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Global Challenges, Local Responses, and the Role of Anthropology

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Title: Global Challenges, Local Responses, and the Role of Anthropology


1
Chapter 27
  • Global Challenges, Local Responses, and the Role
    of Anthropology

2
Chapter Preview
  • What Can Anthropologists Tell Us of the Future?
  • What Are the Cultural Trends in Our Globalizing
    World?
  • What Problems Must Be Solved for Humans to Have a
    Viable Future?

3
Cultural Future of Humanity
  • Anthropologists unlike futurist projections try
    to view things in context, further than 50 years
    from the present.
  • They have a long-term historical perspective and
    recognize culture bound biases.
  • Anthropologists are concerned with the tendency
    to treat traditional societies as obsolete when
    they appear to stand in the way of development.

4
Global Culture
  • Since the 1950s it has been a belief that
    eventually the world will become one large
    homogeneous culture.
  • Evident through such things as fast food chains
    and soda companies like Pepsi and Coca Cola.
  • Meaning that if a North American were to travel
    abroad, no matter the destination, they would see
    a similar culture to their own in North America.
  • Do you think this could be possible?

5
World Migrations
  • Migration continues to have a significant effect
    on world social geography, contributing to
    culture change, to the diffusion of ideas and
    innovations, and to the complex mixture of
    cultures in the world today.
  • Internal migration occurs within the boundaries
    of a country.
  • External migration is movement from one country
    or region to another.

6
World Migrations
  • Prior to the mid-20th century, three types of
    external migration were most important
  • Voluntary- in search of better opportunities
  • Forced- people who have been driven from their
    homelands by war, environmental disasters, or
    transported as slaves
  • Imposed- not entirely forced but made advisable
    by the circumstances.

7
Global Culture, Good?
  • In theory it might sound like a world with more
    peace and less misunderstandings of differing
    cultures.
  • The reality is that it is unlikely that cultures
    will change into one similar culture especially
    if they are being forced to quickly do so by
    outside powerful nations.
  • What is created are poorer peasant communities
    who are in the crosshairs of westernization and
    their indigenous life ways.
  • Since they failed to change quick enough for the
    western corporate powerhouses.

8
Ethnic Resurgence
  • The presence of westernization is glaringly
    obvious worldwide with the diffusion of western
    food, clothes, music, etc.
  • This does not mean it is accepted. There is an
    increase of ethnic pressure against
    westernization.
  • Resistance against globalization is becoming much
    more frequent.

9
Cultural Pluralism Multiculturalism
  • So what is the future?
  • Chances are it includes a world with
    multiculturalism- a public policy of mutual
    respect and tolerance for cultural differences.
  • Ethnic tension, common in pluralistic societies,
    sometimes turns violent, leading to formal
    separation.
  • To manage cultural diversity within such
    societies, some countries have adopted
    multiculturalism as an official public policy.

10
Transnational Cultural Flows in a Global
Environment
  • Anthropologist Arjun Appadurai marks out five
    global spaces or dimensions in which
    transnational cultural flows occur, identifying
    them as scapes (meaning something crafted,
    configured, or transformed by humans)
  • Ethnoscapes the fluid and shifting landscape of
    migrants
  • Technoscapes the global configuration of
    technologies moving at high speeds across
    previously restrictive borders.

11
Scapes
  • Financescapes the global crossroads of currency
    speculation and financial transfers.
  • Mediascapes the distribution of electronic media
    capabilities to produce and spread information,
    plus the large complex repertoire of narratives
    and visual images generated by these media.
  • Ideoscapes ideologies produced by the state and
    alternative ideologies developed by non-state and
    counter-hegemonic forces, around which societies
    organize their political cultures and collective
    cultural identities.

12
Structural Power
  • Structural power is the power that organizes and
    orchestrates the systemic interaction within and
    among societies.
  • Often directing economic and political forces on
    the one hand and ideological forces that shape
    public ideas, values, and beliefs on the other.

13
Structural Power
  • Two major interacting forces of structural power
  • Hard power is the type of power that is backed up
    by economic and military force.
  • Soft power is the type of power that is co-optive
    where ones ideas are pressed onto others through
    attraction and persuasion to change ones ideas,
    beliefs, or values.

14
Economic Hard Power
  • Large corporations which are usually a cluster of
    several smaller corporations held together by
    common interest, money, and strategy are
    controlled by one group in one country.
  • Their power and wealth, often exceeding that of
    national governments, has increased dramatically
    through media expansion.

15
Economic Hard Power
  • Mega corporations have enormous influence on the
    ideas and behavior of hundreds of millions of
    people worldwide.
  • States and corporations compete for scarce
    natural resources, cheap labor, new commercial
    markets, and ever-larger profits in a political
    arena that spans the entire globe.

16
Structural Violence
  • Structural violence is physical and/or
    psychological harm (including repression,
    environmental destruction, poverty, hunger,
    illness, and premature death) caused by
    impersonal, exploitative, and unjust social,
    political, and economic systems.
  • Current structures are poised to offer wealth,
    power, and comfort for a lucky few and poverty,
    suffering, and death for the majority.

17
Overpopulation
  • In 1750, 1 billion people lived on earth.
  • By 1950, nearly 2.5 billion.
  • Between 1950 and 2000 the world population soared
    above 6 billion.
  • Today, India and China have more than 1 billion
    inhabitants each.
  • Population projections suggest that global
    population will peak around 2050 at about 9.37
    billion people.

18
Overpopulation
  • Replacement reproduction, the point at which
    birthrates and death rates are in equilibrium
    people producing only enough offspring to replace
    themselves when they die.
  • Even with the replacement reproduction the
    population will continue to grow for 50 years or
    more.

19
Overpopulation
  • Western societies have protected their
    environment only when a crisis warranted.
  • Many of the worlds developing countries have
    policies for population growth that conflict with
    other policies.
  • A direct threat to humanity.

20
Hunger and Obesity
  • Currently over a quarter of the worlds countries
    do not produce enough food to feed their
    populations and cannot afford to import what is
    needed.
  • Most of these countries are in Saharan Africa.
  • What is ironic is that while millions of people
    go without food daily, millions of people eat too
    much food daily.
  • Obesity is not solely related to overeating, it
    is also related to the high sugar and fat content
    found in food.

21
Global Pollution
  • Air and water pollution appear to be the direct
    result of the human hand. The largest negative
    side effect of agribusiness is environmental
    degradation.
  • Pollutants cause the development of acid
    precipitation, which damages soil, vegetation,
    and wildlife.
  • Most atmospheric scientists believe that the
    greenhouse effect is being enhanced by increased
    carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases produced
    by industrial and agricultural activities.

22
The Culture of Discontent
  • As previously mentioned the worlds poorest
    countries have been told that they can and should
    enjoy a standard of living comparable to that of
    the rich countries.
  • The resources necessary to maintain such a
    luxurious standard of living are limited. Non
    renewable resources would quickly disappear at
    such a high rate of consumption.
  • This growing gap between expectations and
    realizations has led to the creation of a culture
    of discontent.

23
The Culture of Discontent
  • The culture of discontent is not limited to poor
    and overpopulated countries.
  • It can be found among the most wealthy and
    enduring nations.
  • Where the people are spending money to obtain
    material riches which often lead to more
    discontent.
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