The Herman Trend Alert|
October 17, 2007
Global Attitudes Changing
Recently, the Pew Research Center released a landmark study of more than 45,000 people worldwide. Their findings, reported in their 144-page document, "The Pew Global Attitudes Project", reflect that people "broadly embrace key tenets of economic globalization but fear the disruptions and downsides of participating in the global economy". People worry about losing their traditional culture and national identities, and feel their way of life needs protection against "foreign influences"; in other words, they fear immigration.
The study encompasses a broad array of subjects from people's life assessments to their views about the state of the world and current issues.
North Americans are more welcoming to immigrants, while Italians and Germans express the most negative views. Interestingly, just 59 percent of Americans say trade with other countries is having a good effect on the United States., down sharply from 78 percent in 2002.
In 46 of the 47 countries and territories surveyed, "majorities say the environment should be given priority, even if this means lower growth and fewer jobs." In every country surveyed, the primary reason for people leaving was to find better work opportunities. "In Lebanon and Bangladesh, nearly half of respondents say they receive help from family members living abroad."
Not surprisingly, newspaper readership worldwide is down. People are accessing online sources for their news and information. This trend is steadily gaining popularity in the West and parts of Asia, however it has not yet become popular in Africa or Latin America. Between 2002 and 2007 in the US, newspaper news readership fell 14 percent to only 47 percent, the same decrease as in Canada and Korea. Turkey and Indonesia lead the way with 20- and 18-percent declines respectively.
Computer ownership has steadily risen in the past five years, particularly in Eastern Europe. Slovakia leads the way with a 28 percent increase in the past five years. At the same time, the gap in technology use between the world's advanced countries and less developed nations has increased significantly.
Technology will continue to support the advancement of all populations. Attitudes towards immigration will increasingly lead to more closed borders.
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