Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (640,000)
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Anthropology (1,000)
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Lecture 7

Lecture 7


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTB20H3
Professor
Girish Daswani
Lecture
7

Page:
of 3
Global Capitalism
Capitalism has taken on new forms since the 1970s.
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These models have led to important debates about the new experiences of space, time and identity emergent from these technological
and social changes.
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Post-Fordism: information and network are more important than fixed form of capital in one place
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Internet allows transfer of capital overseas allows movement of capital from easy to easy
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Global Capitalism
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Manuel Castells (1996) argues that the main mode of social organization in politics, the economy and civil society is shifting from the
relatively stable hierarchy to a more fluid network form.
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These networks are interpersonal, transnational and transitory.
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We live in a world where info is more important than capital
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Nation-state assumes less importance in these new models of label organization. The nation-state is bypassed. The vertical relations
that defined nation-states (top-down) are not as powerful. New forms of business, consumption and entrepreneurship have emerged.
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The spider (most elaborate web) is the most powerful person. Individuals can start their own company because they can start and build
their networks.
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The network society came about at the same time as globalization. With the deregulation of market economy and new technology,
people were not fixed to certain places.
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Network Society
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Recent developments that generate the basic materials of the informational economy that is replacing the industrial economy.
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Computers, VCRs, DVDs, artificial systems, word processing or spreadsheet software.
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within a city).
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Whereas manufacturing was the primary economic backbone in most places, information (i.e. software) is becoming more important.
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Technopoles: small places within cities that are becoming the center of the world
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The global city: Silicon Valley --> emerges out of a specific strain (i.e. technology)
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Technopoles (Castells)
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Global economy is forming outside the key actors such as nation-states
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Wikileaks-tap into a highly secure database
o
Twitter
o
Powerful information flow
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World economy is very dependent on information networks
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One has more access to info and an individual is more connected to world economic centers
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3 Revolutions
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We are moving forward
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Capitalism is unrestricted
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As a people, we are progressing
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There are certain moral assumptions linked to ideals of freedom and progress. For example,
o
What we had before, therefore, is backwards
o
Culture, place, social structures no longer holds back
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Moral assumptions
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How accurate are these assumptions?
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Moral narrative
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Lecture 9
Monday, March 07, 2011
1:18 PM
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Individual is given unrestricted power
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Anthropologist-global models that claim capital is flowing in one direction are too simplistic. Models of flows and timeless
spaces obscure the multiple experiences of everyday life. IT tries to recreate a dichotomy
o
How accurate are these assumptions?
x
In this model, a newly imagined freedom is brought about by liberalization of the economy and connection to global economic
networks
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National aspirations largely disappear from the sociological analysis of 'global flows', 'timeless spaces' and 'non-places'
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Call-center in Kolkatta
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DBM:
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Readings
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How real are these new freedoms?
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Pleasurable consumption, class aspirations and Indian nationalism converge.
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The informational economy is characterized by new organizational forms, where politics ahs moved from public to private sectors
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Flexible specialization replaces standardize mass production (outsourcing and decentralization)
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Adapt to the variable geometry of changing world demand and versatile cultural values (quasi-independent units that use 'culture')
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Because it is cheaper to go overseas b/c resources are cheaper, land is chapter and worker wages are lower.
o
The call center workers move from their city to an international space (call center). The managerial style of these centers collapse
the space of production. There is a service that is being provided.
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Management techniques encourages workers to separate themselves from their own ideas of self (i.e. Bengali or Indian), told to
neutralize their accents --> it forms the production of a new entrepreneurial south based on international connections based on
friendship, not family
o
Why are call centers in India popular?
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Call Centers in India
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Elaborate boundaries between a "here" (India) and there (America)
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Ideas of India and America are imagined and created in relation to each other
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Pleasurable consumption, class aspirations and Indian nationalism converge
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Some Indians see their role as a nationalistic venture
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These call center workers are lower middle-class who are aspiring to a new life
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Your inability to pronounce names serves as a reminder that you are a Indian trying o mediate this international distance
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The promise of this new freedom is met by contradictions
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Regional identities are being mediated. For example, in Boca Chica, megaports presented a big problem. The locals said that it would
destroy the natural environment. Global capitalism is mediated through debate. Morality gets attached through debates of
globalization.
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Becoming American
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Learning a language-Bengali accents neutralized through elocution lessons and American accents learned
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Learning American culture- role-playing, watching movies, adopting American names
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Learning work culture cultures-manufacturing of emotions and friendship, American time
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Performing a new culture
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Financiers link their globalist projects to regional and national scale-making projects.
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Global capitalism is an elite-centred battle ground for a large chunk of the capitalistic pie ($$$).
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Globally connected through private enterprise (Megaport / Call Centres) and serve as a gateway to other regions.
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The nation-state is still an important player in mediating how these global flows of capital are managed and the forms they take.
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People may be remaking themselves through new practices of consumption created by global capitalism.
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strategies and state projects.
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quickly move on to contesting how it should then be constructed in relation to nation-states and their peoples.
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Whose interests are being served in these new global projects?
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Anthropologists point to the contradictions
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Time-space compression?
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Timelessness?
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Deterritorialization?
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Uncontrolled flows of transnational capital?
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Freedom?
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Context-specific ways in which these processes are politically secured and materialized / structural dependency / mobilization of labor
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Flows of global capital are still situated in national / regional / political interests
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The nation-state is no longer important in global processes of capital flows?
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