Globalization

Published in Association with Theory, Culture & Society

Book 16
Free sample

A stimulating appraisal of a crucial contemporary theme, this comprehensive analysis of globalizaton offers a distinctively cultural perspective on the social theory of the contemporary world.

This perspective considers the world as a whole, going beyond conventional distinctions between the global and the local and between the universal and the particular. Its cultural approach emphasizes the political and economic significance of shifting conceptions of, and forms of participation in, an increasingly compressed world. At the same time the book shows why culture has become a globally contested issue - why, for example, competing conceptions of 'world order' have political and economic consequences.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE
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Published on
Jul 27, 1992
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Pages
211
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ISBN
9781446235881
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"This is easily Baudrillard's most important work. It is a key intervention in the debates on modernity and postmodernity and the site of his postmodern turn. Anyone who wants to understand the complexity and provocativeness of Baudrillard's richest period must read this text."
- Douglas Kellner

"Perhaps Baudrillard's most widely admired text, or at least, as he himself once wryly observed, "the last book that inspired any confidence".... For anyone seeking a way into Baudrillard's highly inventive, uncompromising, and occasionally maddening oeuvre, Symbolic Exchange and Death is still one of the best places from which to start."
- Radical Philosophy

Jean Baudrillard is one of the most celebrated and most controversial of contemporary social theorists. This major work occupies a central place in the rethinking of the humanities and social sciences around the idea of postmodernism.

It leads the reader on an exhilarating tour encompassing the end of Marxism, the enchantment of fashion, symbolism about sex and the body, and the relations between economic exchange and death. Most significantly, the book represents Baudrillard's fullest elaboration of the concept of the three orders of the simulacra, defining the historical passage from production to reproduction to simulation.

A classic in its field, Symbolic Exchange and Death is a key source for the redefinition of contemporary social thought. Baudrillard's critical gaze appraises social theories as diverse as cybernetics, ethnography, psychoanalysis, feminism, Marxism, communications theory and semiotics.
A Frenchman rents a Hollywood movie. A Thai schoolgirl mimics Madonna. Saddam Hussein chooses Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as the theme song for his fifty-fourth birthday. It is a commonplace that globalization is subverting local culture. But is it helping as much as it hurts? In this strikingly original treatment of a fiercely debated issue, Tyler Cowen makes a bold new case for a more sympathetic understanding of cross-cultural trade. Creative Destruction brings not stale suppositions but an economist's eye to bear on an age-old question: Are market exchange and aesthetic quality friends or foes? On the whole, argues Cowen in clear and vigorous prose, they are friends. Cultural "destruction" breeds not artistic demise but diversity.

Through an array of colorful examples from the areas where globalization's critics have been most vocal, Cowen asks what happens when cultures collide through trade, whether technology destroys native arts, why (and whether) Hollywood movies rule the world, whether "globalized" culture is dumbing down societies everywhere, and if national cultures matter at all. Scrutinizing such manifestations of "indigenous" culture as the steel band ensembles of Trinidad, Indian handweaving, and music from Zaire, Cowen finds that they are more vibrant than ever--thanks largely to cross-cultural trade.


For all the pressures that market forces exert on individual cultures, diversity typically increases within society, even when cultures become more like each other. Trade enhances the range of individual choice, yielding forms of expression within cultures that flower as never before. While some see cultural decline as a half-empty glass, Cowen sees it as a glass half-full with the stirrings of cultural brilliance. Not all readers will agree, but all will want a say in the debate this exceptional book will stir.

'Globalization' is one of the key concepts of our time. It is used by both the right and the left as the cornerstone of their analysis of the international economy and polity. In both political and academic discussions, the assumption is commonly made that the process of economic globalization is well under way and that this represents a qualitatively new stage in the development of international capitalism. But is there in fact such a thing as a genuinely global economy? Globalization in Question investigates this notion, providing a very different account of the international economy and stressing the possibilities for its continued and extended governance.

The new edition of this best-selling text has been thoroughly revised and updated to take into account new issues which have become salient in the period since the first and second editions were published. Several new chapters have been added and others combined or re-written to assess the growing supra-national regionalization of the international economy, the emergence of India and China as new super-powers, and the possibilities for the continued governance of the global system. A new author has been added to strengthen the analytical embrace of the book given the untimely death of Paul Hirst in 2003.

Globalization in Question's third edition is a continuing intervention into current discussions about the nature and prospects of globalization. The book has far-reaching implications which will be of interest to students and academics in a number of disciplines including politics, sociology, economics and geography, as well as to journalists and policy-makers.

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