a340-11f-101-05-Globalization-Capitalism - Living in our...

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Living in our Globalized World: Notes 5 Processes of globalization: Capitalism Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Globalization : the increasing interconnectedness of people around the world - so that events in one place, or in one group or culture affect people in distant places, or other groups or cultures - There are many processes that create this increasing interconnection and contact - One of the overarching, driving processes is the growth and spread of a capitalist world system (I’ll define those terms later today) - which leads to colonialism, wars, refugee flows… - labor flows, outsourcing, multinational businesses… - increasing communications, shared music, movies… - global marketing - and many other globalizing processes that bring people of different cultures into interactions with each other… - Robbins argues that capitalism is really just another, new kind of culture: the culture of capitalism - Like all cultures, the culture of capitalism is a suite of arbitrary cultural constructs - not given by the real world - but rather an ad-hoc consensus - a bunch of ideas that many people share and have learned from each other - The beliefs, rules, values, etc. of the culture of capitalism are built around beliefs that - acquisition and consumption as the source of well-being - material standard of living is extremely important - at least sometimes even more important than freedom, dignity, health… - It defines 3 general roles for people: - consumer - buys and consumes goods and services - has infinite wants (is never content, would always be happier with more or better things to consume) - laborer - only form of support is exchange of own labor - capitalist - invests capital (wealth) to make profit (more wealth) - most people play two or all three of these roles at various times - all seek money and interact through it - The 3 roles are embedded in the nation-state - which mediates through laws and enforcement - ensuring that people respect private property and comply with contracts, limiting abuses, guaranteeing the currency, keeping the peace, etc. - nation : an imagined community of people who feel solidarity with each other (nationalism) and seek autonomy for their community
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Anth 340: Living in our Globalized World F 2011 / Owen: Capitalism p. 2 - more on imagined communities later in the course… - state : a political organization with territorial boundaries, a hierarchy of authority and power, and a monopoly on the legitimate use of force - we could spend a lot more time on this concept, too - theoretically, modern countries are nation-states - but in reality, boundaries of nations and states only align very imperfectly - many nations don’t have their own state, and are divided among multiple states - few states include just a single nation - so states have to work hard to create patriotism (identification with the state), overcoming the cross-cutting loyalties of nationalism (identification with the nation)… - We are so immersed in this culture that it seems obvious, necessary, even the only possible
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course ANTHRO 340.101 taught by Professor Owen during the Fall '11 term at Sonoma.

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a340-11f-101-05-Globalization-Capitalism - Living in our...

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