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Appadurai, Arjun
Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis


Offering a new framework for the cultural study of globalization, Modernity at Large shows how the imagination works as a social force in today's world, providing new resources for identity and energies for creating alternatives to the nation-state, whose era some see as coming to an end. Appadurai examines the current epoch of globalization, which is characterized by the win forces of mass migration and electronic mediation, and provides fresh ways of looking at popular consumption patters, debates about multiculturalism, and ethnic violence. He considers the way images--of lifestyles, popular culture, and self-representation--circulate internationally through the media and are often borrowed in surprising (to their originators) and inventive fashions.

Appadurai, Arjun
Grassroots Globalization and the Research Imagination
Public Culture, 12(1):1-19


In this article, Appadurai casts the problem of globalization as a complex social phenomenon resulting in a rapidly changing world. Within social sciences, globalization has been predominantly analyzed according to ideas such as global capitalist flows and the nation-state. What the author especially criticizes is American academia’s alleged orientation toward “area studies” that imply a Western perspective. By contrast, Appadurai suggests to look at globalization from a perspective that highlights alternative standpoints to global mobility and to explore new social contexts such as NGOs' activities. He calls this process “globalization from below”, that is a form of globalization that encapsulates social phenomena which are seemingly external to corporate capital and the state and involve different professional areas. The article is structured around three main points he aims to look at: firstly, he wants to illustrate the ‘optical challenges’ posed by the global, i.e. the articulations between the global and the local seen from a relativist standpoint; secondly, his goal is to criticize American academic epistemology; thirdly, he wants to investigate the nature of academic research itself from an anthropological perspective. Appadurai calls for an increasing engagement of critical anthropology with regard to rethinking the features of the democratization of research at the global level. The article revolves around a genealogy of academic epistemology which Appadurai attempts to deconstruct. For him, social sciences' research has developed an ethic encouraging ideas of value-free reasoning and that expresses a degree of parochialism. Nevertheless, academic knowledge is an established practice which must be seen as part of a wider geography of knowledge. Appadurai points out that the role of the imagination is crucial to understanding how different regimes of knowledge unfold in the public spheres. Appadurai argues that imagination plays a relevant role within the making of global flows and their appearance at the local level. For Appadurai, a challenge to established academic ideas must be posed through the collaboration between theories of globalization from above and from below. This perspective would not only allow research to meet the expectations of a constantly changing global world yet would also help develop a new pedagogy. For Appadurai, research on globalization must change its vocabulary and analytical tools and collaborate with grassroots institutions.

Holston, James and Appadurai, Arjun
Cities and Citizenship
Public Culture, 8:187-204

Arantes, Antonio A.
The War of Places: Symbolic Boundaries and Liminalities in Urban Space
Theory, Culture & Society, 13(4):81–92

Keywords: Urban studies, anthropological theory, São Paulo, urban experience


In this article Arantes argues that urban experience includes the formation of a complex architecture of territories, places and non-places where flexible time-space contexts, more hybrid than conventional identity based social territories, are formed. He states that contemporary social practices tend to produce ephemeral and contradictory social places at the edge of territories usually interpreted as expressions of contrasted and well defined identities. This process particularly occurs in relations and sociabilities produced in urban cities. They form a common space of everyday life in which symbolic boundaries are built collectively and organize social groups and categories in their mutual relationships. Arantes emphasizes that social places built in urban space are not simply juxtaposed to one another but overlap and partly mix with each other to form interstitial zones of transition that the author calls liminal. Such spaces are ambivalent and become inter-structural in symbolic terms as their use does not not exactly fit the categories ascribed arranged by law. Custom and social conventions. As a result the social categories of the people associated with them become culturally ambiguous, symbolically invisible and polluting. Arantes understands such contexts as zones of contacts where contradictory moralities are put into contact with each other. The author exemplifies this amalgamation of territorialities using the example of São Paulo. He discusses the complex transitions and liminalities forming the city center of , while exploring some of its physical and symbolic fragments.Futhermore Arantes observes a fluidity and forwards the use of concepts such as territory, border, identity, place and non-place in a more flexible way than usually applied in anthropological theory. He changes the conventional position of the observer from outside to inside liminal areas as it exposes changeable and varied contexts in which street culture is produced. Such a de-centering brings to the foreground transgressions, solidarities and complicities in an environment created by moralities that Arantes describes to be at war with each other. With his applied methodology he tries to develop a more lasting and trustworthy relationship with those being studies.

Arayici, Ali
The Problems of Immigrant Children in Europe: the Case of the Turks
Prospects, XXXIII(4):453-466

Keywords: Turkish immigrants, children, Europe, France, education, integration, language, identity


This paper examines problems regarding Turkish immigrant children's education and. It pays special attention to France and other European countries. Ali Arayici emphasises that, above all, education enables immigrant children to become integrated into the host society. Migrant children’s difficulties with regard to schooling are examined in areas such as language, underachievement, family conflicts, gender inequality, loss of cultural identity, and language of origin. Hence, Arayici reflects on underachievement of Turkish youth in the French education system. In particular, children born and primarily educated in Turkey do not achieve well at school (worse than immigrant children born in France) due to their language deficiencies. Moreover, some immigrant families in European countries strictly observe their traditional values, e.g. by confining their daughters to the house, which can lead to them distancing themselves from their parents’ culture or result in conflicts between the two generations, and/or even runaways. In addition, the first generation seems only moderately ambitious about their daughters' schooling (at least of those born in Turkey who came to France later). The author reflects on why some Turkish immigrant families deny their children school attendance: for example, children who began primary school in Turkey neither find preparatory language classes nor Turkish courses in the host country; and others work or help the family at home Referring to the marginalisation of European Turkish-stemming youth, Arayici presumes that many of them are losing their ‘national and cultural identity’ in order to assimilate (e.g. the third generation in Germany) and/or are turning into Islamic fundamentalists, Turkish or Kurdish nationalists. Hence, the author’s urgent concern is to teach them their ‘language and culture of origin’ – in order to ‘protect this generation’, to ‘safeguard’ their identity, and to reintegrate them in case of a return to Turkey. Arayici thus argues for additional teaching by teachers from Turkey incorporated into the respective countries’ school timetables. The analysis leads Arayici to the conclusion that educational provision for the children of migrant workers should be extended. He suggests that international organisations (e.g. EU, UNESCO, and OECD) should invest in literacy, schooling, and integration/reintegration as well as financially invest in research on European immigration and integration issues.

Arendt, Hannah
The Human Condition
The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London

Keywords: human condition, modern Western age, alienation


In this book Arendt discusses the state of modern Western humanity. By comparing contemporary with ancient Hellenic society and drawing on authors such as Marx and Nietzsche she analyzes the human condition and introduces ideas shaping modern life and views. The author distinguishes between three fundamental human activities – labor, work and action- of which each corresponds to a different condition of human existence. Labor is considered to include the repetitive tasks of everyday life that neither have a beginning nor an end, involving practices necessary for the maintainance of life itself. In contrast work is defined as producing lasting or enduring things. Action again involves the capacity to do something deriving from a person's uniqueness as an individual and is not dependent on things or matter. Based on this Arendt analyzes working society and criticizes that the three fundamental activities are arranged in a specific order leading to the active life being reduced to labor and consumption and concludes that the modern age is one of alienation. Therefore the author argues that the public sphere needs to be broadened and rearranged in order to establish responsibility and political freedom.

Ögelman, Nedim
Documenting and Explaining the Persistence of Homeland Politics among Germany's Turks
The International Migration Review, 37(1):163-193

Keywords: Turkish Organizations, Germany, political migrants, homeland differences


This article examines the development of Germany’s Turkish organizations since 1961. These have failed to mobilize Germany’s Turks around shared ethnocultural grievances against the host society. A transnational political opportunity structure, a contextual framework involving host and sending countries, entices distinct actors leading Germany’s Turkish organizations to focus on homeland differences instead of common interests. In this transnational context, actors - whom I will label political migrants - influence immigrant community cohesion by using associations to pursue goals rooted in the homeland or host country. When a sending country generates contentious political migrants in an ethnoculturally dissimilar, homogeneous democracy and the hosts fail to incorporate the foreigners, infighting focused on the homeland is likely to preoccupy the immigrant community.

Back, Les
New Ethnicities and Urban Culture: Racims and Multiculture in Young Lives
Routledge, London

Keywords: youth, South London, inter-cultural dialogue, racism


In his empirical analysis of the everyday lives of young people in two post-war council estates of South London Back explores new forms of inter-cultural dialogues and ways how racism enters the lives of young people. Based on the assumption of the metropolitan paradox he states that transculturalism and the crudest forms of racism can operate and exist simultaneously in urban youth culture. Referring to Stuart Hall’s conception of “new ethnicities“, Back demonstrates that social identities are produced through a productive tension between global and local influences. He uses the concept of community discourse and points out that “community“ should be understood as the product of competing social definitions that are not homogenous. He wants to explore the social functions of these semantic systems and their impact on the local manifestation or rejection of racism. The fact that the residents spoke about race and racism through the language of community was significant in both areas. The first part of the book focuses on a white working class neighbourhood called Riverview and its “white flight“ semantic system. White inhabitants refer to the “golden age“ of the community and explain that the “death of the community“ is linked to the settlement of black people and refugees from Vietnam. Theses two discourses result in the assertion that established residents were being forced to move away. Young people do not passively reproduce these patterns. In the adolescent community, an inclusive localism is formulated in which it is wrong to exclude people on the basis of colour. But this does not mean that racism is completely rejected. In his analysis of “duelling play“ practices Back comes to the conclusion that racism is rather used as a strategic resource and directed against certain groups of people. In the second part Back concentrates on the multi-ethnic district Southgate. This estate is characterised by the “our area“ semantic system. Two discursive elements are predominantly present here: The “harmony discourse“ is used to reject the legitimacy of racism and states that, although racism is socially significant, it does not occur in the district. The “black community discourse“ lays claim to the area as a ground for black organisation. In Southgate the existence of a racially inclusive local philosophy promoted more profound syncretic cultural dialogues between white and black youth. For Whites processes of inhabiting and vacating identities take place by adapting black codes and symbols. Young black people also localise racism outside the area of Southgate and mostly experience it within educational institutions, the police and at work. In the third part Back gives an overview of the musical cultures created by young people of South London. These have particular local features but cannot be explained in these terms alone. Therefore Back refers to Deleuze’s and Guattari’s notion of the rhizome and adds his idea of the cultural intermezzo as he theorises the ethnicity of these young people. He argues that syncretic cultures explored in this study can be understood as liminal forms of ethnicity. The alternative public sphere created and occupied by black and white peers in South London constitutes a liminal space in which inter-cultural and inter-racial dialogues take place. Liminality, understood in the sense of Arnold Van Gennep and Victor Turner, is an unstable phase and this cultural intermezzo is not fully autonomous but dependent on social contexts (e.g the the existence of national racist discourses) that pressure the liminal culture from outside. Therefore the new racial hybridism does not forcefully result in the fall of white supremacy.

Back, Les and Solomos, John
Theories of race and racism. A reader.
Routledge, London

Keywords: race; race relations; racism

Ware, Vron and Back, Les
Out of Whiteness. Color, politics, and culture
University of Chicago Press, Chicago

Bacqué, Marie-Hélène and Sintomer, Yves
Affiliations et désaffiliations en banlieue: Réflexions à partir des exemples de Saint-Denis et d'Aubervilliers
Revue française de sociologie, 42(2):217-249


La notion de désaffiliation mise en avant par Robert Castel est ici mise à l'épreuve d'un terrain spécifique, l'ancienne banlieue rouge. Mieux que celles d'exclusion ou de relégation, l'idée de désaffiliation permet d'y analyser l'impact de la précarisation de la société salariale. Cependant, du fait de son acception durkheimienne, cette notion sous-estime les contradictions auxquelles l'intégration sociale se heurte en permanence et met peu en lumière les contre-affiliations, importantes dans ces milieux populaires. La notion d'anomie qui lui semble logiquement liée rend mal compte des durs conflits de normes qui s'expriment dans les « incivilités ». Aujourd'hui, la désaffiliation politique et identitaire à la ville ouvritre renforce les effets de la désaffiliation à la société salariale. Les processus de réaffiliation, qui touchent d'un côté les couches moyennes du salariat, notamment à travers la démarche participative, de l'autre une sous-culture juvénile qui se reconnaît dans le rap, sont hétérogènes et inachevés et n'indiquent aucune ligne claire pour l'avenir.

Banerjea, Koushik
Sounds of Whose Underground? The Fine Tuning of Diapsora in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Theory, Culture & Society, 17(3):64-79

Keywords: class, clubbing, fetishization, mainstream, multiculturalism, orientalism


The piece contrasts the functioning realities of the British Asian diaspora - music, violence, sex, food, life - with the institutionalised production of knowledge about that diaspora, in particular as regards its expressive cultures. It focuses on the emergence of the so-called `Asian Underground' within a contemporary Benjaminian context of `mechanical reproduction' and explores the opportunistic relationship between middle-class elites and their efforts to appropriate a certain radical chic. It goes on to suggest that this is a deliberate process, which not only absolves a voyeuristic whiteness of its hegemonic associations, but also allows the Asian middle class to conjure out of sight class differentials, even as it struggles with its own dependency on the cultural lifeblood of the urban poor or the semiotically disadvantaged.

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