This chapter will look at the geographic elements of industrialization and economic development, including the past and present patterns of industrialization, types of economic sectors, and the acquisition of comparative advantage and complementarity. We will analyze how models of economic development (e.g., Rostow’s stages of economic growth and Wallerstein’s world-systems theory) help to explain why the world is divided into a more developed economic core and a less-developed periphery with, in some cases, a semiperiphery between them.
The analysis of contemporary patterns of industrialization and their impact on development is another important focus. We will use measurements of development (e.g., gross domestic product per capita and the Human Development Index) as tools to understand patterns of economic differences. Additional topics studied included Weber’s industrial location theory and accounts of economic globalization, which accent time-space compression and the new international division of labor.
Finally, we will examine the ways in which countries, regions, and communities must confront new patterns of economic inequality that are linked to the geographies of interdependence in the world economy. Relevant topics included the global financial crisis, the shift in manufacturing to newly industrialized countries, imbalances in consumption patterns, the role of women in the labor force, energy use, the conservation of resources, and the impact of pollution on the environment and quality of life.
Before you begin the module, examine and explore the resources below. These sites and links will help give you context to the materials covered in this module.