The Global Context focuses on the process referred to as globalization. That is, the process through which the magnitude and rate of the movement of people, production processes, capital, goods, services, ideas, and information across national boundaries are being intensified. The process of globalization includes the impact that the movement of peoples and the internationalization of production for the global market have on the natural and cultural environment. Students should become familiar with the structure of the global system and the various forms of inequity that it entails, as well as the contending socially positioned views of people globally regarding the effects and value of globalization. The importance of understanding the process of globalization lies in the fact that it is changing the social, economic, cultural, and environmental character of all societies. The study of such changes is related to all other areas of study in the General Education curriculum, especially to the understanding of environmental, cultural, economic, gender, and social diversity.
Study of the global context should include a basic knowledge and critical understanding of the following:
- Global geopolitical entities and their interrelations: the geographic location of the countries constituting the global system, their types of government, their economic systems, and the basic nature of the relations among the various countries.
- A general knowledge of global economic relations: the distribution of raw materials that are key to the global productive system; relative access to and the role of communicative and productive technology; the migration (or movement) of labor; the role of multilateral financial organizations (e.g., the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Interamerican Development Bank) in the relative socioeconomic development of countries; a basic history of the global inequality of countries and how that inequality affects the daily life of people in the world.
- Cultural diversity and gender relations: the distribution and migratory dynamics of the cultures of the global system; cultures as distinctive ways of how people view and act on their world (ways of knowing); the distribution and role of languages and their relation to knowledge, culture, world views and global processes; the role of cultural difference in identity construction, power relations, and labor distribution; the role of gender in the construction of how people view and act on their world (their culture), of power relations, and of the social division of labor.