ANTB20 Lectures 1 - Final.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Girish Daswani

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 o General assumptions around it & debates whether it is new. - Some common assumptions of Globalization: o Dissolving barriers like time and distance (technological developments such as Internet) o Makes political borders increasingly irrelevant (increased movement and flows through global migration/transnational capital) o Hybridization of cultures and more mixing People are constantly moving around, barriers between groups are breaking down o Intensification of connections and our increasing consciousness of this development o Rise of the free market economy (more neo-liberal policies and less trade barriers) Move towards privatization - Inda and Rosaldo: o The development of worldwide modes of transport and communication o An intensification of the links, modes of interaction and flows that interconnect the world o A stretching of social, cultural, political and economic practices across frontiers so as to make possible action at a distance o A heightened entanglement of the global and local - Space-time compression and stretching of social life across time and space o David 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 o Anthony 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 whats happening now is that these things dont matter as much. Can be in two different time zones to do business - Globalist versus Skeptics o The 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: o It 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 o With 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) o The internet existed in its embryonic form from the late 60s and grew exponentially around 1990 o The physical latter became replaced by emails, fixed phone line by wireless mobile o In the 1960s, the Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan coined term global village in speaking about new mass media situation o New Media (TV), would create new common frames of references and mutual knowledge between people across the globe. - Old o It 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) o The 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? o Questions about the limits of global do not get asked. Eg. What are the structures and limits of these interconnecting mechanisms? o The world has always been a place where political and economic relationships are uneven o Long term implications of the exercise of power across time and space o The death of the nation-state is exaggerated o Globalization 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 o We want to be included but we cant afford to - Globalization is an uneven and awkward process o There are people and places whose experience are marginal to or exluded from these movements and links o They sometimes become invisible when speaking about globalization o Assuming world is becoming smaller place does not mean we are becoming more alike that everyone is equal. - We should pay attention to o Importance of history & power relations involved o Invisibility of certain groups who are either not discussed in literature due to focus of attention on larger political and economic processes of globalization o Changing 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 o Means that identity is still anchored in specific context and specific culturally shared spaces - Lecture Two January 17, 2011 Conceptualizing the Global Questions for Todays 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) - 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. o Local 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 o They werent just explorers or missionaries, they were meant to be social scientists/researchers to understand the fact that questions of western civilization o Why is it that other groups do not have civilization? o By understanding them you can understand the western part (this is what they thought before) o One conclusion about how other people are structured is kinship - Weve come along way since then revolution of writing/culture (more flexible of anthropologist of thinking about themselves in relation to other) o Cant think Others as different or backward they are the same as us. o Instead we should follow the argument of rationality we all have minds, we all think o We 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 o Anthropologist and others all contribute to the conceptualization of the global - Article Appadurai o Talking about new global culture that needs to be addressed and new theories need to be created to address the new world o He is in favour of globalization. He believes globalization is something new - Article Frederick cooper o He is a historian o His perspective is embedded within larger/longer historical frame and time line o Doesnt say globalization is one more form of colonization, we cannot go back into the past and say globalization started 5,000 years ago o But the term itself is very fuzzy what do we mean about globalization? - Arjun Appadurai o The modern world is now an interactive system in a sense that is strikingly new o The world today is described as involving interactions of a new order and intensizity o Appadurai 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 o The world today is rhizomic (no hierarchies or structures, only layers upon layers of networks and entry points) - When we
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