In the article “ Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” Arjun Appadurai examines the relationship between the conception and articulation of culture in a global context. Apparudai argues that the main problem facing “ global interactions is the tension between cultural homogenization and the cultural heterogenization” (295). In the light of that perspective the current global cultural economy has been realized as a complex, extensive disjunctive order that cannot be understood in terms of existing center-periphery models. The current global economy has been complicated by specific basic disjunctures between culture, economy and politics. As Apparudai proposes a basic framework for examining; arguing that the relations between these disjunctures can be examined in terms of the five cultural flow dimensions: ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, finascapes and ideoscapes (296). The author discusses these five concepts, setting the basis for a tentative formulation of the conditions under which the prevalent global cultural flows take place.
In essence, Global cultural flows occur in and through growing disjunctures between these concepts. As argued by Apparudai, cultural globalization is not the same as cultural homogenization. Nonetheless, globalization involves the usage of implements of homogenization that are riveted into local cultural and political economies only to be banished as heterogeneous dialogues of sovereignty, fundamentalism and free enterprise. However, this banishment or export of uniqueness continuously aggravates the internal politics of homogenization and majoritarianism that is often played out in the debates over culture (Apparudai 307). Therefore, the central aspect of international culture is the politics of the common effort of difference and sameness to cannibalize one another. In essence, the process of globalizing culture is influenced by the infinitely varied common contest of difference and sameness on a stage described by radical disjunctures between various types of international cultural flows and the indeterminate landscapes generated in and through these disjunctures (308).
In relation to the context of the classwork, Apparudai sets forth an examination of global cultural relationships based on objective relations that resemble one another though intensely perspectival constructs. He discusses the historical, linguistic and political circumstances of various types of actors: multinationals, nations, diasporic communities, subnational movements or associations and relations between individuals. Apparudai extends the work of Benedict Anderson; arguing that financial, media, ethnographic, technological and ideological landscapes are the building blocks of imagined worlds; multiple domains created by historically positioned imaginations of individuals and groups extended across the world. In that perspective, it can be drawn that the important aspect of the present-day world is that many people in the world live in such imagined contexts and not just in imagined societies, and hence are able to compete and even subvert the abstract worlds of the formal mind and of the entrepreneurial attitude, which surround them.
In conclusion, Appadurai popularizes the notions of global cultural flows. He contends that these drifts are chaotic and disjunctive in oddity and that they succeed standard geographical reasoning in social-cultural exploration. The emphasis on disjuncture lines up shifting and ephemeral flows; hence undervaluing the comparative influence of capital and the exchanges between various types of flows. His geographical view undertakes that inert elements are the opposite of flows, while processual geography recognizes how flows can generate, reproduce, and alter geographic galaxies (Heyman, Josiah and Howard 133). This alternative assists individuals to realize international boundaries and inequalities; enabling the broaching of differentiated treatments and privileges of mobile populations. In essence, in reading Apparudai’s article, one is seeks to construct a more robust social-cultural anthropology of vibrant mobilities and flows.
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Appadurai, Arjun. ” Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy 1990.” Cultural Theory: An Anthology (2011): 282-295.
Heyman, Josiah McC, and Howard Campbell. ” The anthropology of global flows: A critical reading of Appadurai’sDisjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’.” Anthropological Theory 9. 2 (2009): 131-148.