1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences


ANTH 1050: Anthropology of Globalization

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ANTH 1050: Anthropology of Globalization
Beyond the West

The Anthropology of Globalization introduces the social and cultural aspects of global integration. While human communities have always been connected to one another in important ways, recent history has seen a quickening of transportation and communication, increasing the circulation of people, objects, and ideas across significant distances. In this course, we will explore the human side of this circulation: how does it shape people's experiences, and how is it shaped in turn by people's understandings of what is possible, desirable, or inevitable. We will read ethnographic studies of people who are engaged in or responding to global forces and processes. How are global connections contributing to the complexity and interdependence of diverse human cultures? What new forms of social, political, economic, and religious networks are emerging? What kinds of disconnection, exclusion, and inequality? Topics addressed in the course will include the early history of global commodities in imperialism, the cultural specificity of economic markets and trade, the cultural roles of big business and NGOs, the experience of workers in global supply chains, the tension between the local and the cosmopolitan in emerging forms of consumer culture and middle class affluence, illegal and informal economies, neoliberalism and financialization, bor migration, totourism and voluntourism, approaches to lessening poverty and marketing to the "bottom of the pyramid," and the global circulation of music, arts, and performed cultural heritage. We will consider how ideas about globalization themselves circulate and how they are diversely framed from different political, economic, and cultural viewpoints. How are ideas of the "global" and "globalization" used to describe the world as well as to change it? How do global processes look when viewed from above and when viewed from below?