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12.S: CONCLUSION and Questions

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  • The term “globalization” is not simply a verbal shortcut for talking about contact, transmission, and transportation on the global scale. This chapter has shown that contact has existed across disparate locations throughout much of human history. As it is used and understood today, however, globalization is about much more than the total scope of contact; it references the speed and scale of such contact. Understood in this way, globalization is a modern phenomenon; it is not just how many places are connected, but in how many ways and with what frequency.

    Where people once had to rely on horses or sail-driven ships to bring them to new locations, mass transportation (especially air travel) makes such commutes a part of many people’s daily lives, and someone who had never seen a TV one week might end up visiting Jakarta, Cairo, or Toronto the next. News, which might have raced ahead via carrier pigeons can now be transmitted in a virtual instant, and information once confined to physical libraries can now be accessed on the smart phones carried by peoples around the world. Neither “good” nor “bad,” globalization is a fact of life today. Whether a business woman flies between international hubs on a weekly basis or a man tends his garden on a remote plateau, both of their lives may be equally influenced by how a specific crop is received on the world market. Providing both opportunities and constraints, globalization now serves as the background—if not the stage—for how life gets lived, on the ground, by us all.


    1. In his research, Kelsey Timmerman discovered that the average American is wearing clothes made in many different countries. This demonstrates how everyday items can involve all five of Arjun Appadurai’s scapes. Choose another product that is part of your everyday life. How many scapes can you connect it to?

    2. Globalization makes new forms of consumption possible, but the effects of globalization on an individual’s lifestyle vary based on many factors including socioeconomic status. In what ways is globalization experienced differently by people from wealthy countries compared to people in developing countries? How are producers of commodities like clothing or food affected differently by globalization than consumers?

    3. In Latin America, globalization and neoliberalism have led to the development of policies, such as the privatization of the water supply, that reduce local control over important resources. In what ways is globalization a “double-edged” sword that brings both benefits and problems to developing countries?

    4. Globalization presents the possibility of engaging in activity-based anthropology, where it is the activity itself that is the ‘“site”’ studied, or digital anthropology, where the field site exists online. What kinds of activities or digital environments do you think would be interesting to study using this approach?


    Commodity chain: the series of steps a food takes from location where it is produced to the store where it is sold to consumers.

    Ethnoscape: the flow of people across boundaries.

    Financescape: the flow of money across political borders.

    Glocalization: the adaptation of global ideas into locally palatable forms

    Habitus: the dispositions, attitudes, or preferences that are the learned basis for personal “taste” and lifestyles.

    Ideoscape: the global flow of ideas.

    Mediascape: the flow of media across borders.

    Neoliberalism: the ideology of free-market capitalism emphasizing privatization and unregulated markets.

    Syncretism: the combination of different beliefs, even those that are seemingly contradictory, into a new, harmonious whole.

    Technoscape: the global flows of technology.

    Global North: refers to the wealthier countries of the world. The definition includes countries that are sometimes called “First World” or “Highly Developed Economies.”

    Global South: refers to the poorest countries of the world. The definition includes countries that are sometimes called “Third World” or “Least Developed Economies.”


    Dr. Lauren Miller Griffith is an assistant professor of anthropology at Texas Tech University. Her research agenda focuses on the intersections of performance, tourism, and education in Brazil, Belize, and the USA. Specifically, she focuses on the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira and how non-Brazilian practitioners use travel to Brazil, the art’s homeland, to increase their legitimacy within this genre. Dr. Griffith’s current interests include the links between tourism, cultural heritage, and sustainability in Belize. She is particularly interested in how indigenous communities decide whether or not to participate in the growing tourism industry and the long-term effects of these decisions.

    Dr. Jonathan S. Marion is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and a member of the Gender Studies Steering Committee at the University of Arkansas, and the author of Ballroom: Culture and Costume in Competitive Dance (2008), Visual Research: A Concise Introduction to Thinking Visually (2013, with Jerome Crowder), and Ballroom Dance and Glamour (2014). Currently the President of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, and a Past-president of the Society of Visual Anthropology, Dr. Marion’s ongoing research explores the interrelationships between performance, embodiment, gender, and identity, as well as issues of visual research ethics, theory, and methodology.


    1. See Charles Lindholm, Culture and Authenticity (New York: Wiley, 2007).

    2. Robby Soave, “Oberlin College Students: Cafeteria Food is Racist,” The Daily Beast, December 20, 2015

    3. Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

    4. Steger, Globalization, 13.

    5. Steger, Globalization.

    6. Ibid.

    7. Ibid.

    8. United Nations World Tourism Organization, “Why Tourism,”

    9. To be fair, responsible policy makers and businesses, local communities, and travelers themselves may also be concerned with these issues.

    10. See Benedict R. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983).

    11. Daniel L. Everett, Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle (New York: Vintage Books, 2009).

    12. Daniel L. Everett, “What Does Pirahã Grammar Have to Teach Us About Human Language and the Mind?” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science 3 no. 6 (2012): 555-63.

    13. Kelsey Timmerman, Where Am I Wearing? (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012).

    14. Robin Schmidt and Morten Vest, Maasai on the Move, Film, directed by Robin Schmidt and Morten Vest (2010, Danish Broadcasting Corporation).

    15. See Chanchal Kumar Sharma, “Emerging Dimensions of Decentralisation Debate in the Age of Globalisation” Indian Journal of Federal Studies 19 no. ١ (٢٠٠٩): ٤٧–٦٥.

    16. Anya Peterson Royce, Becoming an Ancestor: The Isthmus Zapotec Way of Death (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2011).

    17. Rigoberta. I Menchu, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala, trans. Ann Wright (London: Verso, 1984).

    18. See, for instance, Peter Wade, Music, Race and Nation: Musica Tropical in Colombia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000). Or, Lise Waxer, The City of Musical Memory: Salsa, Record Grooves, and Popular Culture in Cali, Columbia (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2002).

    19. For more on traveling to train at such congresses and festivals—whether salsa, or any other embodied practice—see Griffith and Marion, Apprenticeship Pilgrimage: Developing Expertise through Travel and Training (Lexington: forthcoming).

    20. Sydney Hutchinson, Salsa World: A Global Dance in Local Contexts (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013).

    21. Also see Lise Waxer, Situating Salsa: Global Markets and Local Meanings in Latin Popular Culture (New York: Routledge, 2002).

    22. David Chaney, Lifestyles (London: Routledge, 1996), 92.

    23. Chaney, Lifestyles.

    24. Ibid.

    25. Ibid., 24.

    26. Ibid., 57.

    27. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984).

    28. Shamus Rahman Khan, Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012).

    29. Chaney, Lifestyles, 60.

    30. Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, “Food Security Status of U.S. Households in 2014”

    31. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction.

    32. Manfred Steger, Globalization, xiii.

    33. Kelsey Timmerman, Where Am I Wearing?.

    34. Bruce Campbell and Lisa Goddard, “Climate Change, Food Security and the Refugee Crisis: Connecting the Dots to Avoid Future Tragedy.”

    35. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa.”

    36. Steger, Globalization, 54.

    37. This case study is based on the work of Nicole Fabricant and Kathryn Hicks, “Bolivia’s Next Water War: Historicizing the Struggles over Access to Water Resources in the Twenty-First Century” Radical History Review 116 (2013): 130-45.

    38. Ibid., 131.

    39. Thomson Reuters, “Lake Poopo, Bolivia’s 2nd-Largest Lake, Dries Up” December 18, 2015,

    40. James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985).

    41. Sarah Lyon and and Mark Moberg, eds. Fair Trade and Social Justice (New York: New York University Press, 2010).

    42. Sarah Lyon, “A Market of Our Own: Women’s Livelihoods and Fair Trade Markets,” in Fair Trade and Social Justice, ed. Sarah Lyon and Mark Moberg (New York: New York University Press, 2010).

    43. Julia Smith, “Fair Trade and the Specialty Coffee Market: Growing Alliances, Shifting Rivalries,” in Fair Trade and Social Justice.

    44. Mark Moberg, “A New World? Neoliberalism and Fair Trade Farming in the Eastern Caribbean,” in Fair Trade and Social Justice.

    45. Norma Iglesias Prieto, Beautiful Flowers of the Maquiladora: Life Histories of Women Workers in Tijuana, trans. Michael Stone and Gabrielle Winkler (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985).

    46. See, especially, Setha M. Low, “The Anthropology of Cities: Imagining and Theorizing the City” Annual Review of Anthropology 25 (1996):383-409 and Ulf Hannerz, Exploring the City: Inquiries toward an Urban Anthropology (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980).

    47. For the Oxford Bibliography of “Urban Anthropology,” see For a brief online overview, please see (prepared by Layla Al-Zubaidi).

    48. See Andrew Irving, “Cities: An Anthropological Perspective” Anthropology Matters 6 no. 1 (2004):1-4.

    49. This case study is based on the work of Tanya M. Kerssen, “Food Sovereignty and the Quinoa Boom: Challenges to Sustainable Re-Peasantisation in the Southern Altiplano of Bolivia” Third World Quarterly 36, no. 3 (2015): 489-507.

    50. See Richard Wilk, “‘Real Belizean Food’: Building Local Identity in the Transnational Caribbean” American Anthropologist 101 no. 2 (1999): 244-55.

    51. Quoted in Tanya M. Kerssen, “Food Sovereignty and the Quinoa Boom.”

    52. George E. Marcus, “Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography.” Annual Review of Anthropology, 24 (1995): 95-117. For a more recent perspective, see M.A. Falzon, Multi-Sited Ethnography: Theory, Praxis and Locality in Contemporary Research (Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2012).

    53. Sarah Strauss, Positioning Yoga: Balancing Acts across Cultures (Oxford, UK: Berg, 2005).

    54. Ulf Hannerz, “Being there… and there… and there! Reflections on Multi-Site Ethnography” Ethnography 4 no. 2 (2003): 201-216.

    55. Jonathan S. Marion, “Beyond Ballroom: Activity as Performance, Embodiment, and Identity” Human Mosaic 36 no. 2 (2006): 7-16, 2006. Also see Jonathan S. Marion, Ballroom: Culture and Costume in Competitive Dance (Oxford, UK: Berg Publishing, 2008) and Jonathan S. Marion, “Circulation as Destination: Considerations from the Translocal Culture of Competitive Ballroom Dance” Journal for the Anthropological Study of Human Movement 17 no. (2012).

    56. See Tom Boellstorff, Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human (Princeton University Press, 2009). For more on theory and method see Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce, and T. L. Taylor, Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method (Princeton University Press, 2012); Heather A. Horst and Daniel Miller, eds. Digital Anthropology (London, UK: Bloomsbury, 2012); and Sarah Pink, Heather Horst, John Postill, Larissa Hjorth, Tania Lewis, and Jo Tacchi, Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practice. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2015).

    57. Bassam Haddad, “The Syrian Regime’s Business Backbone,” Middle East Report, 262 no. 42 (2012).

    58. Alister Doyle, “Syrian War Spurs First Withdrawal from Doomsday Arctic Seed Vault” Reuters September 21, 2015. The report states: “Grethe Evjen, an expert at the Norwegian Agriculture Ministry, said the seeds had been requested by the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA). ICARDA moved its headquarters to Beirut from Aleppo in 2012 because of the war. ‘ICARDA wants almost 130 boxes out of 325 it had deposited in the vault.’”

    59. Haddad, “The Syrian Regime’s Business Backbone.”

    60. Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

    61. Joshka Wessels, “Syria Lifts Ban on Facebook and Youtube, Reflections on the ‘Egypt Effect’ in Syria” Sapiens Productions February 11, 2011, https://sapiensproductions.wordpress...ctions-on-the-“egypt-effect”-in-syria-by-joshka-wessels/

    62. Manuel Castells, “Communication, Power and Counter-power in the Network Society” International Journal of Communications 1 (2007): 238-266.