The Unintended Consequences of the Trade in “Global” Terminology

Dr. Heather Hindman
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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
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Heather Hindman

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology/Sociology, Northeastern University
Boston, MA, USA

Heather Hindman is an assistant professor of anthropology at Northeastern University. She previously taught in Anthropology and International Studies programs at the University of Chicago, Denison University and Centre College. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, she uses theories and methods from post colonial studies, globalization and science, technology and studies (STS) to illuminate issues of power, gender and history at the middle level of global actors. Focusing on Nepal as a nexus of historical and political novelty, her forthcoming book considers the influence of everyday life interactions of diplomats, development workers and their local staff upon the implementation of policy and projects. Her current research projects include a theoretical exploration of alterity and culture under neo-liberalism and an ethnographic investigation of community activists seeking safe disposal of chemical weapons in their midst.

Ref: I07P0808