As we move into the global century, several aspects of social and economic life are changing and post-industrial shifts are unparalleled by virtue of the interconnectedness that brings together the corners of the globe. New technologies, new economic relationships, new social processes, and new political developments are all characteristics of globalization (Hudson and Lowe, 2004: 22) in a post-industrial age featured by information, innovation, finance and services. As the world has contracted, people‟s quality of life has changed regardless of where they live. In fact, the propagation of free market mindsets in emerging economies has created collective network connections with considerable good but pervasive inequalities as well. A fundamental aim of this book is to argue that these changes are part of a economic transition to post-industrialism associated with risks and inequalities that shape human experience in the midst of a formidable global financial climate. There is an obvious tension with this. On the one hand, life expectancy, health statuses and per capital incomes are at an all-time high and many feudal practices have been relegated to the past (Phillipson, 2006). On the other hand, vast numbers of people struggle with poverty and significant pockets of poverty portend more than lack of income. Those living on the bottom of the socio-economic ladder labor under the burden of avoidable, lifestyle diseases, hunger and related maladies, not to mention myriad social risks (Turner, 2008). Those on the upper reaches of the same ladder garner disproportionate shares of the resources and are able to support comfortable lifestyles.
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 28)