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Hannah Knox, Damian O'Doherty, Theo Vurdubakis and Chris Westrup

In this article we seek to address 'the experience of work in a global context' by revisiting the relationship between globalisation and information technologies and attributions of local and global effects. We do this through an empirical investigation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, information systems which are purported to enable the institution and the enactment of global business practices. Rather than looking for the metrics that might best demonstrate the shaping influence of global processes upon local work settings - and which would in turn allow talk of such settings becoming more or less globalized - we draw on debates in science and technology studies and in particular the work of Latour in order to re-approach 'the global' as the outcome of a specific set of socio-material knowledge practices. Such an approach allows us to re-situate the analysis of globalization as an emergent, cultural and political phenomenon involving, for example, contestations over the potential and the nature of knowledge, the evaluation of different ways of knowing and the ongoing importance of the embodiment of ideas about the human subject, which we find are being worked out in processes of global (re)organisation.

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Introduction

Emerging Kinship in a Changing Middle East

Soraya Tremayne

specific cultural mould. Evidence from these contributions also indicates that, in the face of the relentless permeation of globalisation and the turmoil in the Middle East, kinship remains one of the most constant institutions and pivotal to the stability

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Donatella della Porta and Herbert Reiter

The 2001 G8 summit was held in Genoa between 19 and 22 July.

A year earlier, at the Port Alegre international meeting of the

movement for globalisation ‘from below’ (usually known as ‘no

global’), it had been decided to mobilise on an international scale

against the neo-liberal version of globalisation. About 800 organisations

came together in the Genoa Social Forum (GSF) which,

together with other groups, organised the protest.

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Thomas M. Wilson

Anthropological attention to political and cultural borders has grown considerably over the last twenty years. This has been due in most part to the increasing scholarly attention paid to international and other political borders, in ways that mirror political and economic elites who have continued to place borders centre-stage in their debates on the good and bad effects of globalisation. Once principally the focus of geography, today the study of borders – including their territorial, geophysical, political and cultural dimensions – has become a primary interest across the disciplines due to changing scholarly approaches to such key research subjects and objects as the state, nation, sovereignty, citizenship, migration and the over-arching forces and practices of globalisation.

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David P. Shankland and Soraya Tremayne

The consideration of faith and ethnic minorities in the Middle East remains today, as it has been for some time, immensely relevant. In this issue, we see this subject approached from a refreshingly wide perspective. Yet, in spite of their diversity, the topics addressed by the contributors reflect many shared situations in today’s Middle East, and possibly beyond, which often have their roots in mass migration, war and conflict, and globalisation. Through their work, we see once more the way that anthropology is uniquely qualified to reflect upon the reformulation of cultures in the modern world whilst simultaneously highlighting the fate of those who fall between the interstices of dominant political paradigms.

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Richard Westra

Abstract

All communities of practice must face questions relating to the material economic foundations of future sustainable societies. David Graeber, Karl Polanyi and Karl Marx each have produced typologies of possible types of economy, synthesised as: (1) the principle of individual reciprocity, (2) the market principle of capitalism, and (3) the planning principle of the state. I apply this synthesis to recent proposals for community change advanced by Bill McKibben and David Korten concerning economic scale and the re-localising of production and consumption sundered by globalisation, focused on the local exchange and trading system (LETS). The operationalising of LETS draws upon Adam Smith’s view of markets as face-to-face exchanges of goods taking place in small morality-bound communities. Smith, McKibben and Korten conflate two different meanings of the term ‘exchange’. To understand the role LETS may play in future sustainable economies in communities of practice demands treatment of this problem.

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Editorial

Social Quality, Values, Convergence and the European Social Model

David Phillips

Unlike the last issue of the European Journal of Social Quality, which dealt entirely with social quality in individual nations, this issue focuses exclusively on the European dimension with particular emphasis on values associated with social quality in both an historical and comparative context. A central question running through several papers relates to convergence: are European societies converging and, if so, then to what are they converging? Is the European Social Model still viable or is the enlarged EU moving inexorably towards a ‘race to the bottom’ in the context of trying to reach the Lisbon goal of becoming the world’s most dynamic and competitive economy in the dog-eat-dog political economy of an unstoppable globalisation?

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Violence, Global Unrest and Advanced Capitalism

(And Why Wile E. Coyote Never Catches Roadrunner)

Daniel Briggs

Over the last five years or so, we have witnessed increasing forms of violence and unrest across the world. In the media, these depictions are presented as actions of resistance to oppressive regimes and corrupt politics, yet are, at the same time, deliberately detached from a global politik which is collapsing in numerous ways: the manifestations evident in market instability, and increasing austerity, unemployment and social inequality; a sign perhaps that the orgy of globalisation is reaching its climax. Some of all this was reflected in what we saw across English cities during the summer of 2011 and in this article, I discuss these riots and why they might have happened and the State response. Perhaps more importantly, I show how they should be reconsidered alongside other forms of violence and dissatisfaction against oppressive regimes and corrupt politics as a collective response to a global system on the brink of collapse as a result of its never-ending pursuit of rampant profit at the expense of millions of people. I relate this fruitless quest of profit to Wile E. Coyote’s incessant pursuit of Roadrunner.

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Graham Holderness

turned into Arabic at a later stage. As I described it in a study of ‘Shakespeare and Globalisation’ published in 2006: The Al-Hamlet Summit is a representative product of multicultural communication in a global frame. It occupies one of innumerable

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

elevator alone. In the second article, Stacy Keogh George explains the purpose and results of a simulation included in a sociology course about globalisation. The simulation, provided by the organisation World Relief, is based on the experiences of refugees