Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection

Princeton University Press
6
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A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick alone is just a stick. In both cases, it is friction that produces movement, action, effect. Challenging the widespread view that globalization invariably signifies a "clash" of cultures, anthropologist Anna Tsing here develops friction in its place as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world.

She focuses on one particular "zone of awkward engagement"--the rainforests of Indonesia--where in the 1980s and the 1990s capitalist interests increasingly reshaped the landscape not so much through corporate design as through awkward chains of legal and illegal entrepreneurs that wrested the land from previous claimants, creating resources for distant markets. In response, environmental movements arose to defend the rainforests and the communities of people who live in them. Not confined to a village, a province, or a nation, the social drama of the Indonesian rainforest includes local and national environmentalists, international science, North American investors, advocates for Brazilian rubber tappers, UN funding agencies, mountaineers, village elders, and urban students, among others--all combining in unpredictable, messy misunderstandings, but misunderstandings that sometimes work out.

Providing a portfolio of methods to study global interconnections, Tsing shows how curious and creative cultural differences are in the grip of worldly encounter, and how much is overlooked in contemporary theories of the global.

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About the author

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of In the Realm of the Diamond Queen (Princeton).
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Reviews

3.2
6 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Oct 23, 2011
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9781400830596
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Globalization
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
Social Science / Anthropology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Carol Gluck
On the premise that words have the power to make worlds, each essay in this book follows a word as it travels around the globe and across time. Scholars from five disciplines address thirteen societies to highlight the social and political life of words in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The approach is consciously experimental, in that rigorously tracking specific words in specific settings frequently leads in unexpected directions and alters conventional depictions of global modernity.

Such words as security in Brazil, responsibility in Japan, community in Thailand, and hijāb in France changed the societies in which they moved even as the words were changed by them. Some words threatened to launch wars, as injury did in imperial Britain’s relations with China in the nineteenth century. Others, such as secularism, worked in silence to agitate for political change in twentieth-century Morocco. Words imposed or imported from abroad could be transformed by those who wielded them to oppose the very powers that first introduced them, as happened in Turkey, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Taken together, this selection of fourteen essays reveals commonality as well as distinctiveness across modern societies, making the world look different from the interdisciplinary and transnational perspective of “words in motion.”

Contributors. Mona Abaza, Itty Abraham, Partha Chatterjee, Carol Gluck, Huri Islamoglu, Claudia Koonz, Lydia H. Liu, Driss Maghraoui, Vicente L. Rafael, Craig J. Reynolds, Seteney Shami, Alan Tansman, Kasian Tejapira, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Paul Greenough
A nuanced look at how nature has been culturally constructed in South and Southeast Asia, Nature in the Global South is a major contribution to understandings of the politics and ideologies of environmentalism and development in a postcolonial epoch. Among the many significant paradigms for understanding both the preservation and use of nature in these regions are biological classification, state forest management, tropical ecology, imperial water control, public health, and community-based conservation. Focusing on these and other ways that nature has been shaped and defined, this pathbreaking collection of essays describes projects of exploitation, administration, science, and community protest.

With contributors based in anthropology, ecology, sociology, history, and environmental and policy studies, Nature in the Global South features some of the most innovative and influential work being done in the social studies of nature. While some of the essays look at how social and natural landscapes are created, maintained, and transformed by scientists, officials, monks, and farmers, others analyze specific campaigns to eradicate smallpox and save forests, waterways, and animal habitats. In case studies centered in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, and South and Southeast Asia as a whole, contributors examine how the tropics, the jungle, tribes, and peasants are understood and transformed; how shifts in colonial ideas about the landscape led to extremely deleterious changes in rural well-being; and how uneasy environmental compromises are forged in the present among rural, urban, and global allies.

Contributors:
Warwick Anderson
Amita Baviskar
Peter Brosius
Susan Darlington
Michael R. Dove
Ann Grodzins Gold
Paul Greenough
Roger Jeffery
Nancy Peluso
K. Sivaramakrishnan
Nandini Sundar
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Charles Zerner

Carol Gluck
On the premise that words have the power to make worlds, each essay in this book follows a word as it travels around the globe and across time. Scholars from five disciplines address thirteen societies to highlight the social and political life of words in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The approach is consciously experimental, in that rigorously tracking specific words in specific settings frequently leads in unexpected directions and alters conventional depictions of global modernity.

Such words as security in Brazil, responsibility in Japan, community in Thailand, and hijāb in France changed the societies in which they moved even as the words were changed by them. Some words threatened to launch wars, as injury did in imperial Britain’s relations with China in the nineteenth century. Others, such as secularism, worked in silence to agitate for political change in twentieth-century Morocco. Words imposed or imported from abroad could be transformed by those who wielded them to oppose the very powers that first introduced them, as happened in Turkey, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Taken together, this selection of fourteen essays reveals commonality as well as distinctiveness across modern societies, making the world look different from the interdisciplinary and transnational perspective of “words in motion.”

Contributors. Mona Abaza, Itty Abraham, Partha Chatterjee, Carol Gluck, Huri Islamoglu, Claudia Koonz, Lydia H. Liu, Driss Maghraoui, Vicente L. Rafael, Craig J. Reynolds, Seteney Shami, Alan Tansman, Kasian Tejapira, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Paul Greenough
A nuanced look at how nature has been culturally constructed in South and Southeast Asia, Nature in the Global South is a major contribution to understandings of the politics and ideologies of environmentalism and development in a postcolonial epoch. Among the many significant paradigms for understanding both the preservation and use of nature in these regions are biological classification, state forest management, tropical ecology, imperial water control, public health, and community-based conservation. Focusing on these and other ways that nature has been shaped and defined, this pathbreaking collection of essays describes projects of exploitation, administration, science, and community protest.

With contributors based in anthropology, ecology, sociology, history, and environmental and policy studies, Nature in the Global South features some of the most innovative and influential work being done in the social studies of nature. While some of the essays look at how social and natural landscapes are created, maintained, and transformed by scientists, officials, monks, and farmers, others analyze specific campaigns to eradicate smallpox and save forests, waterways, and animal habitats. In case studies centered in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, and South and Southeast Asia as a whole, contributors examine how the tropics, the jungle, tribes, and peasants are understood and transformed; how shifts in colonial ideas about the landscape led to extremely deleterious changes in rural well-being; and how uneasy environmental compromises are forged in the present among rural, urban, and global allies.

Contributors:
Warwick Anderson
Amita Baviskar
Peter Brosius
Susan Darlington
Michael R. Dove
Ann Grodzins Gold
Paul Greenough
Roger Jeffery
Nancy Peluso
K. Sivaramakrishnan
Nandini Sundar
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Charles Zerner

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