ANTB20 Culture, Politics, Globalization
Lecture 3 The Politics of Livelihood and the Culture of Politics
January 21, 2013
Appadurai and Said are the most important readings for the 1 and 2 ndweek.
WB and IMF have the means and power to direct the way capital flows, whose money comes in, and
whose money is able to make a profit.
What is the difference between image, imaginary, and imagined?
o Image- the picture, portrait, or reflection that is disseminated and distributed by media
o Imaginary- idea that there is an imagined global economy that is a part of shared community
of ideas and pictures. Some idea we consciously believe that we are a part of a global world,
people we have never encountered are a part of this world that we share.
o Imagined- a phrase that means the power of the collective, the power of the collective in
sharing or in imagining something that is real but as the same time outside of them. It is
about how individuals have the ability to consciously create the world in which they live in
by coming together.
Examples of places students have been that includes an all-inclusive beach resort- Bahamas, Jamaica,
Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Thailand, and Kenya. Part of the developing world and focus on tourism
attracts a certain kind of customer, most of these people you encounter, come from different parts of
the developed world, whether western or eastern, people with a certain amount of flexible income,
able to purchase a holiday at a beach resort.
o water sports, comfortable, excess of food, isolated (space), artificial, beach boys
(prostitutes), safer, exploitation, natives, cultural segregation, economic divisions (currency
in Cuba, one is for tourists, whereas the locals have their own currency.
o Professor’s experience was all the people who were serving and working behind the counter
were very good looking and very fair looking, none looked native or very dark. One of the
workers was from Argentina, and another was from another Spanish speaking country, they
travelled to work in Mexico. Not encouraged to leave the resort. Those who are cleaning
were basically Mayan. There was a different look to the people doing the work behind the
scenes and one never truly communicates with them.
The Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo is the major municipality that includes two cities where author worked.
Largely dependent on crops such as sugar, tobacco, as well as global markets such as sugar exports.
What do these pictures promise?
What do these same pictures hide?
o Hide exploitation involved, how space is fixed in a certain way that only some people can get
in and not everyone can get out, how space is political (politics to that space – going back to
who is qualified to work there), there is hierarchy within that space (certain kinds of jobs for
certain people). Do not see the whole spectrum of the people of the country, or the country
for that matter. There was displacement of locals of the land, to produce resorts. Beach land
can become private, so it was once public land and those who had access to the beach, no
What is behind the surface?
Is an illegal tour guide who works outside of the resort.
‘Tourism is not helping the country. The rich people want to keep it all for themselves’
Looks at the advertisements- Burger King, Nokia- and says, ‘You see all this shit?... It does nothing for
the country. It’s only a mirror on the other side. And the devil on the other side’ (p. 3)
The devil shows you what you want to do, what you don’t see is the other side, the exploitive side. The devil behind the mirror how Alberto phrases it, is up to the reader to interpret, how Gregory
refers to it, is an metaphor to all that is happening in DR, seductive layer to the commodity, the things
that you see being advertised, you are seduced by the commodities, the other side of this picture is
the only people are there to benefit are the big companies who are there to make more money from
you so you (the tourist) are the one being exploited and taken advantage of. It is the tourist being
absorbed into the reflection of these invented desires and these desires are being bounced off the
mirror, you see what you think you want and what you desire, you do not see that you are also being
exploited as well as others.
The metaphor is also an example the dissonance or separation between transnational capital, what is
promised and what is actually delivered. There is this idea that I see something I want but I can’t get
it. Exploitative aspect of desire built by global markets, there is a gap; there is a dissonance and
separation between what the promises are of these flows of capital and what you actually receive.
While some benefit, there are many more that do not benefit. It isn’t that more money isn’t coming in,
it is who benefits from this flow.
Devil Behind the Mirror
Metaphor used by one of Gregory’s informants- Alberto, an illegal tour-guide- for what is happening
to the DR
About the economic, social, and cultural processes of change.
Also about how working people and communities respond to and contest these developments (e.g.
tourism, privatization, new technologies).
‘Deterritorialization’ is Exa