Jay Sokolovsky, Ph.D. Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Thomas Smith, Ph.D. Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
In an attempt to assist "developing" countries in our increasingly globalized world, a recent neoliberal model has been produced to affirm the "right" measures of standard of living, economic policy, and governmental organization_ With the advent of the internet, the explosion of cross-cultural NGO's, and the ease of travel and media's availability, we can no longer sit in our cozy three bedroom houses in the suburbs without thinking about how our actions affect the rest of the world. There are a growing number of citizens in our society who would like to assist the countries we are dependent on - we silently weep while watching "Save the Children" advertisements and damn the companies who support child labor. We want to help, but are afraid of the bureaucracy of non-profits and wonder just how much of our "Only 20 dollars a month!" is going into the pockets of overhead. Although much good has come from an elevated awareness about development issues, we still face large problems about who we are actually "helping." In our desire to support others, we in turn institute economic and political models that only mimic our own Western ideals, with little thought to how they will fit into unique communities as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa to the rainforests of Latin America. In this paper I would like to help shed light on a new face of international aid, one where we do not pity those who do not drive a Hummer and own TiVo, but instead allow those affected by their problems to instigate change for themselves. It is a difficult task to fight globalization, but what we can fight is homogenization of the world.
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