‘Globalization” as an ideological project
Anthropologists show how these global flows are still rooted in ‘place’ ideas of kinship, reproduce
Global flows are still situated in national/regional political interests.
People may be remaking themselves through new practices created by globalization
However these new identities still framed + interpreted along the lines of kinship/gender/ race.
A metaphor to illustrate… working people . (Gregory: 2007;3-4)
Provide three characteristics used in defining ‘globalization’ and provide some limitations to such a
Time space compression: expediting of economic and social processes so that distance and time are less
oPost fordism: labor doesn’t have to be rooted in place; can be flexible; reduces the turnover of time
oFlexible labour markets: outsourcing
Time space distanciation: time space organized so as to compress presence and absence
oE.g. when local are shaped by events happening elsewhere
oSo Chinese factory workers are more concerned with Barbie sales in the US than with local
management in keeping their jobs
Eriksen 3 dimensions of globalization increased driven econ activity faster and denser comm. Networks,
and increased tensions between
Shrinking of local and global
“standards- language, infrastructure, rights and ethics
oMost globalization definitions focus on macro globalization and not on local processes
oGeneralization, limited by technology
oAssumption of “Americanization” and “westernization”-> but its not, its more of centre-periphery
take over, people interpret these processes aren’t
oNation state is still important e.g. Eritrea
oGlobalizers: interconnected world with transnational networks, weakening of state, replacing of
oSkeptics: there is still heterogeneity, regionalization not globalization, do not deny changes but
Provide a definition of globalization and explain how anthropology contributes to the study of global flows?
3 Dimensions of Globalization
1Increased trade and economic activity
2Faster and denser communications networks
3Intensified tensions between (and within) cultural groups
1Anthropology offers a better understanding of these global processes with the perspective and lense through
which they chose to pay attention to.
1Anthropologists pay attention to:
1The importance of history
2The everyday tensions and lived experience of globalization – ‘invisibility’ of certain groups of people due to the
focus of attention on the macro political and economic processes of globalization.
3The changing cultural ‘meanings’ that people attach to their lives and their ongoing interpretation and adaptation
1Meaning, the study of meanings with cultural variance in mind and the evolution of this social and cultural
4Identity and the elements of society, and everyday experiences that create it
1Race, gender, nation(ality/hood)vs. citizenship, economic standing.
1Anthropologists are more concerned with the articulation between the global and the local, as opposed to only
focusing on the macro processes that generalize and make assumptions across different conditions.
2Anthropologists look a little harder and say ‘hold on’. These are not unidirectional flows and the world is not
becoming more homogenized or westernized.
3Cultural material always entails interpretation, translation and customization on the part of the receiving subjects.
4Globalization can only be understood in context and differences have to be understood when speaking about
common or shared trends.
5This helps explain Alberto’s metaphor (in Gregory’s Introduction) about ‘the Devil behind the mirror’. It
describes the dissonance that transnational capital and global networks promise and the reality on the
ground. The fact that globalization does not, in many cases, deliver what it promises.
1People, cultures, capital and commodities may be anchored in more than one place, but they are still anchored in a
limited number of specific places, however distant from one another they might be.
2This means that identity is still anchored in specific contexts and situated in particular, culturally shared,
i.e. they would look at the servants of globalization
Who exactly are these people?—sometimes from island-what kind of biographies…do they have though.
That’s something we tend to look at-ignore the lives of people affected by globalization
Anthropologists look at—people the histories,-how they reflect to the changes taking place—real social &
economics taking place
The local is the global-in order to understand what ‘s happening on the ground have to understand the links-
& the changes in the forms of labor & consumption –from the US & laboring countries & so on—changes
in media forms—the ideas come in by tourism, trade
In Steven Gregory’s book the beach becomes a symbolic space where globalization can be visualized. What
does he mean by this?
Exclusion: separation of tourist area from local area e.g. zona touristica elevated causeways enclosed
walkways, don’t have to interact with locals (Gregory ch.2)
Different cultures on beach: expected roles of tourists, haitians, and DR
Fisgones, broker exchanges of G&S for customers, hybridization of cultures because they have to be well
versed in many cultures to interact with tourists… US pop culture
Racialization and genderization of labour -> promotes stereotypes
oUnaccompanied women considered to be hookering themselves
oDR hookers see tourists as rich and to get a visa, tourists see hookers as exotic, damsels, feminine
oRadicalization, e.g. people who interact with tourist are light skinned
oHaitians: braid hair
Meant to create jobs, but a lot of properties are owned by foreigners
oPoliturs: knocked out vendors on beach because they didn’t have ID papers
oThe beach in the Dominican Republic becomes a symbolic space where globalization can be
oThe beach in Boca Chica was a residential beach that poor citizens used for recreation that was
cheap and easy to access. There has always been a tradition of Dominicans going to their beach;
however with the introduction of newly owned foreign all inclusive hotels, local police
(POLITOR), denied Dominicans access from the beach, as they believed that they would ruin
oThe symbolic effects of globalization can clearly be visualized on the beach. For starters, in spite
of the fact that the beach is officially owned by the Dominicans, it’s the foreign people who own a
majority of the tourism industry, therefore forcing local to work for them.
oThe beach symbolizes the effects of the process of globalization world wide, where by rich
foreigners invest in developing countries and pull out all the money, leaving their employees as a
result decreasing their standards of living.
oIn essence, the beach is a dividing line between the 1st world and the 3rd world; between the poor
and the rich; and between the beneficiaries and disadvantaged.
oBeach serves as a symbol of the success of globalization as well as the failures (people have to
have licenses)…..all inclusive resorts owned by non-locals.
How does Anna Tsing’s metaphor of ‘friction’ contribute to our understanding of globalization?
Promise of globalization is to stop friction but instead it can create it