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The World Social Forum Writing Assignment Paper (Coursework Sample)


The world social forum is a sociopolitical movement formed and headquartered in Porto Alegre in Brazil. The movement was formed to counter the spread and negative impact of global corporation rooted in western capitalism. However, over the years, the movement has diverted from its course and become increasingly undemocratic. This paper reviews some of the reasons showing that indicate that the world social forum has diverted from its original course.

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The World Social Forum
The World Social Forum (WSF) is a global social movement that embodies the tenets of a worldwide civil society out to champion the rights of the socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in the developing countries from the effect of globalization and capitalism. The WSF first held its annual meeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil and has expanded to and continued to hold such annual events around different capital cities of the developing countries around the world. The main impetus of the forum is to champion a self-conscious and an alternative course of socioeconomic and political empowerment different from capitalism. Therefore, the movement has endeavored with the mission through a joint and collaborative efforts with nongovernmental organizations, formal and informal social movements in the developing countries, and lobbyists groups with the goal of seeking international solidarity. However, through the years, there has been growing concerns of the questionable direction the forum has been taking and some critics have termed it as a diversion of the movements’ original ideals. Moreover, critics argue that the WSF is heavily politicized basing in the manner different groups having represented within the organization and this continues to perpetuate gender disparity racial tension from the beginning.
Internal politics, the conflicts of interest, and the underrepresentation of different groups of people continues to shape the way in which women and some racial minorities are given space during the annual events. Teivainen (626) notes that the gender and racial tensions have created and continue to cause internal conflicts which have been part of the movement following its inception. As much as Brazil may create a positive image of the existing harmonious ethnic heterogeneity, racism is a daunting issue that still permeates the society across Brazilians of all walks of life. Institutionalized racism exists within the progressive intellectual ranks in the Brazilian society and the middle class white people dominate and occupy the high status high up the social hierarchy. Observers and critics have argued that most of WSF are predominantly graced by white males who are a far-cry from the typical Brazilian citizen participation in the event (Teivainen 626). Interestingly, the perceived “whiteness” of the participants in the forum does not result from the lack of delegates and representatives from Africa, India, Asia, other parts of Latin America, and the Caribbean but even the majority of individuals representing Brazil at these events happen to be middle class whites. Therefore, from the perspective of an organization whose mission is to empower the socioeconomically disadvantaged groups against the psychopathic nature of multinational corporations in the wake of globalization, the WSF has terribly failed in social inclusion.
In yet another event, the autonomous nature of WSF continues to raise questions owing to the heavy presence of representatives of the Cuban government and the Revolutionary Forces of Columbia in 2001. The goal of the WSF was for global grassroot transformation through changing the lives of the socioeconomically disadvantaged communities largely marginalized by the political regimes in their countries or exploited by global corporate expansion and was not supposed to assume a political agenda. However, the heavy presence of the Cuban government officials. According to Teivainen (626), the open disapproval of the Cuban government officials’ presence did not come from the forum representatives but from the local press outside the event. In 2002, the annual event was held in Brazil coinciding with the general elections in the country and the Cuban representatives appeared in the country in large numbers. Teivainen (626) notes that, Cuban influence over the event was apparent as many representatives for the participating organizations adorned Che Guevara’s paraphernalia in the event. The presence of government officials is an indication of the overwhelming political and ideology movement to counteract other dominant ideologies and this is a contradiction to the agenda and goals of the organization. Although the WSF was formed to champion the rights of the marginalized communities in the developing countries and cushion such people from the negative effects of capitalism, the movement was never intended to be a political or ideological movement with the goal of perpetuating criticism for the global capitalism.
Moreover, during the first WSF meeting, the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Columbia guerillas ...
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