Thursday, January 27, 2011

Progress Report #1: industrialization, natural resources, technology

The focus of my report will be on the historical and current emphases of industrialization, natural resource use, and development in technology in Malta. I am curious to see how the changes in the city through industrialization lead to improvements in technology, and vice versa.
The natural resources available to the people of Malta are limestone, salt, and arable land. Thus, mining and agriculture are important parts of industry. However, one of the most socially and culturally important industries provides an almost negligible economic contribution; the Maltese fishing industry has been a significant part of the Maltese industry and culture. The beautiful weather found on the island of Malta is also a resource. Through the expansion of tourism, and Malta's accession to the EU in 2004, tourism has blossomed. This relates to the fishing industry, as local fresh seafood is a pride to local restaurants targeted towards tourists.
I believe the expanding tourist site has additionally affected both industrialization and technology. Tourism brings big changes to countries, especially small ones like Malta. There have been many cultural changes, as well as social “improvements,” better defined as changes. The mentality of a country changes with the tourism industry.
Malta first encountered statistical machines in 1950, when it purchased punched-card machines. This was the first time the government was able to take accurate statistics on the sectors of Malta's economy. This sparked an attention to improving technology, and upgrading of machines. More recently, Malta has been taking part in world wide telecommunications, establishing a large source of employment and revenue. The technology boom has been prevelent there, and “Malta is growing in the areas of customer service, support, IT development and sales and marketing” (Knights, 2008). This industry is popular as an export for other countries, because though it is more expensive than outsourcing to Africa, it is still much cheaper than paying people from other countries in Europe.
These are just snippets of information I have found about Malta's technological history, and industrialization expansion. However, I am struggling to draw the line between industrialization and historical facts, as well as technological improvements and industrialization. The lines have blurred with these subjects, providing me with an abundance of insightful facts.


  1. It looks like there is a lot of information to glean from for the progress of industrialization in Malta. It is true that the industrialization of the state is very dependent on its natural resources, geographic location, and historical background. I’m interested in seeing how tourism over the years has affected the technological growth in Malta. Tourism, being one of the major areas of income for the state, must have been a driving factor for the layout, culture, and infrastructure of the state. It also must affect the society as a whole, catering to the needs of the tourists that come over the years.
    It is also interesting that Malta serves as middle to third world labor and labor in developed countries. Although Malta is certainly considered a developed country, its position in the world economy does seem a setback with its limited resources of land and minimal natural resources. It would be good to know how Malta has overcome its limitations to be the successful state that it is seen as today.
    All in all, I think that the subject will provide plenty of information and an interesting story to follow. I in interested in seeing what you are able to come up with.

  2. Christina, I am wondering how Britain's colonization of Malta (and previous occupations) impacted its technological and industrial development? In particular, some of the articles I have looked at written relatively soon after WWII (and more recently) have been critical (rightly or wrongly) on Malta's "dependency" on other countries/external groups in terms of technological development.

    Sultana, R. (1998). Career guidance in Malta: A Mediterranean microstate in transition. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 20: 3–15.

    Young, S.B. (1963). The Maltese Islands: Economic Problems and Prospects for Industrial Development. Geographical Review, Vol. 53, No. 2 (Apr., 1963), pp. 263-286.

    Also, are you suggesting that the reliance on tourism is limiting technological development?

    Too, given that the University of Malta is the predominant site of tertiary education, analysis of it (and its history) may be a useful lens for thinking about technological development.

    Finally, where do the cisterns and the need for fresh water fit?


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