ANTH 3690 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Scott Lash, Imagined Communities, Primordialism

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Lecture 12 Oct. 18. 2011
Appadurai and Bourdieu
Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy (1990)
Arjun Appadurai
Introduction to Appadurai
follows in the tradition of Wolf in focusing on linkages rather than bounded entities
follows upon Andre Gunther Frank’s ‘dependency theory’ in being concerned with the
inequalities that occur transnationally
American Emigrant, of Indian background
India has the highest number of middle class people
Follows upon Emmaneul Wallerstein’s World Systems Theory in insisting on viewing global
and transnational relations
But, his theory of globalization and recognized the post-modern forms of the process
whose our earlier example of globalization or linkages between nations: malinowski ?
Global Cultural Interaction Today
Of new order and of greater intensity
Previously the two main forms were warfare and religious conversion
The forces of cultural gravity seemed always to pull away from large scale ecumenes
defined: bringing together, from different nations, ‘entities’ participating in larger groupings
than they did before.
ex. WWII, people partake and then retreat to own national concerns, but globalization
today does not allow that retreat
Ecumene - large-scale, relatively homogeneous body of meanings, practices and interests
for Geertz its tied to meaning, to have a sense of the culture
The gravitational field changed since 1500 so that ‘an overlapping set of ecumenes began to
emerge, in which congeries of money, commerce, conquest, and migration began to cross-
societal bonds.’
technological developments allowed for the creation of complex colonial orders centered on
European capitals
Imagined Communities
• wrote about nation state that developed with invention of printing press
Benedict Anderson - imagined communities - printing press - allowed for the imagination of
the nation
print allowed for the imagination of ethnic groups in the complex processes of colonization
constructed primordialism
primordialism: the view, popular today only among extreme nationalist, that ‘races’ and
nations are possessed of a ‘primordial’ essence, always under threat from ‘invasive’ outsiders
the advent of new technologies have transformed this landscape into a deterritorialized
ethnic diversity
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