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Talking Back to Globalization

Texts and Practices


Edited By Brian Michael Goss, Mary Rachel Gould and Joan Pedro-Carañana

Globalization is one of the most widely circulated, high-stakes buzzwords of the past generation; yet discussion of the topic is often encased in paradox and contention over what globalization is, to whom and where it may (or may not) apply, and to what effect. In Talking Back to Globalization: Texts and Practices, contributors provide a series of case studies that stress the interplay between culture, politics, and commerce.
Interviews with Natalie Fenton and Radha S. Hegde survey globalization and its interpenetration with the spheres of journalism, activism, social media, and identity. The overview furnished by the interviews is followed by the volume’s two additional extended sections, «Texts» and «Practices.»
Chapters in the «Texts» section seek clues about globalization through its insinuation into mediated forms. The diverse selection of cases cover television, films, online travel web pages, blues music, and the political valences of Portuguese neo-fado.
Chapters in the «Practices» section address more diffused cases than media texts. Their analyses largely orient toward institutional concomitants of globalization that precede the subject’s experience of it. Chapters cover the trajectory of the European university, campaigns to shape journalistic practice during the Cold War, the posture of intellectuals vis-à-vis globalization, and the ideology that animates the Facebook experience.
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Afterword: The Global City and the Uses of the New Multiculture


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The Global City and the Uses of the New Multiculture


In the global era, the city has emerged as a strategic site for understanding some of the major new trends reconfiguring the social order.

—SASSEN (2011, p. 575)

The thematic emphases of contributors to this volume put into question dominant or what Norman Fairclough (2006) calls “hegemonic” or “hyperglobalist” (pp. 14–15) understandings of contemporary life in which globalization is seen as an inevitable and overwhelmingly positive, pluralizing, cosmopolitan and modernizing force in human societies and contexts. At the heart of this hegemonic framework of reference is the recruitment of multiculture and diversity discourses and practices to a deeply motivated and strategic cosmopolitan project that portrays globalization processes as liberalizing and pluralist sui generis. Confronting this notion of globalization as some kind of transcendent technological sublime, scholars such as Saskia Sassen (2011, 2014), Melissa Gregg (2011), Doreen Massey (2008), Aihwa Ong (2006), and David Harvey (2012) have noted that globalizing processes do not sit abstractly outside or above the specificity of contexts and local settings but actually touch down somewhere. These scholars call attention, specifically, to the way in which globalization touches down in the city with tremendous consequence. As Massey has observed, globalization is linked to material expression of “power geometry” (Massey, 2008, p. 257). What follows in this afterword builds on these insights and the overall...

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