Families in Cross-Cultural Perspective

The ease with which ideas and information are transmitted globally gives the impression that we live in a global village. It has become clear that the implications have been seen both positively and negatively throughout time, with emphasis being placed on the negative repercussions as a result of the difficulties families encounter. The discovery that the Global North and the Global South were conceptualized differently throughout the process is also of great importance because it is clear that the two dimensions might be related in a similar manner. To strengthen national capacities in both developed and underdeveloped countries, therefore, it is necessary to prioritize and reinforce families through appreciating the complex associations that exist between globalization and work-related issues, social extrusion nd family poverty (Trask, 2010: 1).

In General, what is the Relationship between Globalization and Risk for Families?

Globalization is defined as the process by which there is a process of deepening, widening and spreading of connectedness around the world in the social setting. Family, on the other hand, involves the conception of the basic domestic unit in the society in which family values are founded and upheld. As the family is noted to be the backbone of the society, it is involved in meeting the critical needs of the family and the society involving actions such as the provision of care and socialization (Karraker, 2013: 5).

Five key outcomes have since been linked to the incidence of globalization and that pose a major risk for families. The core dimension in the analysis of the changes includes the movement from a state of homogeneity to a state of diversity where ideas are no longer limited to a single society but others as well. The association of globalization and family risk is also described in the contexts of the attainment of stability to change as change is in itself inevitable following the revolutionary processes. The other outcomes of globalization on family risk is in the context of transitioning from genders to transgendered families and from male dominance to egalitarianism. Lastly, as a result of globalization, it is common to perceive change from a state of homogeneity to diversity. Thus, globalization ends in a velocity change around the globe that has since ended in the reshaping of the cultural and traditional entities in revolutionary dimension. These changes are what are perceived in other literature as the “global revolution in the family and the personal life” (Karraker, 2013: 6).

Describe in some Detail How Family Decision-Making or Behavior in the Global North is affected by New Risks or New Ways of Assessing Risk amid Globalization

An interesting aspect of analysis that has become a focal point in the assessment of the implication pf globalization has been the consideration of the effect on family decision making among the industrialized nations. Also referred to as the Global North, this group of countries involves those among which globalization and development has further eased and improved lifestyles from the effects of a global system (Lecture, 1: 18). At this level, there are fewer barriers described in the context of the national boundaries and hence results in the formation of confederation that further improve decision-making. For example, there is a shared currency, such as the euro, a more unified education system, and travel privileges that determine the work and settlement patterns by the families.

Another significant impact is the role of globalization in consumption of goods and services. As the wealthy lot, members in the Global North tends to shape the economy through their consumption patterns as they are more affluent compared to other social structures (Lecture, 11: 1). While the outcomes of globalization are described in varied ways, the reliance is particularly placed on the decision-making that is carried out at the family level. The consumers can exercise choice in the process of using the commodities that they prefer and further have a chance to access cheaper goods. The relevance of this idea is that it directly influences the economy as evidenced by the fact that 70 percent of the US GDP is based on the patterns of consumer spending that are defined at the familial level.

Describe in Some Detail How Family Decision-Making or Behavior in Countries in the Global South may be Affected by New or Emerging “Risks” Associated with Globalization (5 points)

An equally significant aspect of analysis on globalization trends is the assessment of the outcomes from the context of the supposedly poorer nations, also called the global south. Scholars have particularly become interested in this area because it tends to imply the ‘runaway world” due to the anarchic and haphazard life outcomes (Lecture, 18: 1). One major implication that affects decision-making is the effect of disrupting family structures from the dwindling resources following the uncertainty that accompanies the globalization. The rolling crises that are manifested in the form of world pandemics is particularly critical following the eruption of world pandemics in the form of malaria and HIV.

Another outcome that shapes familial decisions is the consideration of the impact that globalization has on the disruption of family ties. While the Global North tend to enjoy the possibilities offered through market liberalization and McDonaldization, it has since become apparent that their counterparts in the Global South tend to be placed at the mercy of the markets (Lecture, 11: 1). The family will thus be forced to make tough decisions including carrying out off-shore employment in setting offering low-wage jobs, the disruption of family roles, and the degradation of resources and the resolution in for of conflict.

The destruction of family roles is an area that has been of interest for scholars following the realization that women’s roles are increasingly changing as more of them are finding opportunities in paid employment. The effect is that it makes them more financially stable and less likely to stay in abusive and destructive relationships. It is also worth describing the inequalities in the developing world that are implied by the many women who are facing discrimination in the access to health and labor market. At the social and family level, these effects have a direct impact on the manner in which such members define their personal development as they have a limited choice of opportunities (Trask, 2010).

Compare your Responses to 2. and 3. Do you Regard the New Risks encountered by Families in the Global North and South to be Comparable? Are they similar or different in form? Explain. Are they Similar or Different in Scope or Severity? Explain.

The implications that have since been described in the Global North and Global South have since formed the focal point in the assessment of the pros and cons of globalization. It is apparent that the industrialized nations are benefiting more from the sharing of ideas and values while people from the less-developed nations are facing major risks that threaten their capacity to engage in productive decision-making. It is thus comparable that the risks encountered by the families in the Global North and the Global South are analogous as they are both perceived at the familial level. There is a plausible relationship that exists between globalization and the risk for families when perceived as an advancement in the social values that are apprehended within a given setting. In both, globalization ultimately changes the perceived understanding of what constitutes a family as the concept ends up being referred to as global families. In the global families, the units affected by the social advancements in the world perspective, involve the stretch of the domestic unit to involve not only the shared household decisions but which determine the life standards in the given geographies.

The outcomes are thus different in form because while the industrialized nations seem to enjoy the benefits of increased choice of goods and unified currencies and educations systems, the less developed face the adverse effects. Instead, the poorer nations tend to feel more damaging outcomes and risks at the social level that includes social pressures due to scarce resources, changing societal roles, and the rise of epidemics and catastrophes that overall end in poor lifestyles. The severity also differs greatly because the Global South citizens tend to face life-threatening implication while those from the Global North face stable life outcomes.


In summary, globalization is inevitable in many societies but results in varied outcomes based on the foundational, infrastructural, and economic development of the implied area. As a result, the effects in the Global North and the Global South tend to vary depending on the impact that is felt at the family level based on the risk for families. Overall, while the family decisions made in the developed countries are improved by globalization, those from the less industrialized nations tend to be affected negatively.


Karraker, M. W. (2013). Families in Global Context. In S. J. Ferguson (Ed.), Global Families (2nd ed.). London: SAGE Publications.

Trask, B. S. (2010). Globalization and Families: Meeting the Family Policy Challenge. Human Development and Family Studies. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/docs/egm11/Traskpaper.pdf

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