The Anthropology of Globalization: Cultural Anthropology Enters the 21st Century

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9780897897389: The Anthropology of Globalization: Cultural Anthropology Enters the 21st Century

Lewellen gives us the first analytic overview of an important new subject area in a field that has long been identified with the study of relatively bounded communities. "Globalization" refers to the increasing flows of trade, finance, culture, ideas, and people brought about by the sophisticated technology of communications and travel and by the worldwide spread of neoliberal capitalism. Unlike dependency theory and world systems analysis, which tended to assume a bird's-eye perspective, globalization offers a down-and-dirty, ground-up approach in which ethnographic research is not marginal but essential. Through multiple examples, selected from the latest ethnographic research from all over the world, Lewellen examines the ways that globalization impacts migrants and stay-at-homes, peasants and tribal peoples, men and women. A crucial theme is that the global/local nexus is one of unpredictable interaction and creative adaptation, not of top-down determinism. Theoretically, globalization studies have become the focal point for the convergence of interpretive anthropology, critical anthropology, postmodernism, and poststructuralism, which are combined with a tough empiricism. For the casual reader or the classroom, this work draws together the ethnographic studies and cutting-edge theories that comprise the anthropology of globalization.

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About the Author:

TED C. LEWELLEN is Professor of Anthropology and former Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of numerous books, including the Choice Outstanding Academic Book, Dependency and Development: An Introduction to the Third World (Bergin & Garvey, 1995). He is currently working on a third edition of Political Anthropology (Bergin & Garvey).


“...this useful compendium on "this frontier subject" of anthropology and globalization addresses theories of globalization and their antecedents and considers the changing context of anthropological practice....Care has gone into crafting a book that is accessible to undergraduates but also valuable to more advanced scholars. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”–Choice

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