Review: Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy
June 12, 2011 § 3 Comments
In Arjun Appadurai’s article “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” Appadurai discusses the evolution of widespread global interactions and the tensions between cultural homogenization and cultural heterogenization. In the article, Appadurai explains how the common model of understanding of the global economy does not fit with the ever expanding and changing cultural mixing in this current era. The previous thoughts of separate “center-periphery models” and “push and pull (in terms of migration theory)” do not correspond to the “movements,” as he calls them, of cultural expression. Introducing the terms of ethnoscapes (movement of people), mediascapes (movement of media), technoscapes (movement of technology), ideoscapes, (movement of ideas), and finanscapes (movement of money), Appadurai discusses how these five essential constructs overthrow the previous notions of separate economies and “pure capitalism.” Essentially, these five dimensions of global cultural flow cause a “disorganized capitalism,” which involves the separate, disjointed operations of the “economy, culture, and politics.” Appadurai states that in order to understand how to conduct the most successful global economy, the understanding of these “diasporas” and movements of cultural products needs to be achieved.
I found this piece particularly interesting in terms of the entire global economy. It is fascinating to think about how every aspect, whether political, economic, or social, ties into making up an entire culture. It also pulls on the fact that culture is not one specific thing or idea, but rather the commodity of multiple factors. This article made me think about how each sphere is operated separately, and the misunderstanding or global miscommunication of one sphere can affect the entirety of nation. I really enjoyed this article specifically because it talked about communication between nations and states on a global scale.