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.
Hannah Knox, Damian O'Doherty, Theo Vurdubakis and Chris Westrup
Between Theory, Ethnography, and Method
Martin Holbraad, Sarah Green, Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Veena Das, Nurit Bird-David, Eduardo Kohn, Ghassan Hage, Laura Bear, Hannah Knox and Bruce Kapferer
Recent years in anthropology have seen a noticeable trend, moving from debates about theory to a concern with method. So while some generations ago we would tend to identify ourselves as anthropologists with reference to particular theoretical paradigms—for example, Marxism, (post-)structuralism, cognitivism, cultural materialism, interpretivism—these days our tendency is to align ourselves, often eclectically, with proposals conceived as methodological: entanglements, assemblages, ontologies, technologies of description, epistemic partnerships, problematizations, collaborative anthropology, the art of noticing, and so on.