- Paperback: 321 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 069112065X
- ISBN-13: 978-0691120652
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection
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Co-Winner of the 2005 Senior Book Prize, American Ethnological Association
"Friction is an original, nuanced, and elegant work of ethnography and a significant contribution to the areas of globalization; environment and natural resource wars; the politics of indigenous peoples, NGOs, and development; and the sociology of expert versus local knowledge."--Michael Goldman, American Journal of Sociology
"By providing generous anecdotes and personal reflections amid more complex, insightful political commentary and social theory, [Tsing] achieves a writing style that is both pleasurable and informative."--Laura L B Graham, Environment & Planning
From the Inside Flap
"Friction is not only an engrossing display of ethnographic reports on the destruction of Kalimantan forests and local attempts to resist it. The book also proposes a highly original perspective of the global thrust of capital. Anna Tsing is at best when she describes the way capital produces an expanding 'frontier culture': a dense and murky story of fragments and fluidity, of hurdles and clashes that disrupt the neo-liberal theater of clarity. For an Indonesian reader, her work is a gift; it hints at the feasibility of hope--or at least the mingling of despair and hope. For a thinking activist, it suggests a fresh theory of action. Introducing the notion of 'engaged universals,' it brings home the role of 'utopian critiques.'"--Goenawan Mohamad, author of Conversations with Difference
"Friction is a wonderful, moving, absolutely beautiful book. One of the most important books in anthropology to appear in the past decade, it defines a field rather than simply fitting into one. This is the first sustained ethnography by a major anthropologist of Indonesia to address the post-Soeharto period. For those of us now attempting to come to terms with a strange political landscape of instability, Tsing offers both illuminating insight and useful tools. Ethnographically rigorous, brilliantly perceptive, and passionately engaged, this is the kind of writing we would all like to be able to produce."--Mary Steedly, Harvard University, author of Hanging without a Rope
"Recently, many have written about a 'clash' of civilizations, ideas, knowledges, and cultural formations. Tsing's brilliant innovation in this book is to talk in terms of 'collaboration' rather than conflict. One of the many enjoyable aspects of Friction is its continuation of the story Tsing introduced in her previous book, of the original and creative program of scholarship she is famously known for. This will be a much-discussed contribution to the anthropology of cosmopolitanism and transnational interconnection."--Celia Lowe, University of Washington --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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This is a very original and valuable work that merits a full reading and massive replication across millions of localities.
Here are my most important fly-leaf notes.
+ An original view at the conflicts and collaborations between predatory business practices (often combining bribery to obtain local armed force) and indigenous rights and natural resource claims.
+ Proposes a new form of global respect for cultural diversity and ethnic indigenous rights and innovative possibilities. Clearly appreciates E. O. Wilson's 1996 declaration of the importance of diversity as an engine and catalyst for human progress and prosperity.
+ Charming and stimulating discussion of how the forest is a social network above a natural network.
+ Author describes the ethnographic method as one that seeks out the odd couplings, the odd connections instead of seeking to create global generalizations.
+ Culturally-rooted odd connections are a source of cultural production.
+ Cultural and political delimitation is more successful and more sustainable than global camapaigns that demand generalizations applied to all localities, and fail to reflect nuances and differentiation (e.g. good coal emissions versus bad coal emissions).
+ Trenchant discussion and definitions of prosperity (disparities between fortunes for the few and scarcity for the many); knowledge (unequally distributed); and freedom (more for the few and less for the many).
+ Excellent discussion of the blurring of the lines between public, private, and criminal.
+ Fascinating discussion, centered on the fake gold mine in Indonesia, about how countries "stage" performances and fabricate opportunities in order to attract foreign investment.
+ Tart illustration and discussion of how frontier cultures (including soldiers who will kill indigeneous peoples whose wealth is being stolen and rights trampled); franchise cronyism; and finance capital that plays Russian roulette with other people's money.
+ Great discussion of the gaps between:
- Cultivated and wild
- Subsistence and market economies
- Farm and forest
- Settlements and hinterlands
+ Strong section on the value of differences in mobilizing indigenous interest and capabilities, and innovation.
+ In passing, this book makes me realize that our labor unions are dormant but can be mobilized.
My highest complement for any book: I learned important things I did not know, and see the world in a different light as a result. I also see my own life's work, and the Earth Intelligence Network of which I am one of 24 co-founders, in a different light.
This is a righteous book, a very valuable book, and in the context of all the other books I have read, this book is quite extraordinary, unique, and a MAJOR contribution to human knowledge.
Here are some other books that I recommend that bear out and complement the author's insightful and intelligent blending of
+ Moral/natural capitalism
+ Collective intelligence/wealth of networks
+ Populism & deliberative democracy
+ Ethics, ecology, & evolution
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism: How the Financial System Underminded Social Ideals, Damaged Trust in the Markets, Robbed Investors of Trillions - and What to Do About It [audio book TITLE is better, buy the book instead]
One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization
Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace
Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them
I rarely use the word beautiful to describe an ethnography, but this is one such case.I really think this book deserves a wider public outside anthropology; Tsing's insightful observations on the sad fate of Kalimantan should be a lesson to all those who think unfettered free markets and the global economy are the route to salvation.