Towards an Anthropology of Globalization
Edited by Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee, Vanessa C.M. Chio and Raza Mir
Chapter 1: The Imperial Formations of Globalization
1. The imperial formations of globalization Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee, Vanessa C.M. Chio and Raza Mir We need to anthropologize the West; show how exotic its constitution of reality has been; emphasize those domains most taken for granted as universal (this includes epistemology and economics); make them seem as historically peculiar as possible; show how their claims to truth are linked to social practices and have hence become eﬀective forces in the social world. (Paul Rabinow, 1986: 241) In this book, we explore the nexus between organization theory, globalization and imperialism. Rather than debate the convergence or divergence produced by globalization between diﬀerent spatial and temporal theaters, we are trying instead to focus attention on what makes globalization itself possible, as a form of economic or social organization. As a response to Rabinow’s call to ‘anthropologize the West’, we start by focusing our attention on the ‘facticity’ of globalization as a phenomenon. It is an approach whose purpose is to investigate and illuminate the myriad of institutional and institutionalized practices, knowledge and relations (e.g. between workers and organizations, headquarters and subsidiaries, the West and the Rest) that intersect to make possible the very existence and constitution of globalization. Such an approach helps us understand the social, economic and procedural conditions giving rise to the production of global relations, and the dynamics of power that are involved. One very important unit of analysis in the process of globalization is the ﬁrm, speciﬁcally the multinational corporation (MNC). This entity has...
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