Lecture 1: Introduction to Course


Globalization: A set of multiple, uneven, and sometimes overlapping historical processes, including economics, politics, and culture, that have combined with the evolution of media technology to create the conditions under which the globe itself can be understood as an imagined community.

  • Furthermore, globalization would not exist without media and technology. Globalization exists as an imagined community, which refers to how people imagine the world and engage within it
  • Globalization as
  • Political
  • Cultural
  • Economic
  • Thus, globalization has many starting points in history
  • It shifts away from polarized models such as binary oppositions (pull / push models) such as Americanization. Globalization is NOT just Americanization
  • Americanization is associated with cultural homogenization, which refers to cultural absorption by politics of larger scale, especially those that are nearby (Ex. The widespread of American songs in the Philippines. This is evident with Filipinos singing perfect versions of some American songs than there are Americans doing so)
  • Furthermore, globalization destabilizes what people take for granted (Ex. When you wear something in the morning, you think about the different functionalities and processes that took place to create the clothes, such as labor, the country it was made in)
  • Also, it allows people to address past questions with eye to The Global

Arjun Appadurai

  • Cultural anthropologist (1990 / 1996)
  • Appadurai is interested in when globalization began. He argues that it started in the early 20th century
  • Globalization as the result of two diacritics
  • Media: This includes television as one of the examples of media, where people were able to view other parts of the world
  • Migration: This refers to the migration of individuals to different parts of the world
  • There was a ‘rupture’ in early 20th century between these two diacritics which led to globalization
  • He is arguing that this rupture caused a drastic change as to how people moved around the world
  • He introduces binary oppositions and states that they are unhelpful. Globalization cannot be studied as being ‘pull-push’. Binary oppositions are only two ways to think about globalization, which Appadurai argues is unhelpful (Ex. Binary oppositions: East / West, Black / White, Pull / Push)
  • Does globalization have an earlier history? Some argue that globalization arrived as early as when Christopher Columbus came to America. Whereas anthropologists argue that the first homo sapiens left their homes to travel other parts of the world
  • Instead of binary oppositions, Appadurai introduces global disjunctures (disconnections)
  • Appadurai argues that globalization consist of disjuncture because it is fluid, dynamic, multidirectional and variable. It consists of
  • Ethnoscapes: The flows of people (Choice)
  • Technoscapes: The flows of technology
  • Financescapes: The flows of money
  • It is important to note that ethnoscapes, technoscapes, and financescapes shift through interconnection (Ex. Mexican women moving to the States, which consists of all the three scapes because there is movement of women, technologies make the migration possible, and the services they provide depend on money. The woman becomes an export of that specific economy she migrates to)
  • Mediascapes: The flows of images
  • Ideoscapes: The flows of ideas
  • Furthermore, mediascapes and ideoscapes are interconnected because images in media such as television and newspaper create ideologies and imagined worlds
  • Similar to landscape, he uses the suffix of scapes to emphasize the widespread of these disjunctures around the world
  • Considering the disjunctures argued by Appadurai, it is important to note that the United States is no longer the puppeteer of a world system of images (Americanization / Homogenization), but it is only one aspect of a complex transnational construction of imaginary landscapes. The world we live in today is characterized by a new role for the imagination in social life. This new role can be viewed through the multiple landscapes discussed by Appadurai


  • Deterritorialization is at the centre of global cultural flows. People become deterritorialization when they leave their homelands and move into the lower-class sectors and spaces of relatively wealthy societies
  • However, this can have both positive and negative consequences
  • Positive consequences: Some people might build various fundamentals (Ex. People who migrated to Canada might view their homelands as being violent, unsafe, and have formed fundamentals toward their new environment such as free country, more opportunities, etc.)
  • Negative consequences: Although deterritorialization creates new markets for film companies, art producers, and travel agencies, they thrive on the need of labor from the deterritorialized populations (Ex. Young women in Bombay who make a living as prostitutes and cabaret dances, entertaining men in clubs with dance formats derived from dance sequences of Hindi films)
  • Thus, deterritorialization is a fertile ground in which money, commodities, and persons are involved in chasing each other around the world.
  • It is the cause of either exaggerated criticism or attachment to politics in the home state
  • Furthermore, deterritorialization creates markets for new mediascapes and ideoscapes (Ex. Asian Markets, language tutor schools)

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