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Lecture 9

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McMaster University
Political Science

Course: Poli Sci 2H03 Subject: Global/Local Instructor: Dr. Vermilyea Section: Evening, T01 Date: Nov. 6, 2012 Key problems  The way cities are portrayed in globalization is in opposition to globalization  Seem to be local entities, whereas globalization is a global/fluid/dynamic entity  Portrayal of cities and cultures  Local cultures as helpless victims of global forces  Cities are victims of Westernization or as creatures of the state  No power outside of what state gives them  Presented as locally-bound entities within the state Global city literature  Idea that cities are key point in world economy  Cities like NY, London, Tokyo  Tendency in literature is to localize the various processes within the boundaries of the city  Cities positioned as competitive sites for an agglomeration for competitive processes  Kind of like a state trying to gain a lead in the global economy  Cities are operating through economic relations that transcend through different spatial scales  "Global Cities: Ney York, London, Tokyo"  Key structures of global economies are positioned in cities  Let firms operate closely, create networks that make cities key sites for world economy  Focusing on cities rather than relations that go on between them  We miss how what is occurring in one city may not be happening in another  Cities need to be thought of, not as islands of competitiveness, but as network sites for relations that extend beyond the boundaries of the city itself  Nonsensical to talk about the economy of one particular city when these things can stretch beyond that  Makes more sense to talk about various transnational firms that operate through cities Positioning of local in opposition to global  When we think about local culture, we think about a romanticized individuals  Place-based identities  Portrayed in opposition to uncontrollable global flows which threaten these local cultures  Local is privileged because the argument is that it needs to be defended  At the same time, it is marginalized because these statements insinuate that the local has nothing to do with the processes of globalization  Castells and Tomlinson discuss this in the readings  Capital (financial flows) threaten this one stable cultural space of community-based spatial organization  Capital/finance occupies a superior command over resources  Local cultures seen as cultural totalities  Their culture somehow froze in a certain time period  e.g., Indigenous communities  Takes away agency and role of people in the grand narrative which is nostalgic and romanticizes cultures Course: Poli Sci 2H03 Subject: Global/Local Instructor: Dr. Vermilyea Section: Evening, T01 Date: Nov. 6, 2012  Strict dualism between globalization and the space of economic flows and culture/community  Doesn't make sense to talk about distinct spatial scales in that sense  The very nature of these global movements make the idea of the local in opposition to the global as problematic  The city is a key part of globalization  Cities are shaped through globalization
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