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Globalization and Identity: Dialectics of Flow and Closure

Birgit Meyer (Editor), Peter Geschiere (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-21238-6
344 pages
May 1999, Wiley-Blackwell
Globalization and Identity: Dialectics of Flow and Closure (0631212388) cover image


"Globalization" and "Identity" are an explosive combination, demonstrated by recent outbursts of communalist violence in many parts of the world. Their varying articulations highlight the paradox that accelerating global flows of goods, persons and images go together with determined efforts towards closure, emphasis on cultural difference and fixing of identities. This collection explores this paradox of 'flow' and 'closure' through a series of detailed case studies in comparative perspective.
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Table of Contents

Introduction. (Birgit Meyer and Peter Geshiere).

Nationalism and Transnationalism.

Cirassian Encounters: The Self as Other and the Production of the Homeland in the North Caucasus. (Seteney Shami).

Transnationalism in the Era of Nation-States: China, 1900-1945. (Prasenjit Duara).

The French Colonial Policy of Assimilation and the Civility of the Originaires of the Four Communes (Senegal): A Nineteenth Century Globalization Project. (Mamadou Diouf).

Enforcing the Human Rights of Citizens and Non-Citizens in the Era of Maastricht: Some Reflections on the Importance of States. (Jacqueline Bhabha).

Commodities and Fantasies.

Small Product, Big Issues: Value Contestations and Cultural Identities in Cross-Border Commodity Networks.

Commodities and the Power of Prayer: Pentecostalist Attitudes Towards Consumption in Contemporary Ghana. (Birgit Meyer).

Domesticating Diamonds and Dollars: Identity, Expenditure and Sharing in Southwestern Zaire (1984-1997). (Filip De Boeck).

Globalization and the Power of Indeterminate Meaning: Witchcraft and Spirit Cults in Africa and East Asia. (Peter Geschiere).

Theoretical Reflections.

Time and the Global: Against the Homogeneous, Empty Communities in Contemporary Social Theory. John D. Kelly.

Globalization and Virtuality: Analytical Problems Posed by the Contemporary Transformation of African Societies. (Wim van Binsbergen).

Dead Certainty: Ethnic Violence in the Era of Globalization. (Arjun Appadurai).

Epilogue: On Some Reports from a Free Space. (Ulf Hannerz).

Notes on Contributors.


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"This mixture of the empirical and the theoretical as well as the emphasis on globalization as an ambivalent situation of flow and closure are the main strengths of this volume and as such it serves as a useful introduction to the topic, not least to those are put off by the overly theoretical approaches usually associated with the subject matter." John Walliss, Bookends

"The immense merit of this volume to readers who are not steeped in the debates about globalization is that it makes the subject relevant to concerns widely shared in the world today. It is also easily comprehensible, with its, on the whole, enlightening case-studies." Patrick Chabal, International Affairs

" With a rich confluence of diverse empirical material with social theory, the writers in this volume have made a strong and timely anthology for those interested in globalization or identity studies" Matthew Kurtz, University of Alaska Anchorage

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