors both emphasizes the caliber of colleges students at this school apply to, and creates even more pressure from fear of failure.
While I acknowledge that some of this pressure is self-induced, I must say that circumstances might be very different if I attended a different high school.
Newton South is filled to the brim with students who are so academically oriented that the pressure from those at the top gets passed down.
Of course, I think a high pressure environment has created the conditions for success for many. Because we are expected to do well, we push ourselves more than we otherwise might have.
Because we are put in situations where success is almost required, we do succeed. I am very grateful that South is the school it is, because I know without the environment of South, without the classes and encourage and expectations of the school, I would not have been given the opportunities that I have.]]>