Lecture one- key points
1. Many definitions of the word globalization were discussed:
• Globalization as a concept refers both the compression of the world and the
intensification of consciousness about the world as a whole: Ronald Robertson
• 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 and de-regulation of capital is aimed at reducing the turnover time of
capital: David Harvey
• Compares globalization to the stretching of social life across time and space. Remote encounters
win out over face-to-face interactions: Anthony Giddens
• Steven Gregory (2007) in ‗the Devil behind the mirror‘, calls globalization the dissonance
between what transnational capital promises and the reality on the ground.
• Appadurai talks of socially imagined boundaries: Scapes in global cultural flows.
2. Difference between local and global
• Instead of starting with the question of how the ‗global‘ is made up of lesser parts (the
‗local‘), anthropologists have started by reiterating the questions ordinary people ask
about the ‗global‘ and the ‗local‘.
• It is important to understand the complex interplay between capitalism, the nation-state,
and power dynamics in particular times and places.
3. Four scales of politics
1. Global politics: (anyone remember this in detail?)
2. Bio-politics: Foucault's concept of bio-politics is largely derived from his own notion of
bio-power and the extension of state power over both the physical and political bodies of
a population. Examples include ―ratio of births to deaths, the rate of reproduction, the
fertility of a population‖
3. Institutional power: subtle- eg: Singapore army
4. Technologies of the self: Taking on certain practices to make you into certain kind of
self. Lecture 2: Conceptualizing The Global-key points
• The ‗great globalization debate’ is between those who are skeptical about the process
(the “skeptics”) and those who accept it as a reality (the “globalists”)
• Frederick Cooper points out to three methods of understanding this process of
globalization, first there is the banker perspective (Banker's Boast), while the second two
are mostly reactions to this. Second is social democrats lament: It accepts the reality of
globalization as the bankers see it, but instead of claiming that it is beneficial for
humankind, it argues the reverse. The social democratic left has devoted much of its
energy to using citizenship to blunt the brutality of capitalism. Finally, the Dance of the
Flows and the Fragments. This argument accepts much of the other two—the reality of
globalization in the present and its destabilizing effect on national societies—but makes
another move. Rather than homogenize the world, globalization reconfigures the local—
but not in a spatially confined way. People‘s exposures to media—to dress, to music, to
fantasies of the good life—are highly fragmented; bits of imagery are detached from their
context, all the more attractive because of the distant associations they evoke.
• Appadurai talks of the multiple worlds that are constituted by the historically situated
imaginations of persons and groups spread across the world. He speaks also of
deterritorialization: People, money, images, ideas flow along different paths, more than
before and are not ―found‖ in one place or territory.
• Production Fetishism: Production fetishism happens when production has itself become a
fetish, obscuring not social relations as such but the relations of production, which are
increasingly transnational. This happens when there is but an insatiable desire to produce
to facilitate the scapes that characterize globalizations. This is followed by Consumer
fetishism where the cconsumer is constantly helped to achieve to believe that she is an
actor, when in fact she is at best a chooser.
• Political system also has an unevenness of power: the political imagination whi