This essay investigates the effects of globalization on the strength of family ties. Globalization has been credited with bringing a perfect interconnection between different economies, cultural practices as well a sense of belonging to the global village geographically. Indeed, this phenomenon has accelerated the degree of international awareness as well as cultural exchanges that have greatly re-shaped the family structure. This essay examines the new social trends that have been made possible with the entry of globalization. They are transnational motherhood, adoption across nations and global surrogacy among others. Further, it cautions that society must vigilantly pick only cultures and beliefs that will benefit them and give a wide berth to those that threaten the very fabric of their society, including the family (Lopez, 2008).
The idea of globalization has greatly re-defined gender roles in most families of the world. While individual local cultures have historically tended to restrict the social and economic participation of the women, the global influence has significantly eroded this attitude. For instance, the influx of women into the workplace, especially in the West where they are paid as good as their male counterparts, has had a profound impact on the family hierarchy. The women have seen more empowerment and even the opportunity to become the family bread winner. This is a sharp contrast to the pre-globalization period when women were driven to the periphery. Their place in the society was more defined by the kitchen than any other thing. Indeed, formal education was not readily granted as an attempt to deny them social, economic as well as political empowerment. All this has changed with globalization, especially with multinational institutions penetrating the deepest parts of the remote world, seeking to empower the woman (Sirco, 2002).
The dramatic decline in birth rates in all regions of the world, with exception of only sub-Sahara Africa, has led to a phenomenon known as globalization of motherhood. This general decline has been attributed to the development of new reproductive technologies, which have been disseminated globally in the course of the wider agenda of globalization. As a result, there has arisen a culture of low fertility among the women, especially the working class. However, this decline in their fertility has not been commensurate with their desire to give birth and raise children. According to research covering the areas bordering the Global North as well as the Global South, the women in the labor market see adoption as the alternative way to acquire the much needed children. And since it is the sub Saharan Africa that seems to have more children than they can sufficiently provide for, especially with the AIDS pandemic, it has become a norm for women to cross international borders in search of children to adopt (Lopez, 2008).
In addition, global surrogacy has emerged as a product of globalization. For instance, couples who are not able to give birth to their own babies are slowly finding a booming market in the India, where surrogate motherhood has become commonplace. Furthermore, certain social practices like homosexuality have also created a situation where people cannot possibly sire children the natural way. In light of their desire to have children, they seek these children in places where mothers are able to pass on their parental responsibility. Indeed, this idea has gained international prominence from the increased interactions that have been possible with globalization. It can be rightly claimed that even societies that initially looked too conservative to adopt these practices have been able to incorporate them so perfectly. These have been attributed to the intimate interrelations that have been possible between societies due to globalization (Sirco, 2002).
Globalization has caused the emergence of transnational motherhoods. These have arisen from international awareness that has greatly served to enlighten about opportunities across their borders. With this development, women all over the world find no reason to persevere in relations that do not really seem to be working. In a sharp contrast to the previous generations where women had to be certain about the social safety of their children before backing out of their marriages, globalization has enabled them to seek a better life elsewhere if their mother countries do not seem as rational. For instance, the estimates of the total number of Mexican women who are living in the United States as domestic helps has tremendously increased in the last thirty years. And yet, the Emigration Department argues that the number could be much larger, considering the porous nature of the borders. The general concession has, however, remained the fact that these women are out to earn money for the social upkeep of their children back at home (Jost, 1994).
Essentially, globalization has given a new shape to the family as a whole, not only from the perspective of the women. For instance, the increased levels of international awareness that has come with globalization have caused increased participation of men in criminal acts. According to demographic statistics from Mexico, several divorce cases have been as a result of Mexican men immigrating into the United States where they engage in drug related activities as well as violent crimes. Indeed, official government records confirm that an overwhelming number of arrests made in some cities were drug related cases. However, the underlying issue about this phenomenon is that it has reshaped the family lives back in Mexico. Indeed, there seems to have emerged a much significant number of single mothers in Mexico and everywhere else in the world (Delbruck, 1994).