Globalisation’ is transforming how anthropologists look at the relationship between space, culture, society, economy and history. Globalisation is difficult to define, because any definition places emphasis and focus on one or another level of analysis. Globalisation may consist of the impact that ‘flows’ or ‘circulations’ of capital, ideas and people have on localities and how we consequently identify ourselves and others and enact political and moral bordering practices. How we define ‘globalisation’ and how we locate it ideologically and historically influences how we study it. This course will look critically at representations of globalization in anthropological literature.
Globalisation is usually taken by anthropologists as something experienced locally. The local experience of globalisation may mean the study of how moving capital, ideas and people, and their agents or vectors, interact with local structures of power, economies, moral economies and hierarchies.
The primary aim of the course is to help students frame their theses in relation to 1) globalization, 2) space, 3) time and 4) other similar cases. Put differently, the course will help students 1) theorise ‘external’ forces – money, ideologies, people – and the ways in which they impact in local spaces, 2) think about spatial practices and the power structures that are part of them that give meaning and order to space and how these relate with ‘external’ forces, 3) locate their research historically and understand the privilege accorded to linear and territorial notions of time which has tended to normalize specific, often ‘European’, ways of doing social research, and 4) to think about the possibilities and limitations of comparative work and to consider how we may generalize from anthropological fieldwork.