Notes - Block 1 and case studies

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degree Block 1 Note on Notes - Block 1 and case studies, created by heididdle on 05/20/2013.

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The UN came up with MDG's (Millennium Development Goals) in 2000 - a global response to economic and social development issues which are: Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger Achieve universal primary education Promote gender equality and empowerment Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases Ensure environmental sustainability Develop a global partnership for development

Notes on Detroit video:  You will come back to the issues raised in this documentary later so your note taking can be very general at this stage. However, as this is your first note-taking exercise, here is a list of questions that you might want to use. As you answer these questions you might want to fit some of the answers into a grid similar to the one shown in Section 1.2.     What are your overall impressions of the film?        How did it make you feel? It made me feel sad - that a once prosperous city had declined. The poverty which this demise created - the homelessness and crime.         Has it tested any preconceived ideas you had about the city? I didn't realise the city had got as run down as it had - after the car success.         What did you like/dislike and why? I didn't like Henry Ford carrying on the segregation of black people when they came from down South to work in his factories. Although, I did like the new sense of positivity with some residents about the future of Detroit.      What are the main issues that this film raises about:         Detroit’s economic development? It started off with the successful car industry and when that failed, it has slowly started to pick itself up with urban farming as its new economy.         The city’s and its people’s social development? The city at one time (after the 2nd world war) was the fourth largest city in America. It was thriving. It attracted lots of migrants for work. Women were keen to work in the factories during WW2 when the men went off to fight. And even though Henry Ford, opened his doors to black migrant workers - the segregation continued. With the demise of the car industry, people were plunged into poverty and had little in the way of social development. The city lost all social development as more and more people left the city because of work. It is slowly picking up - more people are attracted now because of urban farming and the community is growing.         The relationships between the city, its firms, communities and individual residents with others?  Car companies employed lots of local people and migrants - white and black workers kept separate by different suburbs built. There has been tension in the past.         How have these issues changed over time? People are trying to get the derelict neighbourhoods back to how they were through redevelopment projects - which also creates local jobs. Giving back a sense of purpose. May help to alleviate crime?

A key locomotive of the 20th century world economy – in the key country of 20th century history, the USA. The car industry was at the forefront of both technological and industrial development, as well as both an engine of social transformation and policies of social organisation, conflict and control. It represented an archetype of the 20th century in the USA, with promises of affluence, a backbone of US economic, cultural and political influence on the world, furthermore presaging conflicts around race, environmental damage and decline. The more recent decline of industry has seen an amazing physical transformation – a shrinking of the city, de-urbanisation and a nascent new politics around urban renewal. From being at the forefront of US industry it is now characterised by low human-development indicators such as literacy and poverty.

Notes on Shanghai video:     What are your overall impressions of the film?         How did it make you feel? While some people have made a success of living in Shanghai, there are still people struggling to make a living.          Has it tested any preconceived ideas you had about the city?  I didn't realise the city is so big and diverse. The history is quite intrigueing.      What are the main issues that this film raises about:         Shanghai’s economic development? When the communist party took over - they became involved in the global markets and Shanghai became prosperous and has helped China to become a big player be successful in the global economy.         The city’s and its people’s social development? After liberation, the communist party took over and life improved for people in Shanghai. They could feed and clothe themselves. Benefits and state pension.         The relationships between the city, its firms, communities and individual residents with others? Heavily invested - infrastructure, the roads, railway - a lot of improvements. Biggest port in the world. The people have a strong affection for the communist party and what it does/did for them. People were given shares in the new high rises if they lived there after they were built - it is worth a lot of money now. Migrants from outside the city, can't get benefits unless they have the right visas and have been there for two years. Some residents preferred living under Mao - because even though they were poor, they helped each other. Now, the rich just gets richer and the poor are left with nothing.

Shanghai is similarly totemic in the context of recent Chinese history. Its current status is as China’s largest city as well as a centre of commerce, industry and trade. Dating back to 1074 it developed as a market town and later a centre of cotton manufacturing. In the 19th century Shanghai was one of the key locations of western intervention into China. This had a huge impact on the city, with the demise of cotton production, rise of the opium trade, and the assertion of European and USA extra-territorial claims and settlement, later joined by Japanese influence. By the 1930s it had over 3 million inhabitants, became a key site of communist power in the 1950s and 1960s, and since the 1990s rose to dominance in China’s growth miracle and is a centre of Chinese trade with the rest of the world.

Examples of development Industrialisation – the growth of the car industry changed the social, political and economic way of life for people living in Detroit. High levels of employment (before the decline) – providing an opportunity for some people to reach a high standard of living and move themselves out of poverty. New suburbs and roads being created – roads bring greater connectivity and resources to the city while the new suburbs created new communities. At the same time the new motorways dissected existing communities and resulted in increased segregation highlighting the fact that development is not always a ‘win–win’ situation. Rise of Motown – an example of social, cultural and political rights and freedoms being exercised. Consumerism – the rise of the shopping mall in Detroit changed the way people integrated and communities connected not only how people shopped. Deconstruction efforts for reconstruction of communities – demolition work of old houses provides jobs for people and in so doing opens the doors to other opportunities as well as providing much needed morale for previously excluded groups within the community. Urban farming – development of a new economy and not simply self-sufficiency.

Examples of development Industrialisation – the development of new industries and factories both in the 1930s and again more recently since the Open Door policies of the 1980s. Internationalisation – the city’s history with foreigners has made it a hub for international companies and alternative ways of thinking, including at times an outward looking approach to business and life in general. Family stability – individuals portrayed in the film showed how they had provided for their children through working hard and investing wisely even when living on the edges of formal society as in the case of migrant workers. Physical changes in the city – the changes brought about by bombing in the war, centralised planning as well as economic liberalisation have led to particular changes in the physical make up of the city. For example, in terms of architecture and municipal planning including development of new industrial centres, such as Pudong, and the development of a large port in Shanghai. This is linked to improvements nationally in rail and road infrastructures which have all improved the opportunities for business links within the country and internationally.

LARGE SCALE CHANGEThe clips you have just watched talk about the impact that the rise of the car industry had on both the city of Detroit but also the whole of the USA and the rest of the world. Examples of change that resulted include the structural change of the city (and other cities afterwards around the world) with the introduction of the freeway and suburbs as well as the creation of the consumer society (as illustrated in the film with the increasing demand for cars and shopping malls). These changes are economic and social as well as geographical in their context but, as the clips illustrate, are underpinned by the political context of the car industry’s power within Detroit and the USA more generally. So, by sociological and economic large-scale change I am referring to development that is the result of but also creates: Structural transformation of societies – in the clips you saw the physical transformation of the city through the building of roads and suburbs. This was the result of Detroit’s increasing industrialisation and urbanisation as the car industry grew. The physical transformations – in Detroit this was very evident in terms of the city’s physical changes but also in terms of the change in modes of production (the clips talk of the change to car production but the film also talks of more recent change to agricultural modes of production) as well as changes in the population of Detroit (both in terms of size but also make up). Rise of ‘modernity’ and mass society – again the clips discuss the rise of the consumer society with the increasing demand for consumer goods. Technological advance – the Detroit documentary outlines how the rise of consumer society resulted in an ever increasing demand for different types of cars which, until the oil crisis, were always to be bigger and better. Productive expansion and accelerated economic growth – the Detroit documentary discusses how the city became one of the largest and most prosperous in the country as a result of the car industry. However, it also talks of how the volatility of the car industry to world economic changes also resulted in a decline in the growth of the city.

Social and human micro-level change These clips highlight two different approaches that individuals (and communities in the Detroit case) are using to actively improve their lives. In Detroit individuals are engaging in what they term a new ‘cottage industry’ (small-scale industry) of growing their own food for their own consumption and to sell any surplus to others. While one of the speakers in the Detroit clip appeared to be trying this as a complete change in lifestyle, another speaker was using this as a means of diversifying his livelihood; creating another source of income and support for his family than was availed by his job at a car company.

Social and human micro-level changeIn Shanghai, Mrs Fang and her husband had chosen to use a portion of their income to build a house near her parent’s home in a village far from Shanghai. Although we do not find out why they have chosen to do this, we can guess that the reasoning may be that they see it as a sensible investment opportunity which reduces their overheads in the longer term, particularly when they can no longer work (due to old age, illness or disability), may provide them with additional income in terms of rental income from the property while they do not live it in, or a way to support elderly relatives through providing them a place to live.

Political and cultural changeThis clip highlights the political and cultural dimensions of development. In particular, it highlights the impact that the Chinese government’s decision to move from a Communist economic system to a more liberalised capitalist system had on individuals living in Shanghai. In the main film you will recall other examples of the impact of opening up (from the increased availability of consumer goods such as bicycles and televisions to changing political and social values as expressed by some of the individuals interviewed in the People’s Park). In this short clip that you have just watched, is the story of how Madame Yao and her husband where able to make themselves more secure in their retirement due to the ability to make money on the stock market following the sale of their old home to developers thus allowing them to purchase their own flat. Without the Chinese government taking the decision to open up their economy (both a political and an economic decision), Madame Yao would never have been able to experience the stock market or private home ownership.

International level changeThis clip highlights the international context of development, in this case the impact of the 1970s oil crisis on Detroit. It talks about the wider impact of the event in terms of increasing international awareness and not just on the USA of the dependence on fossil fuels, the power that gives to fuel producing nation states and how this created a need to rethink the way society uses that fuel (in this case in terms of the types of cars the city made and its inhabitants drove). You will come back to these types of questions in Block 5. The clip also alludes to micro-level impacts that the crisis created. The clip talks directly about the fact that the demand by consumers for more fuel efficient cars led to an increase in Japanese and German car imports which in turn directly impacted the car companies based in Detroit with many of them closing down. This alludes to the problems discussed in the documentary regarding the rise of unemployment and crime in the city and the lack of government money to maintain certain services.

MDG's

Detroit

Shanghai

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