EVERYTHING FOR B20.doc

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Published on 6 Mar 2012
School
UTSC
Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTB20H3
Anthropology – Culture, Politics and Globalization
Lecture 1 – January 10, 2011
-‘Globalization as a concept refers both the compression of the world and the intensification of
consciousness about the world as a whole’
oGeneral assumptions around it & debates whether it is new.
- Some common assumptions of Globalization:
oDissolving barriers like time and distance (technological developments such as Internet)
oMakes political borders increasingly irrelevant (increased movement and flows through global
migration/transnational capital)
oHybridization of cultures and more mixing
People are constantly moving around, barriers between groups are breaking down
oIntensification of connections and our increasing consciousness of this development
oRise of the free market economy (more neo-liberal policies and less trade barriers)
Move towards privatization
-Inda and Rosaldo:
oThe development of worldwide modes of transport and communication
oAn intensification of the links, modes of interaction and flows that interconnect the world
oA stretching of social, cultural, political and economic practices across frontiers so as to make
possible action at a distance
oA heightened entanglement of the global and local
- Space-time compression and stretching of social life across time and space
oDavid Harvey globalization involves the shrinking of space and the compression of time
Labour markets become more flexible through outsourcing, subcontracting, putting-out
and ‘home-work strategies’
This flexibility is aimed at reducing the turnover time of capital
oAnthony Giddens compares globalization to the stretching of social life across time and
space
Remote encounters win out over face to face interaction
Ways of being social are no longer the same. Before in order to make transactions,
build relationships you need face-to-face interactions, but what’s happening now is
that these things don’t matter as much.
Can be in two different time zones to do business
- Globalist versus Skeptics
oThe great globalization debate is between those who are skeptical (the “skeptics” about the
process and those who accept is as a reality (the “globalist
- Is Globalization Something New or Old?
- New:
oIt has been argued that there is something new to the present world, that is to say the world
beginning with the end of Cold war in !980-1991
oWith the dissolution of this conflict, the world shifted from a two-bloc system to a one-bloc
system. The world appeared to become a single integrated market place (free trade and neo-
liberal policies)
oThe internet existed in its embryonic form from the late 60s and grew exponentially around
1990
oThe physical latter became replaced by emails, fixed phone line by wireless mobile
oIn the 1960s, the Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan coined term ‘global village’ in
speaking about new mass media situation
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oNew Media (TV), would create new common frames of references and mutual knowledge
between people across the globe.
- Old
oIt has also been argued that globalization is not something new. The historical depth of
interconnections do not get looked at enough (eg. Patterns of migration, trade, financial
movement and capital formations)
oThe popularity of the term ‘globalization’ signals a need for caution. The word was scarcely
used before the late 1980s – but today it seems you cannot run away from it in newspapers and
academic circles. fuzzy term – what does it mean?
oQuestions about the limits of global do not get asked. Eg. What are the structures and limits of
these interconnecting mechanisms?
oThe world has always been a place where political and economic relationships are uneven
oLong term implications of the exercise of power across time and space
oThe death of the nation-state is exaggerated
oGlobalization is not necessarily creating common ways of being united or seeing the world as
connected but brings about new differences and divisions.
- Globalization promises: finance, flows
-However anthropologist are also concerned with the collective, the counter-flows, the immobility and
the boundedness of people, ideas and culture
- What Gregory calls the ‘nightmare face of globalization’
-‘The Devil Behind the Mirror’ is a metaphor to illustrate the “dissonance between what transnational
capital promises and what it delivers as this tension is lived, interpreted and acted upon in the everyday
lives of working people
oWe want to be included but we cant afford to
- Globalization is an ‘uneven and awkward process’
oThere are people and places whose experience are marginal to or exluded from these
movements and links
oThey sometimes become ‘invisible’ when speaking about globalization
oAssuming world is becoming smaller place does not mean we are becoming more alike – that
everyone is equal.
-We should pay attention to
oImportance of history & power relations involved
oInvisibility of certain groups who are either not discussed in literature due to focus of attention
on larger political and economic processes of globalization
oChanging cultural meanings people attach to changes in their lives & their ongoing
interpretation and adaptation
-People, cultures, capital and commodities may be anchored in more than one place, but they are still
anchored in a limited number of specific places
oMeans that identity is still anchored in specific context and specific culturally shared spaces
-
Lecture Two – January 17, 2011
“Conceptualizing the Global”
Questions for Today’s lecture:
What happens, then, to those processes, events, aspirations and experiences that are not captures by a
particular model and its derivatives?
- People do not always share the notion of a shared culture (that they are part of a larger, ongoing process)
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- Does the local have to be about something specific only or bounded or something that reproduces
something called Culture.
- One way is to say that local is not something fixed, it is not static.
oLocal groups or communities have never always been the same. They are always have been
subject to external and internal forces
- Anthropologist from European countries would go to different parts of the world that they saw radically
different from their own in order to understand “the Other”
oThey weren’t just explorers or missionaries, they were meant to be social scientists/researchers
to understand the fact that questions of western civilization
oWhy is it that other groups do not have civilization?
oBy understanding ‘them’ you can understand the western part (this is what they thought before)
oOne conclusion about how other people are structured is ‘kinship’
- We’ve come along way since then – revolution of writing/culture (more flexible of anthropologist of
thinking about themselves in relation to other)
oCan’t think Others as different or backward – they are the same as us.
oInstead we should follow the argument of ‘rationality’ – we all have minds, we all think
oWe have constructed the other in stereotypical way – we have created the idea/illusion that
people have always been specific/static group
- In conceptualizing the global, we need to be perceptive of how people think of their construction of
class, ration, nation gender (same goes for globalization)
- Conceptual framing for the pre-theoretical assumptions that characterize the nature of the global
oAnthropologist and others all contribute to the conceptualization of the global
- Article –Appadurai
oTalking about new global culture that needs to be addressed and new theories need to be created
to address the new world
oHe is in favour of globalization. He believes globalization is something new
- Article – Frederick cooper
oHe is a historian
oHis perspective is embedded within larger/longer historical frame and time line
oDoesn’t say globalization is one more form of colonization, we cannot go back into the past and
say globalization started 5,000 years ago
oBut the term itself is very fuzzy – what do we mean about globalization?
- Arjun Appadurai
oThe modern world is “now an interactive system in a sense that is strikingly new”
oThe world today is described as involving ‘interactions of a new order and intensizity
oAppadurai reminds us that the world has experiences a new technological explosion that has far
surpassed the advances of the past, such as the print revolution
oThe world today is “rhizomic” (no hierarchies or structures, only layers upon layers of networks
and entry points)
- When we lump things into local and compare it to global – it gets very messy because something are
local and global
-Appadurai’s ideas have helped with clearing this mess
- He also mentions Benedict Anderson’s notion of ‘imagined communities’ which are national identities
that have been formed and brought together different local groups/kinship identities through new
technological forces in the world, such as print capitalism and mass literacy
oWe now have an imagined community that comes out of material change and technological
advances that we haven’t had before
oAlso creates ideas of “other”, we are creating boundaries and identity that excludes
- The creation of ethnicities (British) and national identities became more popular and helped in foraging
new ideas of the other. the paradox of constructed primordialism creeps in
oWe are essentially these people, ex, essentially “Canadian”
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Document Summary

Globalization as a concept refers both the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness about the world as a whole". People are constantly moving around, barriers between groups are breaking down migration/transnational capital) Space-time compression and stretching of social life across time and space possible action at a distance. Labour markets become more flexible through outsourcing, subcontracting, putting-out and home-work strategies": anthony giddens compares globalization to the stretching of social life across time and. This flexibility is aimed at reducing the turnover time of capital space. Remote encounters win out over face to face interaction. Ways of being social are no longer the same. Before in order to make transactions, build relationships you need face-to-face interactions, but what"s happening now is that these things don"t matter as much: can be in two different time zones to do business.

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