Case Study 1: Barbie - A 'Global Citizen'?
When asked to come up with examples of globalization, students quickly come up with the example of global manufacturing chains. Not only are products around us made from overseas, but each product would itself have gone through numerous countries in its production process!
The very popular 'Barbie' dolls in the 80's and 90's were mostly 'made in China', according to the packaging. But is it?
In fact, the plastic comes from petroleum from Saudi Arabia, then made into pellets in Taiwan. The hair is from Japan, the moulding process in Indonesia and Malaysia, and the machinery is usually provided by the USA. It then passes
through Hong Kong, and finally gets assembled and put into a box in Mainland China.
Barbie - the ultimate global citizen, therefore?
Further reading: Giddens, A. (2009). Sociology. Cambridge, Polity Press. Ch. 6.