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Anthropology of Globalization

année académique

Titulaire(s) du cours

Alexander NEWELL (Coordonnateur) et Alana OSBOURNE

Crédits ECTS


Langue(s) d'enseignement


Contenu du cours

This course revolves around the theoretical perspectives that grapple with cultural processes of mixture and border crossing as well as political and economic processes of capital accumulation and interconnection. Anthropology began both methodologically and theoretically oriented by holism that posited cultures and societies as bounded systems to be analyzed in terms of their internal coherence and interdependence. Over the last 30 years this orientation has been flipped on its head as anthropologists increasingly focus upon relationships of power and interconnection, upon cultural flows and circuits of influence, and the borderlands between political, economic, and cultural identities. There are no longer any viable boundaries with which to trace the identities of social groups, and yet, people and anthropologists alike continue to act much of the time as though collective identities remain important forces and values in their world. Are forces of globalization a product of capitalism, or will these same forces ultimately bring an end to the capitalist system as we know it? How did nation-states come to define the world order and for how long will such a formation endure? How can we conceptualize group identity and collectivity given the permeability and transience of all such agglomerations? Can the insights of classic anthropology continue to be used in the contemporary world? If we need a new toolkit, of what should it consist?

Themes Covered:

1.The Problem of Globalization in Anthropology

2. Colonialism and the World System

3. Capital and Neoliberalism

4. Production

5. Consumption

6. Nations and/or States and Boundaries

7. Migratory Circuits

8. Urban Development

9. Religion

10. Media and Mediation

11. Cinematic Flows

12. Borderlands

Objectifs (et/ou acquis d'apprentissages spécifiques)

Students will consider new methodological, theoretical, and interdisciplinary approaches to conceptualizing an interconnected world. A student will leave this course with a sense of the anthropological approach to globalization and the capacity to apply these concepts to real world situations. Students will learn how an awareness of the processes of globalization challenges classical anthropological theory and has inspired various reinventions of the discipline. At the same time, students will learn how the anthropological perspective has contributed to a more complex and subtle understanding of globalization, questioning not only the narrative chronology and causal underpinnings of globalization but the unity and meaning of the concept itself.

Méthodes d'enseignement et activités d'apprentissages

The course is a hybrid between ex cathedra teaching and discussion. Students are always encouraged to break into the lecture and to respond to one another, and at times the professor will ask students for their perspective or interpretation of the readings.

Références, bibliographie et lectures recommandées

Readings can be found on Université Virtuelle.

Autres renseignements


N'hésitez pas à prendre contact avec le professeur au début ou à la fin du cours





Méthode(s) d'évaluation

  • Autre

16 out of 20 points will be based on the ethnographic research paper.
4 points (20%) of the grade is based upon your participation in comments posted on the PDF annotation function of U.V.
All readings are posted in this form, allowing you to participate in collective discussion of the readings outside of class.

Construction de la note (en ce compris, la pondération des notes partielles)

An essay of 2500-3500 words, applying course readings and class discussion to ethnographic observations of globalization in one's own experience. (80% or 16 points)

Regular participation on the PDF Annotation function of UV is worth 20% of the grade or 4 out of 20 course points.

Langue(s) d'évaluation

  • français
  • anglais