Friday, May 11, 2012

Final Reflection

Prior to this class I believed that the instruction of English in a classroom lacked a connection with our societies technological progression. At the end of this semester I now realize that there is potential to incorporate classrooms with media and social trends. Now when I reflect on how to gain the attention of students in the classroom, I have reaffirmed my belief that students can engage entertainment, with literary skills that are learned in the classroom. What appears to be the most intriguing attribute of the Internet is that is can allow students to interact and share their work with other students around the globe. By integrating classroom activities with global trends, students are better prepared for the world outside of education. With a more diverse knowledge of cultures around the world, a new dialogue can be formed between nations, as our economies and cultures continue to grow together. The most memorable activity that I enjoyed in the class would have to be the literary analysis of a film, which incorporated economic concepts that involve capital globalization in the world. This activity was beneficial because of its ability to involve the classroom in understanding the development of capitalism in countries overseas. From this activity I believe that we were allowed to become involved in understanding the development of a different culture. I also believe an interesting method to incorporate in this class might be to hold conferences with different universities classes focusing on similar topics, in order to collaborate ideas, and help expand discussion.
            While I still have reservations toward the transition of literature evolving from hard text to hard drives, I think it is necessary that students begin to explore the potential behind media technologies. As our consciousness is continuously flooded with new ideas of how to think or act, the implementation of textual analysis to every day activities can help promote individual thoughts. Therefore creating a more critical viewer of television movies, and Internet trends, as our culture continues to embrace this new era of learning. I believe this class has helped to expand my awareness of how to incorporate my own interpretations of media, by applying the literary concepts I have gained from my education, while enhancing my ability to share this knowledge with other student. As our society continues to change,  I believe it is necessary for our education system to adapt with the new trends that develop, in order for the education system to continue preparing our youth for the future. I feel that this class was geared toward preparing its students for the future and I hope to share my experience, while hopefully contributing new experiences for future educational purposes.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Corporate Globalization

 Julian Luna
English 495
Professor Wexler
May 9, 2012
                                                Corporate Globalization
With the globalization of cooperation across the globe, cultures, and business are expanding as people continuously become more dependent on each other. It is with the expansion of business that economies continue to grow and contribute to the further advancements of business around the globe as neoliberalism becomes more enforced in the advancement for free trade. While growth in other countries can be prosperous for some, it also has adverse effects on many of the citizens it affects. The representation of capitalism in Slumdog Millionaire captures a process that encompasses the displacement of people, while providing new financial opportunities through the blending of cultures.
            In the first half of the film, viewers are presented with a slum that has not been influenced by the industrial growth that follows capitalism. Instead, the slums are a depiction of the waste and excess that capitalist companies dispose of. Nevertheless, this polluted neighborhood is the home of the main characters that are children, and, therefore, providing an example of the industrial evolution of two brothers that grew up in this environment. During the police interrogation, the detective justifies his bias in accusing Jamal of cheating, because in his mind no one from the slums could ever possibly know all the answers. This stereotyping contributes to the separation of the common people with the advancements of capitalism that have displaced the poor who are unable to grow with the new technologies. These social disadvantages are a result of the economic gap that capitalism creates between upper and lower class workers. This separation between the common man and its capitalist rulers are represented through the increased development of high-rise buildings that leave the previous slums in the dark.  The relationship between the buildings robbing the light from the slums can serve as a metaphor for the displacement and disruption of a community, which occurs from capitalism’s manipulation of the people who are vulnerable to the overpowering influence of these building owners. In the film, the two brothers Salim and Jamal look with amazement upon the high rise building being constructed directly where their childhood slum previously existed. In this reference the division between the two brothers roles in the development of their new city, represents the divide between the common people with the city gangster rulers who have learned to benefit from the business. This separation between the past and present embodies capitalism’s reliance “in how finance asks people to imagine their future or more specifically to see the future as already at hand” (Martin 1). While this idea of living in the future is embodied through Salim in the film, the reality is that his neglect for his brother Jamal demonstrates the sacrifice of those moving forward induce on the people of the slums who can not advance. The betrayal committed between the two brothers in many ways symbolizes the betrayal of capitalism on a countries people.
Rather than creating individual business opportunities for the majority of people they are allocated as service workers and not business owners. A scene where the two brothers travel on the roof of a train symbolizes their advancement in a capitalist society as servants as they arrive to the Taj Mahal where they make money by providing tours to foreigners on vacation. This scene is a replication of the United States intentions after the war in Iraq as Bush stated that, “Tourism is to become the vehicle for increasing employment” (Martin 5). The execution of this action is seen in the film as India expands its tourism to international visitors, therefore, allowing the young boys to benefit from international wealth. This is the first step of the global expansion that capitalism promotes in a developing country. After succeeding as tourist guides, the boys return to their old home where capitalism has developed the city into a growing metropolis. As adults the protagonists in film, Jamal and Salim, find their old home developed and offering employment for service jobs. Jamal ultimately becomes a tea server for a phone answering company that works to serve international clients. Through the interlinking of international capitalism with India in the film, it supports the ideals of a capitalist society which must always grow in order to survive. This ideal of capitalism has contributed to the globalization of society, as customers in the west call operators in India for assistance. The operators in India celebrate their achievements through the prosperity of companies in the west who rely on their exported labor in India. When the Indian corporate directors thank the Indian employees for their achievements in the film it is done through the recognition of the main corporation in a magazine, which gives no direct reference to the laborers in India.  A lack of recognition in the film, symbolizes the exploitations of labor in India, which go unrecognized by foreign companies who have established their business there.
            As capitalism continues to globalize, as a result of its reliance of looking toward future profits and expansion, it lacks the desire to be concerned with how their business might be harming the people. While the expansion of business in India has allowed for industry to flourish as a result of its cheap labor, and high demand for work, companies neglect to see the impact they are having on foreign cultures. The insight from Slumdog Millionaire allows for people to understand how advancements in India are now interlinked with the dependence of western society in the endless expansion of capitalism in a global economy.
                                                                         Works Cited

       Harvey, David.  A Brief History of Neoliberalism.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.  Print.  
 Martin, Randy.  “Where Did The Future Go?”  Logos 5.1 (2006): n. pag.  Web.  29 April 2012. 

                        Slumdog Millionaire.  Dir. Danny Boyle.  Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, 2009.  DVD. 


Boarder Patrol

As the demand for labor in the United States continues to dwindle, the government has emphasized the necessity to become stricter on immigration laws with the Mexican border. While politicians argue that efforts to shut down the border are a result of drug trafficking, many people oversee the business incentives that are involved with this law. With the demand for cheap labor increasing during the 1970’s as a result of labor unions going on strike, business were in favor of exploiting cheap imported labor. This was prior to the globalization of our American economy which now exports it’s business to other countries. With the ability to access chap labors across the globe, the necessity for labor in America is no longer a priority to major corporations. Since imported labor is no longer needed, the government has begun to focus more attention on controlling crossings at the border and any potential legal immigration. Through the escalation of border regulations, many American citizens are now falling victim to harassment and the violation of their rights as citizens because they appear to be a possible illegal immigrant. My concern resides in the repercussion that many American citizens, who are ethnically diverse, must now suffer potential injustices from the police and government. The question I believe most citizens should ask is how dependent are our nations laws, with the demands of corporation, and how long will our capitalist society continue to thrive with its lack of concern for human rights?

A New Business Model

As major American corporations continue to expand across the globe, the strength of labor unions in America continues to dwindle in power. While corporations further the progression of capitalism, with the sole purpose of making a profit, a solution must be implemented in order to prevent the outsourcing of labors to other nations The result of outsourcing has contributed to the decline of consumer spending money in the united states, while making corporation’s wealthy for the moment. But what will happen when they no longer have consumer demands to sell their product to, with the increasing amount of unemployment in the United States, which is currently at 8.2%. I believe that American Airlines can serve as a business model for a solution to the separations between employer and employee, as they have begun to cooperate with their labor unions. During their previous economic set backs, American Airlines has collaborated with labor union leaders to reach an agreement to salary cuts in order to prevent the termination of employees. The benefits from this methodology include a clear explanation of financial revenue, with the included adjustment to cooperate presidents and vice president salaries in order to prevent the collapse of the company. With the support from labor unions American Airlines was successful in influencing the implementation of government assistance as well to maintain employment. With the localized expansion of this American bases corporation, they were successful in maintaining the wages of American’s during the challenging recession taking place. With the cooperation of more business models, seeking the best interest of their employees and consumers the idea of capitalism might have a fighting chance of surviving without sacrificing the best interest of people.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Fuel

As the prices of gas increase without sight of an end, the necessity for an alternative fuel source is more vital now than ever. Every visit to the gas pump reminds me of the daunting reality that gas has nearly reached five dollars a gallon, prior to the peak that will occur over summer in southern California. Of course the idea of becoming dependent on electric vehicles is a solution, but this will never suffice for the necessity to power the vehicles we use to transport our goods across the nation. While gas companies scramble to deplete a limited source, they continue to hinder the potential to implement biodiesel as an alternative fuel. This fuel is can be manufactured from vegetable oil, or even transformed from algae farms. The beauty of this fuel source is that standard diesel motors come prepared to operate on biodiesel, since it’s original inventor designed it to run off or peanut oil. In America this could be the solution to every transportation issue, if the auto industry were to revert back to producing more diesel vehicles, which are virtually impossible to purchase from most standard car dealerships. While most Americans might be baffled by the government’s lack of initiative toward implementing this new alternative fuel, it has become apparent that gas companies have established themselves in government. This can be seen with their sponsorship of former president Bush, and countless government officials, which raises the question of whether or not our system has become corrupt. Although this corruption has gone by unmonitored for years, the influence of Americans and their freedom to make change allow the potential for new possibilities by forcing government to implement new bill that will push our society away from the reliance of gasoline, a depleting fuel source.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ethnic Studies

Is Arizona’s banning of ethnic studies in universities, merely another budget cut, or can this be interpreted as a prejudice against having ethnic diversity in our education system? I find it ironic that the same state that led the campaign against illegal immigration, is now implementing this new ban of ethnic studies. This is being done with the excuse that it teaches a history filled with resentment toward Caucasian Americans. But hasn’t our traditional teaching of history been manipulated to idolize American pilgrims who in reality betrayed the Native Americans. I could not help but question the integrity of this state after visiting the Grand Canyon last year for spring break. It amazed me how the national park was filled with lush pine trees throughout the park leading up to residential neighborhoods around the area. Ironically, upon exiting the national park onto a Native American reservation, it occurred to me that the boarded met at the end of the lush forest and the beginning of a desolate dry desert. While this land dispute might be out of the states control, it almost feels as if this state continue to be indoctrinated with the social acceptance of keeping ethnic diversity out of sight and out of mind, in an effort to create their ideal society that exists without color. Unfortunately, just as society appeared to have escaped their constraints of segregation and racial discrimination, they find new ways of pretending that every ethnic race do not exist. It intrigues me to see how ethnic studies groups are now being shipped in to Arizona to support the cause of education in Arizona. Which in many ways resembles the forced assimilation of Native Americans in the late nineteenth century.  It was a result of the assimilation’s ethnic discrimination, that many Native American’s lost their cultural identity, and as a result of current action in Arizona that I believe many American’s will begin to lose a connection with their cultures, rather than have a respect for both of their identities.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eating Blind

The disconnection many American’s have from the source of their food has escalated into a blind trust for the current food companies, which supply our societies demand. Without hesitation people throughout America mindlessly consume prepackaged food without the slightest idea of what chemicals were used to grow and produce the food. It might come as a shock to know, that one company manufactures the soybean seed used throughout the United States. This company’s monopoly over the American agriculture raises concern when considering the influence they have in regulating prices, and modifying their product in ways that could harm our population. As companies continue to corner the food production market throughout the country, most citizens are unaware of the deception being fed to them. When I learned of this, I was immediately reminded me of  “Soylent Green”, a 1970’s film that depicts America in the future where our food system has become corrupt. In this film’s depiction of the future, people are rationed greed chips in the same manner cattle would receive their food in captivity. As the daunting images of this film replay in my head, I couldn't help but laugh at the similarity of soybeans and the food in the film, soylent. I believe this film’s science fiction theme can serve as a comical warning and a metaphor for the future that could await America if we continue to allow corporations to regulate how and where our food is produced.  I believe this scene from the film illustrates how important it is for people to know where their food comes from, as the main character learns that the green chips they are fed comes from recycled human bodies. While our system might not be this corrupt, it never hurts to question our food source.