Modernity At Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Public Worlds) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-0816627936
ISBN-10: 0816627932
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Offering a new framework for the cultural study of globalization, Modernity at Large shows how the imagination works as a social force in today's world, providing new resources for identity and energies for creating alternatives to the nation-state, whose era some see as coming to an end. Appadurai examines the current epoch of globalization, which is characterized by the win forces of mass migration and electronic mediation, and provides fresh ways of looking at popular consumption patters, debates about multiculturalism, and ethnic violence. He considers the way images--of lifestyles, popular culture, and self-representation--circulate internationally through the media and are often borrowed in surprising (to their originators) and inventive fashions.

About the Author

Arjun Appaduraiis the Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and a senior fellow of the Institute for Public Knowledge. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the author of editor of numerous books, includingThe Social Life of Things", Modernity at Large", Fear of Small Numbers", andThe Future as Cultural Fact".

Product Details

  • File Size: 720 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Pr; 1 edition (January 28, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 28, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LB49E2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,669 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Kuhlman on June 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Appadurai's book, Modernity at Large, offers quite a few tools to help us think about that big fuzzy thing called "globalization." He coins quite a few words to describe multiply-constituted networks of culture - ethnoscapes, mediascapes, ideoscapes, financescapes, and technoscapes. All are different ways of looking at the global cultural flows that we're trying to describe, and all are strongly influenced by perspective, overlapping, and rapidly shifting (though the term doesn't quite capture the instability and mutability of global cultural flows).

A book like this, to be useful, should help us think about important problems in manageable, intelligible, and useful ways. Appadurai's book offers more than most in this line. His terms, such as the above, are interesting, and his willingness to theorize as well as analyze is valuable. The ways that he situates himself in his analysis is also illuminating and useful. For example, Appadurai describes a trip he and his wife made to a Hindu temple in Bombay. His wife asked about a Hindu priest that she had known before, and they were told that he was in Houston. The point isn't just that they went there and he came here. He's talking about trans-locality, and the production of locality beyond mere connection to a place. Not all Hindus live in India, and not all Indians have to live in India to maintain their Indian-ness. At the same time, Houston is Houston because of both the people and the landscape located there. But part of its identity as a place derives from the trans-local identities of some of its citizens - a "cosmopolitan" city where some citizens are both Indian and American.
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Format: Paperback
Professor Appadurai writes with an understanding, clarity, and erudition that is rare among scholars in any discipline. In a small, densely packed, smoothly written text, he provides anthropology and sociology with a powerful set of theoretical tools and concepts with which to grasp modernity and globalization. Like de Certeau, Appadurai examines aspects of intimate, everyday life in minute detail, but like Giddens and Lash, his reach is global. This book provides the integration of perspectives that anthropology desperately needs in order to finally become relevant in the twenty-first century. It is a wake-up call, a gift, and a masterpiece. No one seriously practicing anthropology in the high-modern era should fail to acquaint themselves with this rare gem of a book.
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Format: Paperback
The great strength behind Appadurai's book Modernity at Large is that he breaks out of the binary thinking that many new historians engage in. Instead, he offers what he coins landscapes, five different threads that weave together and influence one another to form our communities, imagined or otherwise. His ideas of how the imagination and imagined communities affect us build on the established works of others, especially Benedict Anderson, but his approach is very down to earth and accessible without pandering to a lowest common denominator. The book is dense, and not something to absorb in one sitting; it savours like a fine wine.

An excellent book, especially for students wanting to research deterritorialization and the transnational public sphere but are intimidated or frustrated with assigned texts.
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Format: Paperback
Appadurai uses a number of powerful metaphors to talk about globalization. His language of -scapes (financescapes, mediascapes, etc) is an interesting way to look at global flows from different perspectives. He suggests that in the postmodern world, the collapse of time and space through technology gives rise to widespread agency as the work of the imagination. He also suggests the collapse of the modern nation-state, or at least the decoupling of those terms through the removal of the hyphen, as identities and allegiences become more transnational.
While this work is very thought provoking and a useful lens on globalization and global flows of people, goods, ideas and such, Appadurai overstates his points a bit. His prediction of the end of the nation-state seems premature in light of post 9/11 developments (which might be termed, to borrow one of his seciton titles "The Empire Strikes Back"). And while his discussion of works of the imagination is stirring and powerful, it does not adequately take into account power dynamics that are, on the one hand incredibly freeing to the haves, and on the other, quite restrictive to the have-nots.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author talks about the role of the culture into the post-modern society.
He starts from the Weber phylosophy for a rationality of the ethic values.
But he also substains a shift by a culture as substance to a culture as dimension of the differences.
If we consider the links between immagination and true life, we must think to the global trends in a no very simple way.
The etnography redefines the social roots whom relate us to the phoenomena about the consume society.
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With "Modernity at Large" Appadurai created a widely acknowledged groundwork for a viable perspective on globalization. This little book is a very thorough description about what is going on and changing in the world around us. Additionally, it provides numerous details and examples from all over the world - each of which could be developed even further. It should be read by everyone, who is afraid globalization is erasing the cultural diversity of this world.
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