The Unintended Consequences of the Trade in “Global” Terminology
From its very inception “globalisation” has been a term that has sat uncomfortably astride the division between business and the academic world. In the creation of venues such as the World Economic and World Social Forums, those both hostile and sympathetic to diverse practices encompassed under the rubric of globalisation have sought to blur boundaries between conversations among political elites, business men and academic theorticians. This collaboration, generated beneath a noble mission of utilizing particular expertise and producing dialogue between often disconnected polities has had unintended consequences in producing what Karen Ho calls “a seductive rhetoric of the global” (Ho, 2005: 68). Those resisting neo-liberal approaches to globalisation come to deploy the same linguistic terms in the service of making their opposition known in the terms used and understood by “the other.” Yet, in ceding the linguistic grounds of discussions of globalisation, the battle is often already won or lost. In looking at contemporary corporate rhetoric about globalisation alongside academic discussion of the same, this paper illustrates the occlusion of ideas by words as celebrations of culture and business potential in commercial discussions of global flow permeate academic and social movement literatures.
Keywords: Globalisation, Discourse, Business, Neo-Liberalism
Dr. Heather Hindman
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology/Sociology, Northeastern University